Review: Let Me Lie

Let Me Lie By Clare MackintoshTitle: Let Me Lie

Author: Clare Mackintosh

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Publication Date: March 8, 2018

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They’re both wrong.

One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.

Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie …

Having enjoyed both I Let You Go and I See You, I was so excited to tackle another mystery promising the twists and turns with which Clare Mackintosh’s writing has become associated. The summary of Let Me Lie caught my eye right off the bat – if not suicide or murder, what could be the truth behind Caroline and Tom Johnson’s identical deaths, only months apart? And it wasn’t just the mystery that called to me; I was intrigued by how their daughter Anna, now with a child of her own, would handle the past being dug up and forcing her to question everything she believed about her family.

Let Me Lie follows a structure you’ll be familiar with if you know Mackintosh’s writing. The story is split between multiple narrators, following Anna Johnson, whose insistence on discovering the truth could put what family she has left in danger, and Murray Mackenzie, a retired detective who isn’t quite ready to begin the next chapter of his life and can’t help but be intrigued by Anna’s situation.

It was Murray’s character that I felt most connected to throughout the novel. His civilian job at the police station can’t quite scratch his itch for the days when he was one of the leading investigators. Unable to resist Anna’s case, which hits close to home as he has a wife diagnosed with borderline personality disorder who has attempted suicide in the past, Murray begins investigating off the books. I love how seriously he takes Anna’s concerns from the start, and how he treats his wife as an equal when they begin to probe deeper into the Johnsons’ past, despite the difficulties that her illness presents. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Murray has a wide range of character development throughout the story, and he’s easily my favorite character through all of Mackintosh’s books.

It’s true that Let Me Lie gets off to a slow start, much like I Let You Go and I See You, but I didn’t mind as much here because I was enjoying Murray’s perspective, even when completely unrelated to the mystery of Anna’s parents. I also didn’t mind that after the midway twist, the entire rest of the novel clicked into place for me – and that’s honestly only because at this point, I expect the non-stop twists from Mackintosh. It wasn’t a deal-breaker because I was still interested to see how those twists would get revealed and how the various characters would react.

Let Me Lie is a solid mystery that, true to Mackintosh form, makes you second guess yourself all the way until the last line on the last page. The slow pacing and my ability to predict the ending didn’t detract too much from my opinion of the novel as a whole; it would have been a worthwhile read for Murray’s character alone. If you enjoyed either of Mackintosh’s previous books or if the blurb just catches your eye, I definitely recommend giving this one a shot.

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Author: Kaila

My name is Kaila, and I'm a bibliophile with a love of traveling and adventure. When I'm not buried in a book - preferably mysteries, thrillers, and fantasies - you'll find me at work as a software engineer or training as an amateur Muay Thai fighter ... no dull moments here!

17 thoughts on “Review: Let Me Lie”

  1. Great review, Kaila! I am yet to read anything by this author. Seems like I am missing out. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this one. Will definitely add it to my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really enjoy her style! I Let You Go is my favorite from her 🙂 Hope you do too if and when you’re able to give her books a shot. I’ll be on the lookout for your thoughts!


  2. This is a really nice review, Kaila. I was really looking forward to reading Let Me Lie and it didn’t disappoint – there was so much to like, and the fairly slow start is more than made up for by the rest. I agree, Murray is one of Mackintosh’s best characters, very easy to connect with.

    I also wrote a review for Let Me Lie. Here’s the link if you’re interested in taking a quick look:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Stephen. I completely agree about the slow start being made up for by the way everything picks up in the second half. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much and connected with Murray, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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