Cover Image: Let Me Lie

Let Me Lie

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Anna doesn't believe that her parents died via suicide. She is adamant that they were murdered. A year after the cases closed, she receives a message that changes everything. Seeking help from retired investigator Murray, the dangers of not letting things lie will become clear.

So, I really love Clare Mackintosh's writing of psychological thrillers. She writes a compelling read with lots of twists and turns. While there are definitely some that you can see coming, there's always one or two small curveballs at the end that I really enjoy. Definitely recommend for the writing and plot.
Was this review helpful?
To be honest, I think I just need to stop reading thriller right now. They are all blending together. I am constantly looking for the thriller that stands out in the crowd but very few do these days. This one was fine and would be great for someone who reads only a few books a year. Well written, just not surprising to me. Thank you for the opportunity to read it.
Was this review helpful?
Full disclosure: I’m already a huge fan of Clare Mackintosh’s books. I loved I Let You Go and I See You, so I was anxious to dive into this one. Mackintosh is a master of misdirection, and it’s on full display here.

Anna Johnson is a new mom to eight-week-old Ella, and it wasn’t a planned pregnancy. In fact, it was even more of a shocker since the father is Mark Hemmings, her few-years-older boyfriend who was also her grief counselor—the one she saw after both of her parents, Tom and Caroline, committed suicide: her father 19 years ago, and her mother seven months after that. It’s something she’s had a hard time coping with, and she’s had to reconcile this with the joy that has come with having sweet little Ella. She’s very aware of the sometimes-intractable nature of grief.

I stopped seeing a therapist when I realized all the talking in the world wasn’t going to bring back my parents. You reach a point where the pain you feel inside is simply sadness. And there’s no cure for that.

Grief is complicated. It ebbs and flows and is so multifaceted that unpacking it makes my head hurt. I can go for days without crying, then barely be able to breathe for the sobs that rack my body. One moment I’ll be laughing with Uncle Billy about something stupid Dad once did; the next I’ll be filled with rage for his selfishness. If Dad hadn’t killed himself, Mum wouldn’t have done either.

When she receives a card that says “Happy Anniversary!” on the front and “Suicide? Think again.” on the inside, she’s shocked—and convinced that someone is trying to tell her that her parents didn’t commit suicide, that it’s possible they were murdered. Anna is in a tough position. She’s grieving and suspects that something gnarly is going on, but no one really wants to hear her claims that her parents might have been murdered. Especially her boyfriend. After all, she’s just the sad, hysterical woman reaching for impossibility because she’s in denial of reality, right?

Luckily, there is someone that’s willing to listen, but his power is, shall we say, limited. Murray Mackenzie is a former detective who is technically retired, but he loves the work and now mans the front desk for the Lower Meads Police Station. There are no detectives available when Anna comes in to report the letter, so he doesn’t see the harm in hearing her out. He soon reveals himself to be an inquisitive, sensitive sounding board. He also sees a kindred spirit in Anna.

Some people found shared experiences a lifeline. They thrived in group therapy sessions, walking out stronger and better equipped to deal with their emotions. A problem shared…

But suicide support groups didn’t help everyone.

They hadn’t helped Murray.

“I saw a grief counselor.”

“Did it help?”

“I had a baby with him.” Anna Johnson gave a half sob, half laugh. Murray found himself laughing with her.

“Well, that does sound quite helpful.”

The tears had slowed. Anna’s smile was weak, but steady. “Please Mr. Mackenzie. My parents didn’t commit suicide. They were murdered.” She pointed at the torn-up card. “And this proves it.”

It didn’t prove it. It didn’t prove anything.

But it did ask a question. And Murray had never been one to ignore an unanswered question. Perhaps he could take a look himself. Pull out the original files, read through the coroner’s reports. And when—if—there was something to investigate, he could hand over the package. He had the skills, after all. Thirty years on the job, and the best part of that on CID. You didn’t hand in your knowledge along with your warrant card.

Murray knows something of grief: his beloved wife, Sarah, has borderline personality disorder (BPD) and has been in and out of treatment clinics for most of their marriage. She’s also tried to commit suicide many times. Murray will do just about anything for her, and his relationship with his beautiful, troubled wife is one of the highlights of this book. She also is a valuable contributor to the case; she often sees things that Murray doesn’t, and he doesn’t hesitate to share with her in hopes of reaching an understanding that has thus far eluded him.

