Cover Image: Let Me Lie

Let Me Lie

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

New psychological thriller by Claire Macintosh. Was it suicide? Good characters, great writing, lots of twists and turns!
Was this review helpful?
I've only read I See You from Mackintosh, with I Let You Go high on my TBR list. I've noticed that both of these reads have received mixed reviews. While I absolutely LOVED I See You, some did not. Unfortunately, this one just didn't QUITE get there for me. Let me explain why.

First, the story has an extremely slow start. Sometimes I don't mind this but I was already 33% through the book and it still didn't seem to be getting anywhere and what was being built up was strikingly obvious so I was not surprised in any way shape or form once I got to Part Two. Honestly, at this point, I would normally DNF a book. However, this is Mackintosh, and while I may have only read one of her other books at this juncture of my reading 'career', I know she's capable of pulling you right in and making you second guess yourself. 

Secondly, I didn't quite get that psychological thriller FEEL that I did with I See You. I can absolutely appreciate that instead of regurgitating the same thing with each book that she went in a different direction. Oh how I DO appreciate THAT very much. I think I was just expecting something ... more. Maybe my expectations are what let me down. Maybe I've read such an abundance of these kind of books that it takes a LOT to grasp my interest these days. 🤷

Finally, let me just say that this isn't a bad book by any means. If you're looking for more of that family drama/secrets type of book rather than that OOMPH your typical psychological thriller gives you, then I think you will thoroughly enjoy this book. The last 25% of the book helped to spur this along for me and became more of what I expected from Mackintosh and this read in particular.

Will I read more of Mackintosh? YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS I WILL. She's a fantastic writer and really, you can't expect EVERY book by the same author to work for you. It's just not probable.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 *s. I always find Clare Mackintosh's novels to be very readable. They pull me in and keep me reading. This is a slow building thriller, but I enjoy the slower pace that allows for more character building. I would say that much of this book was a 4 * read for me. It has lots of twists and turns. Unfortunately, since I read a lot of this type of novel, some of the twists felt a bit too familiar. I was okay with the ending until the author dropped one of those final sentences that added ambiguity. I'm not a fan of that at all. Still, the overall read was quite enjoyable for me.
Was this review helpful?
Anna Johnson's parents have both committed suicide and on the anniversary of her mother's death, she receives a not questioning if it was suicide. She gives the note to a retired detective who starts an investigation. Things are not what they appear to be. As in Ms. Mackintosh's other books, there are twists and turns and unreliable people thrown throughout. I loved, loved, loved I Let Go and enjoyed I See You but this one moved a bit too slowly for me. I kept wanting to get to the point already. I was suspicious of everyone, which is good in a mystery. And the ending will make you go hmmmmm...

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
This was an interesting story. The premise was very different than books I had read before. A mom and dad, within a year, both commit suicide and leave their daughter confused and heartbroken over why they would do such a thing. I wasn't surprised to learn there was more to these suicides, but the way the reality is even harder to grasp.

I thought I knew where the story was going from the beginning, I thought I knew the twist. I did, sort of, but still ended up surprised with where the story went. There were a few twists and turns that threw me off and kept me reading to the end. This review is very vague. I know. Too much info will ruin it, though. Sorry.

I read I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh awhile back and absolutely loved it. I was thrilled to get a chance to read Let Me Lie. I wouldn't say it was as good, but it didn't disappoint. I am a sucker for a good mystery/thriller and this definitely delivered. I missed reading I See You, but will be sure to grab myself a copy.
Was this review helpful?
If plot twists were swooshes, this book would give Nike a run for its money. Just when I thought I had it nailed, the next chapter came along and forced me to think again.

The whole thing starts on a faulty premise: Anna Johnson's parents, Tom and Caroline, committed suicide seven months apart (each waiting for high tide before jumping off a cliff into the ocean). Anna is devastated, but she's beginning to deal with the heartbreak with the help of her new baby, Ella, and Ella's father, Mark Hemmings. She's never been convinced that her loving parents would have done themselves in, so a year later when she gets an anonymous note telling her that the deaths weren't suicides, she becomes even more determined to find out what really happened.

