Two years ago, 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. Now with a young baby herself, she feels her mother’s presence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. But as Anna digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her. She soon learns that nothing is as it seemed.
Another enticing novel by Clare Mackintosh! Let Me Lie is a psychological thriller with an unexpected twist that once again made me stop what I was reading, question “what just happened?” and turn back a few pages to reread. Mackintosh’s writing is phenomenal: dark, tragic stories; well developed, flawed characters; unpredictable plotlines.
Two suicides in less than a year. Anna Johnson is dealing the best she can without her parents, her father taking his life and then her mother following suit. It’s one year since her mother’s death. Anna knows she should schedule an outing, but being a new mother should fill her time. Anna has already received mail sending condolences to let her know she is being thought of on this day, but this mail is different. This is a greeting card printed with “Happy Anniversary” on the front and a typed note glued to the inside, “Suicide? Think Again.”
Taken aback, Anna phones her boyfriend Mark leaving him a message to return her call ASAP. Then she takes the card to her Uncle Billy. Anna is positive that this is a sign that her mother didn’t commit suicide. Her uncle doesn’t quite agree with her, stating that it’s just someone stirring the pot. Anna never believed her mother would kill herself, and now she has proof so she takes the letter to the police.
Murray Mackenzie is a retired detective working the front office of his local police department. He is immediately intrigued by Anna’s story and although he should turn it over to the detective inspector on duty he chooses to do a little investigating on his own.
There is a story within a story in this novel. Murray Mackenzie’s wife is mentally ill. She is in and out of the mental hospital. His cases often pull her out of her depression, giving her something to focus on as she listens to him talk through his evidence. The addition of this side story leads to a lot of unanswered questions as you progress through the story and also adds to the suspect list.
I love Clare Mackintosh’s writing. She has quickly become one of my “must read authors”. My favorite of her novels is still I let You Go, but Let Me Lie definitely merits kudos and a high recommendation. I can’t wait to read what she writes next!