Of course, the letters Anna is getting are frightening, but not as frightening as when she finds a dead rabbit with its entrails pulled out on her porch. There’s blood everywhere, far more than would come from a little rabbit. Infuriatingly, Mark chalks it up to a fox, and before Anna can take photos, he cleans up the mess! Mark is frustrating—he seemingly means well but never really takes Anna seriously. That is until a brick comes sailing through the window of Ella’s nursery.

Of course, while Murray is digging into the clues, so is Anna. She begins to go through her mother’s things and finds information that just doesn’t add up. And on the peripheral, someone seems to be watching Anna. Mackintosh is a pro at cranking up the tension, and she’s a stickler for detail. Anna’s emotional highs and lows are very natural, and she rounds out a cast of fully realized characters with motivations that, while sometimes twisted, flesh out the narrative as opposed to just propelling it. If you haven’t picked up a book by this stellar writer, now’s the time.
Was this review helpful?
This seemed like a story I would like; however I could not finish it.   I could not connect to the main character Anne (whose name I just struggled to remember!), and the other characters felt stilted.  I could not focus past a few sentences, and often would have to go back and reread what was there.   I would not discourage anyone from reading the story, it just did not grab my attention.     Maybe I will again later!
Was this review helpful?
Mackintosh always knows how to amp up the suspense as Anna, a young woman whose parents committed separate, identical suicides, starts receiving clues that cause her to rethink their deaths in a new light. There are plenty of twists, for the most part well-earned, that make readers keep flipping the pages to find out what happens next.
Was this review helpful?
WARNING: Don't read this at bedtime unless you're ready to lose sleep. 

This one got me hooked from beginning to end. Clare Mackintosh once again delivered a twisty, twisted, tragic tale that's suspenseful and struck terror in me as every secret is revealed. CM is fast becoming a must-read author for me.
Was this review helpful?
Anna parents died within months of each other.  They were both suicides but Anna doesn’t believe it’s possible.  She believes there is something behind the death of her mother and she starts an investigation into it. 

I read the words of Anna’s mother who doesn’t want Anna to make inquiries about her death.  She fears for Anna’s safety and she doesn’t want the outcome of the truth to be revealed.  Where is this voice coming from and what exactly is the truth about her death?  

The mystery starts to slowly reveal itself as Anna receives something in the mail.  Was this item sent to be a threat or a call for help?  Anna doesn’t know what to think about it while Murray, the retired officer working on her case, is still trying to piece everything together.  Other mysterious items begin to arrive and whether they are there to help or hinder, confuse and disturb Anna at a time in her life when she should be enjoying motherhood and mourning the deaths of her family.  

We all know that once you start lying, it’s easy to continue and that the lies begin to mount one-on-top-of-one-another just like that and that is what happens inside this novel.  The truth was somewhere beneath all these layers but where was it?  And what would it reveal, when it was finally discovered?

I liked the characters in this novel. I loved their craftiness and their spontaneity.  They were quick on their feet and quick to act as sometimes, they didn’t have time to pause and think before reacting.  I thought the premise behind the novel was enjoyable and entertaining.  This was a fun, twisting mystery that kept me on my toes.  

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group. in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Months apart, Tom and Caroline Johnson committed suicide, one seemingly unable to live without the other. Their adult daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents’ deaths, unable to comprehend why they chose to end their lives without so much as a goodbye.

Now with a young baby herself, she starts to question her parents’ deaths after receiving an anonymous note suggesting that their deaths weren't suicides. What Anna doesn't know is that by digging up their past, she’s putting her future in danger.  Someone is trying to stop her. She soon learns that nothing is as it seemed, and that maybe it's better to let things lie...

I love Clare Mackintosh, so when I heard about Let Me Lie, I immediately added it to my "to read" list! Let Me Lie was told in three parts, and if I'm being honest, the first part wasn't as gripping to me as the other two parts. It felt really slow and repetitive to me - more of a domestic drama than a thriller, and I really thought that I wasn't going to love the book because of it. That said, things picked up toward the end of part one as some reveals started happening, and then part two was much better, and part three was killer, and was definitely fast paced and intense! 