Needless to say, that ruffles some feathers; for sure, Mark (who's a mental health counselor) isn't pleased, and neither is Tom's brother Billy, co-owner with his brother of a once highly profitable car dealership. Despite their misgivings, Anna takes the note to the police, where it ends up in the lap of retired detective Murray Mackenzie, who's still with the department but relegated to a desk job. He's got personal issues as well, in the form of a much-loved wife who is in more than out of a mental rehabilitation facility. In fact, Murray no longer has any real authority to investigate, but something about the case piques his interest and he forges ahead while skirting official channels.

Much of the focus is on what's going on with Anna and Murray (the latter of whom I'd love to read more about). Chapters shift from Anna's and Murray's perspectives to that of an unknown person familiar with the situation, as the TV news wonks are fond of saying. Each chapter adds tidbits of new information, culminating in an exciting, and for the most part surprising, final chapter.

Notice I didn't use the word "ending;" that's because what it actually means isn't clear (I think I know, but then what do I know, <i>really</i>)? And if I'm honest, much as I loved the book, even though we see Anna grow more and more paranoid, some of her reactions somehow didn't seem to "fit."

But hey, it's the sum of the parts that make a whole, and this book is a whole lot of good. Many thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review it.
Was this review helpful?
After reading Clare Mackintosh's first two books, which stayed with me long after I finished reading them, I was looking forward to reading this one. It sucked me in right away, but lost me in the middle when the twist was very Gillian Flynn-esque. However, the book managed to bring it back around and ended up surprising me after all.
Was this review helpful?
The police say both of her parents committed suicide. In the same place. In the same manner. Months apart. One year later, their daughter Anna still cannot accept that. Knowing her parents as she did, she believes both deaths must have been murder as they could not possible have been suicides. Now she begins the journey to unravel the truth, endangering herself and her young daughter in the process. This suspenseful story has enough twists and turns to keep the reader wondering what really happened and what comes next. The retired detective who takes on the investigation is more than just an investigator; he is a person with a history and an ailing wife. These glimpses remind us that he, too, is a person and has a life outside of "the job".
Was this review helpful?
Like Clare Macintosh's other titles, Let me lie is a gripping cat and mouse suspense. Anna, a new mother and recently orphaned the year before, struggles with her grief of losing both parents to suicide. Anna's father jumped off a cliff and her mother followed a year later.  But when Anna discovers a note on her front door step suggesting that her parents' suicides were in fact, murder, she begins asking questions. With the help of a civilian detective, her parents' case is reopened. I really enjoyed this suspense novel where nothing was quite as it seemed. Did her parents kill themselves? Were they murdered? If so, why? And by whom? One of the key pleasures of reading mystery and suspense novels is trying to figure out the puzzle, but Clare Macintosh keeps the reader guessing. There is nothing predictable in her novels and it's wonderful to see the plot unfold and the secrets and lies revealed.
Was this review helpful?
Detective Murray and his relationship with his wife was my favorite part of this book. I felt empathy for Anna with her struggles. All the twists in this story just didn't work for me and just became a confusing mess.
Was this review helpful?
Let Me Lie is the third book from Clare Mackintosh. I devoured the suspense and twists in her first two books and was eager to dig into this latest.

Anna's parents both committed suicide within a year. On the one year anniversary of her mother's death, someone drops a card through her mail slot. Inside is a cryptic message ... "Suicide? Think again."

Anna always questioned their deaths. The bodies were never found and she can't believe her beloved mother would leave her. She decides to check in with the local constabulary on the case. Retired detective Murray Mackenzie is on the desk, now working in a civilian capacity. But old instincts die hard and he decides to look into the case further - on his own.

Murrary ended up being my favourite character. His personal story (his wife is mentally ill) was very well depicted and drew this reader in. Their relationship and how Murray copes were some of my favourite bits of the book. He's kind and intelligent as well as being a clever investigator. Anna's emotions and mental health are also explored. However, I wasn't as drawn to Anna, despite her being the lead character. I questioned some of her actions and decisions plot wise. But on the flip side, without some of those decisions, we wouldn't have as many  questions and avenues to explore. Mackintosh does give us lots of characters that may or may not have suspicious motives, keeping us guessing.

Interspersed are italicized chapters from, well, someone. These are deliberately vague and let the reader decide who it might be. In the beginning, these missives had me thinking things were going to unfold in a certain way (one I wasn't interested in). (Sorry, being deliberately obtuse. )As these entries continue, more and more detail is added, so that their identity becomes evident and the direction changes. Clues to the past are found in these narratives.

