Book Review - Let Me Lie

Let Me LieLet Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was fantastic. There are twists and turns at every corner and the writing is thrilling. I was unsure what this book was about at first - the synopsis suggested this was a crime thriller, but then there was a suggestion of ghosts. But unlike many books that get lost in their convoluted structure, this book remained compelling throughout.

A lot of it comes down to the characters - no one is painted as perfect, and they're not passive and boring either. Each one is a 3-dimensional person who has a stake in the proceedings. I like that Anna, despite being a young mother and a woman grieving, is still so captivating and proactive. So often female protagonists are written as reactive creatures who are carried away by circumstance. Anna, on the other hand, is very much in control of things, and even when she's not, Anna is actively thinking about how to escape a bad situation.

I loved Murray and Sarah's relationship; again, it would have been easy to write Sarah as a burden rather than a partner for Murray. Their love for one another is so apparent, despite the mental illness she suffers. They made for great character studies.

That final twist was just... jaw-dropping. There's a special skill required to subvert a reader's expectation, and Mackintosh does it perfectly in this book. I genuinely want to re-read this book again to pick up all the clues that led to the revelation.

Another intelligent move by the author was the denouement - she could have written it as a sweet, happy-ending, but this book is as much about the complexities of relationships as it is about murder and mayhem. I appreciate the fact that Mackintosh delved into the subtext of these characters' dynamics with each other and wrote an ending that befit them.

Having never read this author before, I am really keen to get into her work now. Mackintosh was a police officer before, and while that doesn't necessarily mean her writing will be good (I've read books by other former law enforcement and they didn't do their characters or the plot any justice), it does entice me to get stuck into more of her books.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's a compelling and gripping read with wonderful characters who all operate in shades of grey.

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