Cover Image: The Truth You’re Told

The Truth You’re Told

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Very good read. Unexpected ending. The cast of characters are very likable. Enjoyable. Thank you NetGalley for the audio eARC.
Was this review helpful?
I received this book thanks to #NetGalley and #ECWPress. 

Samantha Hutchings is a divorcee, writer, daughter, friend, and most importantly: a mother. A mother that will do anything for her child. 

While trying to get her wheels going for a, “Great American Novel”, Sam comes across some interesting things. She’s taking time at her family’s lake house to focus, and sort through family items. It’s then she starts to wonder, if what she’s been told about past events is true. 

Airplanes, memories, mysterious keys with no locks. What are all of these things adding up to? Her dad was an accountant, what did he need with these? 

Samantha tries to piece together all the clues. All while aiding in the care of her mother, who lives in a nursing facility with dementia, and trying to work on her relationship with a teenage daughter, who isn’t too thrilled about being at the lake house with her. It’s a lot for anybody. Thank goodness she has some Lake Buddies to help her out. 

As the pieces of the puzzle start to come together, even more secrets are revealed. Samantha’s daughter, and friends, get caught up with them on their journey to discovery. 

Just when you think you know everything, you might just change your mind! How far will a mother go to save her daughter, and to find out the truth? How far will friends go to save one another? 

Check out, The Truth You’re Told, and find out!


#Netgalley #ECWPress #TheTruthYoureTold
#MichaelJClark #SaffronHenderson
Was this review helpful?
Not the thriller or mystery I was expecting just a family story that discovers secrets from the past 
It was an OK listen, slow going it didn't get into the mystery story until the late 40 chapters and was not what I was expecting at all after reading the blurb 
The basis is Sam and her daughter Megan bonding in Sam's childhood holiday home where her father lost his life in a forest fire many years earlier but was there more to her fathers death than they originally thought.
As they dig deeper things happen and have they put themselves at risk ? 

That's the basis of the story nothing new and I have listened to worse but not for me
Was this review helpful?
Interesting family based mystery. Sam Hutchings returns to her childhood holiday home in search of inspiration for her novel and to spend time reconnecting with her daughter following the divorce. Megan gets a job working at the nearby holiday resort just as Sam did as a teenager. In the process they re-establish friendships and discover long hidden secrets.
Was this review helpful?
Sam Hutchings was looking for a writing muse. She hoped that the family cabin at Bird Lake would spark her keyboard, a fire that had been smothered by self-loathing, cheap wine, and her daughter Meg’s summer vacation. An innocent stroll down memory lane begins to unravel the story Sam had heard about her father: What did he do for a living? How did he actually die? Those who know the truth are nearer than she imagines, and protecting their secrets is worth killing for. As the old family stories begin to disintegrate, can Sam and Meg figure out the actual story? And can they uncover the dangerous plot by ex-U.S. military men — before it’s too late?  The narrator narrated the book beautifully, and I loved the depictions of the different characters.
Was this review helpful?
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Michael J. Clark, and ECW Press Audio for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Having read Michael J. Clark’s debut novel a few years ago, I was happy to return for another crime thriller. Set around my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, I can enjoy Clark’s writing not only for the genre, but also because it reminds me of things from my youth. When a woman settles down in a cabin to get the literary juices flowing, she comes upon an old family mystery that she never knew existed. How well did she know her father and the past he was said to have lived? Sam Hutchings and her teenage daughter begin poking around, only to learn that there is more to family folklore than meets the eye, including something with traces to the Cold War. A great piece that shows how well Clark can recount a tale and keep the reader enthralled!

Having spent the last number of years as a newspaper journalist, Sam Hutchings receives her walking papers and must reinvent herself. Choosing to live the cabin life outside Winnipeg, Sam decides to start a writing career, while balancing a summer with her teenage daughter, Meg. While they iron out the wrinkles and learn to live the simple life, they remember the stories of Sam’s father and his enjoyment of the area.

After a small accident opens new questions to the life Gerry Hutchings lived, Sam and Meg begin poking around a little more. Could he have been more than the accountant he claimed to be? If so, what did he do and how did it change the reality for their Hutchings family? Sam’s curious journalist brain goes into overdrive and Meg is happy to tag along, as best a teenager can. 

With flashbacks throughout the novel, the reader is also pulled into the middle of the story and how Gerry lived a life about which few knew a thing, growing throughout the latter decades of the Cold War. It was only a matter of time before danger and risk met a brick wall of reality. However, the truth can be more painful than the familial fairytales that are told to calm others. Might a fake story be more appealing than the harsh reality that awaits Sam and Meg? Clark does a wonderful job throughout to keep the reader guessing, though somewhat informed as the truth is peeled back for all to see.

I always enjoy finding books that not only showcase great writing, but have a Canadian flavour. I am proud of where I live and enjoy when I can feel that much closer to the action. Michael J. Clark not only highlights the ‘eh’ nature of the humble Canadian, but also brings Winnipeg and surrounding environs into the narrative, allowing me to remember growing up in Manitoba’s capital and passing through some of the rural communities. I was tickled peach (or pink) throughout and could not help but smile, partially by these memories, but also because the book was so captivating. I just hope others feel the same when they give it a chance.

Sam Hutchings proves to be a great protagonist. Having been through a great deal over the past number of years, her backstory comes to light in this standalone thriller. Clark ensures there is enough of her past mixed into the present character development to keep the story moving and leave readers begging for more. Surrounding herself with great supporting characters, Sam is able to tap into her investigative nature while also fanning the flames of her own memories. While I know this is a single-novel experience, I almost want to see more of Sam in order to delve deeper into her life.

Canadian crime thrillers are surely plentiful if you dig deep enough, but I was pleased to have this one fall into my lap. Clark does well from the opening chapters to set the historic scene for a wonderful story. Weaving past and present into flashback narratives, the story moves forward effectively and kept me guessing as more truths surfaced. The characters were on point, infused with just enough Canadianness to assuage me (Canadians alone may understand what I mean here, eh), I was happy to see many locales that warmed my heart and left me smiling. With just enough twists to keep the story from being too easy to decipher, Clark makes the reading experience rewarding for all, from start to finish. I loved the debut, found this one intriguing, and will gladly add Michael J. Clark to my ‘authors to follow’ list for more Canadian (read: Manitoba) flavour in the future.

Kudos, Mr. Clark, for a wonderful reading experience. I miss Winnipeg and area very much. You sparked some of the reasons why yet again. I cannot wait to read more!

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:
Was this review helpful?
The truth you're told by Michael J. Clark.
Narrated by Saffron Henderson. 
Sam Hutchings was looking for a writing muse. She hoped that the family cabin at Bird Lake would spark her keyboard, a fire that had been smothered by self-loathing, cheap wine, and her daughter Meg’s summer vacation. An innocent stroll down memory lane begins to unravel the story Sam had heard about her father: What did he do for a living? How did he actually die? Those who know the truth are nearer than she imagines, and protecting their secrets is worth killing for. As the old family stories begin to disintegrate, can Sam and Meg figure out the actual story? And can they uncover the dangerous plot by ex-U.S. military men — before it’s too late?
This was a good audiobook. I liked Saffron. It was different and surprising.  4*.
Was this review helpful?