Let Me Lie was not as fast paced as the first two novels. I found the first part of the book to be a bit of a slow burn. Things do pick up in the last few chapters and one last final twist was a real 'gotcha'! Read an excerpt of Let Me Lie. I'll be watching for Mackintosh's next book.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. So well written. I found this book unputdownable!!
Was this review helpful?
When I was first approached about reviewing Clare Mackintosh’s newest release, Let Me Lie, I initially hesitated. I love psychological thrillers, and her last novel, I See You, was enjoyable and engaging, but not entirely original (in my review I mentioned how I kept thinking of Law & Order and that the book could easily work as an episode). Still, Mackintosh is a genre darling and I finally caved and accepted.

Anna recently lost both her parents to suicide – her mother’s being an exact replica of her father’s. Her father was seen weighing down his pockets with rocks and placing his few belongings on the cliff edge at high tide. Mere months later, her mother’s death echoed her father’s, leaving Anna heartbroken. With the anniversary of her mother’s death rapidly approaching (along with Christmas, her mother died on December 21st), Anna isn’t shocked to see letters and notes in the mail. What does catch her eye, however, is a rather celebratory ‘happy anniversary’ card. A good intention that missed the mark, perhaps? Inside reads “Suicide? Think again,” convincing Anna there was more to her parents’ deaths than she originally thought.

Told in alternating voices: Anna; Murray, a semi-retired detective who decides to look into the case; and Anna’s mother, desperately missing her daughter and wanting to visit her once more, Let Me Lie is another intense and entertaining thriller that certainly held me captive until its final pages.

Rereading my review for I See You, it’s apparent Mackintosh seems to go for younger-woman-with-an-older-man. In Let Me Lie, Anna is 25. Grieving, she makes an appointment with a counselor and a few sessions later, Mark confesses he can no longer see Anna, his feelings for her have gone past professional. Less than a year later, Ella arrives. Mark is in his early 40s, Anna in her mid-20s. It could be a complete coincidence, but something interesting I noticed.

While the mystery aspect didn’t do too much for me (toward the end it became cheesy and a bit over the top – and the final page had me rolling my eyes), Let Me Lie put a HUGE emphasis on mental health that I thought was refreshing and handled really well. Not just Anna’s postpartum experiences, but Murray’s wife’s depression and BPD. Nearing 60, Sarah has good days, days where she’s alert and joyful, curious about Murray’s work and eager to help him solve the puzzles to crack the case. But she also has days where she can’t get out of bed, days where food just doesn’t seem to factor in, and over their 25-year marriage, Sarah has tried several times to commit suicide. Currently admitted to a hospital, Sarah doesn’t want to leave, she feels safe surrounded by the doctors and attendants and even the thought of a simple walk outdoors causes her to panic. Yet Murray deeply loves his wife and diligently visits, always hoping that today will be the day she wants to come home – he never knows for how long, but having her home with him is always something he looks forward to. Murray’s chapters were by far the best part of Let Me Lie – I would actually read an entire book that focused just on him he was that great.

The beginning of the novel was a bit slow-going with Anna trying to convince Murray to take another look into her parents’ deaths, but once he begins to wonder at the possibility of murder, the story took off and it was difficult to put this one down. That said, I do feel this one was just a mediocre read, particularly with the Big Reveals that dipped into trope territory. I feel that someone completely new to mysteries will find Let Me Lie absolutely riveting. In my review for I See You, I mentioned with that novel, Mackintosh didn’t exactly bring anything new to the genre, and the same could be said here. Still, I’m positive this one will be loved by many readers – and will make an excellent beach read come summer.
Was this review helpful?
*I just want to let you guys know that going in to this book you really shouldn't read the plot of the book. The plot of the book ends up giving away a major spoiler.*

I am sad to say this book ended up being my first Clare Mackintosh book. I solely picked it up because I've heard nothing but amazing things about her previous two books. I am so happy to get an arc of it.

This story ends off starting off slow but I promise you that sticking with it is paid off. It gets very action packed in the end. I honestly had no idea how anything was going to turn out. Clare left me completely shocked even until the end of the story. Usually I'm not a very big fan of slow starting books. This book kept me engaged because the writing was so good. Clare does a great job of keeping you on the edge of your seat. I had to know what happened.