I liked Anna as our protagonist, and was rooting for her to figure out the truth about her parents. As the pieces of the puzzle started coming together, I got more and more into the story, and read the second half of the book in one sitting, because I wanted to know how things would end, and I wasn't disappointed! I absolutely loved the end of the book, and the final line left me speechless, which is what I've come to expect from Clare Mackintosh!

All in all, I rated this one 4.5 stars, not quite hitting the 5 star mark because of the slow, repetitive, beginning of the book, but because the second half was so good, I felt like it should be more than 4 stars for me. If you like a suspense story that picks up momentum as the story progresses, this will be a great choice for you!
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars, rounded up

Let Me Lie really had my attention at the beginning, but it petered out a bit for me towards the end. I did really enjoy the twists in this one, it was not as predictable as I had thought at the beginning but the end seemed to happen too abruptly for me. I also, did not really understand the last page. One of the sub-plots I was invested in did not end how I wanted it to, in fact, I don't really think it should have ended at all, but I digress. Overall, this was an enjoyable quick read and I would definitely read more of her books in the future.
Was this review helpful?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Trigger warnings: suicide, self harm, blood, violence

I’m not normally one to reach for thrillers too often– honestly, I get tired of some of the problematic conventions prevalent in the genre– but after loving both of Clare Mackintosh’s previous novels, I was excited to receive a review copy of her newest release, Let Me Lie. Although this is probably my least favorite Mackintosh book, it still delivered all the twists I expect from this author and constantly kept me guessing!

Let Me Lie follows Anna Johnson, a woman in her mid-twenties who lost both her parents over the course of the past year. The police rule both their deaths as suicide, but when Anna receives a mysterious note on the anniversary of her mother’s death that leads her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents and how they died.

As with Mackintosh’s other novels, Let Me Lie is told through multiple perspectives. We get Anna’s POV, as well as that of retired detective Murray Mackenzie, who helps Anna investigate the case. Sprinkled throughout the book are short chapters from the perspective of what we presume to be one of Anna’s parents (though whether it’s in the past or the present is not immediately clear). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I simply do not understand the way Mackintosh handles different perspectives. Anna’s is in first-person, while Murray’s chapters are told through a third-person omniscient POV. It’s such a jarring shift and feels so unnecessary! The shift in voice pulls you out of the story. And it’s present in ALL of her books. That aside, I really enjoyed Murray’s chapters and learning a bit about his home life and backstory.

As expected, the plot took me on wild ride as the mystery unraveled. There were at least three times I thought I had the situation solved, but I was wrong every time. The story did suffer some pacing issues, IMO– the middle felt like it dragged– but I was still engaged throughout and wanted to keep reading. As new things came to light, I was constantly kept guessing. Also, THAT TWIST AT THE END, THOUGH. Mackintosh always has to throw in that extra twist that makes you question everything you just read, and I have to admit, I love it.

All in all, Let Me Lie isn’t my favorite thriller I’ve ever read, but it’s a solid one that provided a great break from all the contemporary I’ve been reading recently. It’ll keep your mind turning throughout the entire reading experience. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys adult mysteries or thrillers!

Have you read Let Me Lie? If so, let’s discuss in the comments! What’s the best thriller you’ve read recently?
Was this review helpful?
The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They're both wrong.

It's not hard to get sucked into a thriller with this description.  After enjoying her previous books, I was excited to read Clare Mackintosh's latest book, Let Me Lie.   It is another twisty thriller that keeps you guessing until the end.  I can't say more without spoiling the plot.  Just read it!
Was this review helpful?
Many thanks to NetGalley, Berkeley Publishing, and Clare Mackintosh for the opportunity to read her latest.  I Let You Go still ranks high on my all-time favorite list and her latest doesn't disappoint.

Anna lost both of her parents within a year to matching suicides.  Now just after the birth of her baby, signs are pointing to the fact that maybe their deaths were murders instead of suicides.  But the only one to give her thoughts any credence is Murray, a semi-retired investigator who really isn't supposed to be looking into the case.

I don't want to give any more away because that would take away from the magic of Mackintosh's books - those plot twists that you will never see coming!  I love her writing and get lost in the worlds she creates.  I really loved the character of Murray and the relationship he had with his wife, Sarah.

