Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

A Suitable Lie – Michael J Malone

Psychological Thriller 4*s
Psychological Thriller

Having read so many great things about this novel I was lucky enough to receive a signed copy from the lovely Karen Sullivan at Orenda books.

Andy Boyd is a widower and has been more or less single ever since his wife died in childbirth, instead concentrating on his career in a bank and raising his precious son Pat. That is until Anna moves to town as she is due to start working at the bank. The pair quickly fall in love, and Andy believes he has found someone to share his life with, especially as Anna is so good with Pat. The fairy tale continues and the pair marry but Andy has an accident and ends up in hospital on his wedding night. What happened behind the closed door is quite at odds to the picture that is shown to his family, friends and colleagues.

Yes, this is a story of domestic violence perpetrated against a man, and as such it is an emotional read and without a doubt, a story well-worth telling, especially as Michael Malone does so with eloquence and a healthy dose of realism. The story set in the 1990s gives us a man’s man a rugby player whose physical strength clearly outweighs that of the petite Anna and yet the occasional lashing out becomes something much more ingrained as time goes on and his weakness is his inability to speak out. And this is a man with a fantastic support network of his mother and brother who have been there throughout the black days following his first-wife’s death.

This is a book that is hard to read because this is the truth of many people’s lives and although we have many books that focus on violence against women, in this day and age only a fool would believe that the reverse isn’t possible. That isn’t to say men in the grip of such a situation don’t have the same qualms as Andy does regarding how others would perceive the truth but I do feel that society has come to recognise that women aren’t always the victims and men are not always the aggressors.

The book flows well and I’m glad to report doesn’t relentlessly list one violent event after another, it has the subtlety required to allow the reader to understand why Andy stays with Anna and allows his confidence to be eroded. There is a matter of some dodgy goings on at the bank which gives us a chance to marvel at the author’s ability to create some fantastic, and realistic characters. The workplace scenes providing the perfect antidote to the suffocating atmosphere that is Andy’s home life.

This was a book that quickly sucked me into the narrative, Andy is a sympathetic character and easy to like but at times, as is often the case with books that are ‘issue-driven’ I felt that there was an over-emphasis on certain aspects in a seeming effort to convince the reader, such as the size and strength difference between the pair, authors, please learn to trust your readers; I certainly had no problem believing the scenarios! I have to admit I felt drained by the storyline, particularly as it wasn’t quite the light-hearted read to match the pre-Christmas holiday mood, but as a portrayal of what the worst of relationships can look like underneath the glossy, happy experience, it was spot-on.

A recommended read for those who are looking for something slightly different within the psychological thriller genre this is a book with a message well worth sharing.


First Published UK: 15 September 2016
Publisher: Orenda Books
No of Pages: 276
Genre: Psychological Thriller – Domestic
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (December 21)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

I have just started reading What Remains of Me by A L Gaylin, a story of a woman who when she was a teenage girl in 1980 was jailed for killing a Hollywood director. Now released she is chief suspect when her father-in-law is shot.


See yesterday’s post for an excerpt and the synopsisyesterday’s post

I have finished (my signed copy) of A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone, which is a powerful read.



Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match… And she loves his son, too. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. He ignores it; a dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.
A brave, deeply moving psychological thriller which marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s top crime writers. Amazon

Next up I’m hoping to get to Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land which will be published on 12 January 2017 by Penguin UK



Annie’s mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water. Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…
Translated into over 20 languages, Good Me Bad Me is a tour de force. In its narrator, Milly Barnes, we have a voice to be reckoned with, and in its author, Ali Land, an extraordinary new talent. NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave your links, answers or any other random comments about books in the box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (December 11)

Weekly Wrap Up

Well the Christmas tree is up, 11 of the chocolates from the advent calendar devoured and at last most of the presents bought, although I still have the dreaded wrapping to do. I think I’m the only female on the planet that has wrapping skills that are so below par no amount of bows and ribbons can disguise the poor effort that lurks beneath! How are your Christmas preparations coming along?

After all that goodness I treated myself to both episodes shown so far of Rillington Place on BBC iPlayer yesterday! Oh my goodness Tim Roth is so creepy as Reg Christie. I’m looking forward to the final episode of this three part drama.

I don’t watch much TV and these days what I do watch is Netflix series that are agreed by both inhabitants of this household, the rest of the time the TV is on boy stuff or used for playing games so I depend on my lovely colleagues at work who tell me about those programmes that I will enjoy – this one is a corker. Despite my interest in true crime I realised that beyond recognising the names of both the house and Christie, I knew nothing about the murders – I think I may be reading a book about this before too long!