This book was the only time I was conflicted with if I felt it was really necessary for the story or not. I did really enjoy Murray's character. He is the retired police officer that agrees to help Anna figure out what really happened to her parents. I have to say I did really enjoy him as a character. He is so compassionate. He also doesn't really have the authority to investigate this case but he decides to anyway. He wants to get to the bottom of it just as much as Anna does. Plus the relationship with his wife was very touching to see.  I just was a little unsure if his p.o.v. was necessary. I could see it being the case if she decided to turn the book into the series and make him a reoccurring character. I would really enjoy that. I would like to see more with him.

Overall I felt like this was a great read. It had a lot of shocking moments that I did not see coming. I really enjoyed Murray. I do wish the book was based on him over Anna. I will be checking out more of Clare Mackintosh's books because I've heard such amazing things. If they are anything like this book I know I'm really going to enjoy it. Clare has an amazing writing style that I can't wait to read more from.
Was this review helpful?
Clare Mackintosh is an author I would follow anywhere. If Mackintosh wrote a book about drying paint, I would read it. Mackintosh consistently delivers stories which are compelling, thrilling, and leave you impatiently awaiting her next release. Let Me Lie has done what I thought impossible. It has dethroned I Let You Go as my favorite novel by Mackintosh. 

Anna Johnson has suffered a terrible loss in the form of her parent’s suicide. First her father, then seven months later her mother meets the same fate in the exact manner as her father’s suicide. Almost two years later Anna still struggles with grief and confusion. On the anniversary of her mother’s death, Anna receives a cryptic message suggesting her mother’s suicide was actually murder. Anna has always had doubts about the death of her parents but this message confirms her suspicions. As Anna digs deeper into the lives of her parents, she uncovers secrets, lies, and begins to question her relationship with her parents and everyone in her life. 

Anna is a character I could completely relate to. I felt an enormous amount of sympathy for her. On top of losing her parents in such a terrible manner, she is also a new mother. The level of stress and sadness she has to contend with is unimaginable. There were so many times I just wanted to reach in and give her hug. Mackintosh makes sure readers will be able to sympathize with Anna, but she gives her strength, resilience, and determination. While I was sad for Anna, I did not pity her. 

Mackintosh’s writing is as thrilling in Let Me Lie as her previous novels. The story is packed with twists and turns, and even a paranormal element. Also included in Let Me Lie is a shift in the plot, which I have coined “The Mackintosh Mark”. In I Let You Go and Let Me Lie, there is a point in the book, where the perspectives change and everything you thought you knew about the story is turned on its head. You have to rethink and go back over all your opinions as well as where you thought the story was going. It’s awesome and it’s the reason Clare Mackintosh is one of my favorite authors. However, Let Me Lie pulled at my heart strings much more than her previous novels, I See You and I Let You Go. Mackintosh addresses the aftermath of suicide and those left in it’s wake. The betrayal and abandonment felt by Anna is palpable. The affects of Anna’s parents suicide are felt by some outside of Anna’s family. 

In Let Me Lie Mackintosh dives into the issue of mental illness. When Anna receives the message suggesting her mother’s death was not suicide, she enlists assistance from Murray Mackenzie. Murray is a retired Detective Constable working as a civilian with the police department. During his career Murray was respected and considered to be one of the best investigators in the department. His wife Sarah suffers from borderline personality disorder. Murray is completely devoted to Sarah. I found it very refreshing to read a story in which the person suffering from mental illness was not vilified. In fact Sarah was my favorite character and was often very helpful to Murray in his investigation. 

The way Mackintosh is able to take on such sad and sensitive subject matter with respect, grace, and sensitivity is nothing short of impressive. Once again Mackintosh has delivered a novel which has raised the bar for my future psychological suspense reads.
Was this review helpful?
Clare Mackintosh is one of those “blow my mind” authors.  One of the queens of the psychological thriller genre, I found myself completely gripped with her previous novels from the fast paced plots to the “real word” situations, I loved her full of suspense writing style and dynamically developed characters. 

Unfortunately, for me, Let Me Lie, the newest publication by Clare Mackintosh left much to be desired.