I couldn't put this one down - it's available now so don't miss it!
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyable book! It could be a little slow at times but the story kept me interested. Once the twists started happening it felt like I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! Will definitely be recommending this to customers looking for a twisted thriller to read.
Was this review helpful?
Before I got lured into the world of romance, I used to predominantly read crime thrillers. I haven't been keeping up as much lately, but I did read Clare Mackintosh's debut after a friend recommended it and enjoyed it so much that I kept up with her sophomore novel. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read Lie To Me. This was just the palate cleanser I needed. This review is going to be short and vague because I worry that if I chat too much about it, I'll wind up spoiling even minute details. This is very much a book that you should go in knowing only the basics. 

Let Me Lie tells the story of Anna Johnson, whose parents committed suicide a year apart in the same spot. It's been a year since her mother died and Anna is struggling with the grief and confusion of the loss while handling a baby daughter of her own. All of a sudden, she receives a card that suggests that her parents may have been murdered and this shakes her entire life. Anna's sorrow and confusion were strong elements of Let Me Lie and I thought Mackintosh did at making her emotions balance out all the thriller elements. On the other side of the story, we have Detective Murray's POV, who assists Anna on the case and begins digging into the tragic past of what happened those two fateful days. I liked how we got to see a lot of Murray's life and his story with his wife as well. There were things going on in his life besides the case and Mackintosh takes her time to build up his character strongly as well. 

The mystery in Let Me Lie was executed to perfection, in my opinion. I'm usually pretty decent at unraveling these sorts of mysteries, and while there were few elements I was able to figure out, there were lots more that I did not see coming. I like how Mackintosh's books are seemingly very quiet in a way, but then she'll pull a twist on you out of nowhere that shakes you to your core. Even though the pacing was slow, I found that it suited the tone of the story and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Plus, I found that it made the reveals all the more exciting. There's a calmness to Mackintosh's writing that I'm finding hard to put into words, but if you read her stories, you'll know exactly what I mean. The details she puts into the procedural aspects of her books are truly stellar. And her endings! My gosh! I love them because they always just leave me gasping with my mouth hanging.

I realize I haven't said much in my review for Let Me Lie, but I hope I've convinced you to give this book and Clare Mackintosh's other stories. If you like a good mystery, you're in for a treat.
Was this review helpful?
*Thanks to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.*

This book is awesome! So many twists and turns and great characters. While reading, I started to think that I had it figured out, that the story was pretty straight forward, etc, etc, but I was wrong and that's awesome!

This book and this author are not to be missed by anyone who likes mysteries and darker stories.
Was this review helpful?
I have really enjoyed all of Claire Mackintosh's books thus far. Let Me Lie is no different. 

The beginning was slow going but it grabs you and pulls you in. The characters are well developed, the plot has enough twists to keep you guessing.

I love Detective Murray Mackenzie he was by far my favorite character.. Good detective amazing husband.

I look forward to seeing what else Claire Mackintosh brings our way.
Was this review helpful?
Anna , a new mom is coping with the death of both her parents. Her dad committed suicide and a few months later her mom did the same.But Anna was never convinced that both her were suicidal  and on the anniversary of their death she receives a letter confirming the same. She approaches a retired detective Murray with whom she finally starts believing that her parents were murdered after all. 

 Let me lie is narrated by different POV’s which started a little slow for me but picked up pace later on with lots of twists and turns and an unexpected surprise ending. I have enjoyed other books Clare Mackintosh and will definitely look forward to reading more by her.

I would like to thank Berkley Publishing Group & NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.

This and more reviews at
Was this review helpful?

Anna’s parents both commit suicide in the same spot just seven months apart. Even though both were considered open and closed cases, Anna isn’t so sure either of her parents would have committed suicide and as a new mother she’s now wanting answers more than ever before. A cryptic note arrives in the mail on the anniversary of her mother’s death that gives her the push to go to police. A retired cop, Murray, quickly takes on the case and starts digging. Both Anna and Murray find out things about the family that they weren’t prepared for and aren’t sure how each piece is connected. I thought this book was pretty good and loved how it developed over time. It tells the story from Anna’s, Murray’s, and (at first) an unknown person’s point of view, so you really get a good feel for the overall story. I gave this one a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
Mystery and suspense is my favorite genre and this novel has it all.  From one twist and turn to the next you are kept in surprise and anticipation and then wonder why you didn't see that coming.  Clare Mackintosh is a skillful author to be reckoned with in this genre.
Was this review helpful?
An excellent mystery with some really interesting twists and turns
Was this review helpful?