This Week on the Blog

Due to so much going on last weekend I skipped posting on Monday to give myself time to catch up, so my blogging week started with my excerpt post on Tuesday which came from The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle, the story of a woman following the death of her husband in a plane crash, a plane he wasn’t supposed to be on, realised that everything she thought she knew about his was a lie.

My This Week in Books post featured two psychological thrillers and a crime novel set in Jersey – Standing in the Shadows by Jon Stasiak.

On Thursday I reviewed My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal, a credible story about two siblings separated, in part due to their colour, by Social Workers in the 1980s. A moving story narrated by nine-year old Leon that avoided overplaying its hand thereby becoming all the more hard-hitting. This book has been shortlisted for the Costa Awards.

Friday had me reviewing one of my own books; The Silent Hours by Cesca Major. Set in France, mainly during World War II two young people fall in love – one Jewish Sebastian, the other Isabelle whose brother was fighting. Giving the book real depth the book is told from a number of perspectives and ends with a shocking real-life event. This was an incredibly powerful read.

My final review of the week fully deserved the full five stars: Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaistre wrote a masterpiece of misdirection with this novel. I was really quite unsure with the beginning and then everything changed and I didn’t want to part with the book. I am now reconsidering my Top Ten read for 2016!

This Time Last Year…

…I was reading a non-fiction books The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of Our Ordinary Lives by Helen Pearson, a book which covers the surveys carried out on children to record the state of health amongst other things, of the country. It was completely fascinating and a very accessible read.

You can read my full review here

The Life Project


The remarkable story of a unique series of studies that have touched the lives of almost everyone in Britain today
On 3rd March 1946 a survey began that is, today, the longest-running study of human development in the world, growing to encompass six generations of children, 150,000 individuals and some of the best-studied people on the planet. The simple act of observing human life has changed the way we are born, schooled, parent and die, irrevocably altering our understanding of inequality and health. This is the tale of these studies; the scientists who created and sustain them, the remarkable discoveries that have come from them. The envy of scientists around the world, they are one of Britain’s best-kept secrets. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Well despite vowing to stay away from NetGalley I do have one addition from them, again prompted by some tantalising reviews in the blogosphere: What Remains of Me by A L Gaylin was published on 1 December 2016.



People don’t need to know you’re a murderer.
They just have to think you could be…

June 1980: 17-year-old Kelly Lund is jailed for killing Hollywood film director, John McFadden
Thirty years later, Kelly is a free woman. Yet speculation still swirls over what really happened that night.
And when her father-in law, and close friend of McFadden is found dead – shot through the head at point-blank range – there can only be one suspect.
But this time Kelly has some high-profile friends who believe she’s innocent of both crimes.
But is she? NetGalley

A couple of weeks ago Rachel from the lovely Chillers Killers and Thrillers blog ran a competition to win a signed copy of The Mine by Antti Tuomainen which was published by Orenda books earlier this year – I won!! Thank you Rachel whose blog I heartily recommend!



A hitman. A journalist. A family torn apart. Can he uncover the truth before it’s too late?

In the dead of winter, investigative reporter Janne Vuori sets out to uncover the truth about a mining company, whose illegal activities have created an environmental disaster in a small town in Northern Finland. When the company’s executives begin to die in a string of mysterious accidents, and Janne’s personal life starts to unravel, past meets present in a catastrophic series of events that could cost him his life.

A traumatic story of family, a study in corruption, and a shocking reminder that secrets from the past can return to haunt us, with deadly results … The Mine is a gripping, beautifully written, terrifying and explosive thriller by the King of Helsinki Noir. Amazon

The lovely Karen from Orenda asked me if there were any other books I’d like her to add to the parcel? What sort of question is that? Especially with all the excellent books they publish. She kindly included one that I have been particularly eyeing up since all the wonderful reviews appeared; A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone



Some secrets should never be kept…
Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match … and she loves his son like he is her own. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it. A dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.
A brave, deeply moving, page-turning psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, exploring the lengths people will go to hide their deepest secrets, even if it kills them… Amazon

PicMonkey Collage TBR


Since my last post I have read 3 books and I gained 3 so this week my TBR has remained static at 177 books! On the plus side the NetGalley reads are definitely decreasing.

94 physical books
70 e-books
13 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?