For starters, this one was a sloooooooooow burn.  I found myself unable to read more than a few chapters at a time without feeling the need to put this one down.  It just didn’t have the same “grip” as some of the previous work I have read by Mackintosh.   I like to think I have a pretty solid attention span but this one tested me!

I did appreciate the final twist in the end and was intrigued by the last 15% or so of the novel, but, truthfully, I was expecting more!

I know that I shouldn’t compare one work to another but I cannot help it!  I feel like fans of Mackintosh will be a little disappointed by this one but, if you are a new reader to her work, you may be more entertained!

I, of course, will continue to read more from this author but this particular book was a miss.
Was this review helpful?
Clare Mackintosh is one of my favorite suspense writers. I read her books in two days, usually because I can’t put them down! This one was no different: a protagonist who is trying to get to the bottom of her parents’ deaths as she knows something just is not right. It kept me guessing right up to the end!

Thank you for my e-copy via Net Galley!
Was this review helpful?
My Highly Caffeinated Thought: An emotional and slow revealing thriller filled with twists and wonderfully imperfect characters. Not to mention an ending which can be called nothing short of killer.

Claire Mackintosh did it again! LET ME LIE brings together so many elements of the author’s previous books while infusing it with a whole new theme. The blending of social issues, mental stability, and addiction with the mystery of what happened to Anna’s parents was expertly done.

As a slow-burning psychological thriller, this book eases the reader into the investigation. Though at times I wanted the pace to be a bit quicker, the author would throw in tidbits and reveals to keep my interest. In truth the complexity and nature the story allows for the pace. I was able to grasp more of the content as well as delve further into the web of lies, secrets, and duplicity of the characters.

This is the third book I have read by the author, and I must say that I was not disappointed. I love her deeply flawed characters. Mackintosh always manages to bring to life the honesty and grit of the human condition. There is never anything cut and dry with her books. The multiple facets to a situation is the cherry on top of an already a clever and addictive mystery. Fourth book please…
Was this review helpful?
We start out meeting Anna, a young woman who is learning how to be a mother while simultaneously mourning the loss of her parents. It seems that her father committed suicide, and, overcome by grief, her mother follows suit. Her partner, Mark, is supportive but he is getting used to his role as a first time father while also still getting to know Anna. The two weren't dating long when she got pregnant and their relationship got off to a strange start, seeing as he's her former grief counselor. 

Immediately, I started off uncomfortable. Anna's grief is palpable and the whole situation feels off. Then, on the anniversary of her mother's death she gets a card in the mail that says suggests that her parents' deaths may not be suicide after all. Panic-stricken, she takes the card to her uncle who immediately dismisses it. The police have long ago ruled out any signs of foul play, but she takes the card to them anyway and we meet Murray.

Murray is a retired detective who still works at the station on civilian duty. He loves his wife and would like nothing more than to spend all of his time with her, but she suffers from borderline personality disorder and is often in the hospital.  I loved reading about Murray and his struggle with transitioning out of the job, as well as his love and relationship with Sarah. Mackintosh discusses mental illness with frankness and respect. These sections were the high points in the novel, for me.

Clare Mackintosh is a master at creating tension and crafting a compelling police procedural narrative. She's also a master at crafting shocking twists and I found myself flying through the book to get to the end. I was questioning everybody. Just as I thought I knew what was going on, another piece of the puzzle would fall into place and I'd be left guessing again. I will say, this is a slow burn that felt rambling in sections and it felt like the characters got backed into a corner. I can't say much more than that without spoilers, but in the end this wasn't my favorite by the author. Still, I would recommend because of Murray and the cliffhangers. If you're a fan of the author or crime thrillers-give this a go. It's entirely possible that my expectations have been set too high by her other books!
Was this review helpful?
This book takes off running, so the reader need not worry about being bored.  Anna has been coming to grips with both of her parents committing suicide at separate times.  She receives a mysterious note telling her that suicide may not be to blame after all.  Without giving too much away, Anna receives help from a kind detective named Murray, and then there's a huge twist that makes the jaw drop, but it's not over.  There are more shockers to come as this book rolls on.  In the acknowledgments section, the author admits she took some liberties, but there were a couple that felt a little too unrealistic.  Still, it was a great thriller!
Was this review helpful?