Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Let Me Lie – Clare Mackintosh

Psychological Thriller

Anna Johnson lives in Cleveland Avenue, the house where she grew up in her happy family, just her, her mother and father. But all that has changed. Anna now lives in the house with her partner Mark, a grief therapist and her baby daughter Ella her mother and father having both committed suicide, jumping from Beachy Head within six months of each other.

Anna is getting used to being a new mother to baby Ella when on the first anniversary of her mother’s death she receives a disturbing anonymous letter that makes her question whether her death was suicide after all. Taking the letter to the police she meets the wonderful Murray Mackenzie, a former detective but one who’s employed as a civilian who works on the front desk at Lower Meads police station. Let me just say this book would not have been half as captivating without Murray and his back-story. Anyway, Murray decides to take up the challenge and looks into the deaths of both Anna’s parents.

This is a slow build novel, enjoy the calm while part one unfolds because all of that will soon change. As is common in this genre, the story is told from multiple viewpoints and part one concentrates on the lead up to the suicides. The day Anna found out her father was missing through her meeting of Mark, taking in the Chaplain that had tried to dissuade Caroline away from the cliff edge via the impact on Billy Johnson, her father’s brother and owner of the car dealership that Anna is now a co-owner of. All of this is background and a chance for the reader to put their own stake in the ground on whether someone is messing with Anna or was foul play involved.

I love books with twists and turns, and Clare Mackintosh delivers plenty, so many that at times she could have made me believe up was down. The book, given the subject of suicide, necessarily focusses on Anna reassessing the people that she thought she knew best, her parents, and putting what she knew into context with the memories she’d held so dear. She’s a young woman who has gone through turmoil over the last year and a half which means that those around her tend to treat her with care but her mother’s Goddaughter Laura has decided that the time has come for Anna to start tackling the outstanding paperwork. Will she come across more secrets?

This book is entirely built around secrets and lies – some were hiding in plain sight, other’s less so and the excerpts from an unknown writer only serve to remind the reader that no-one is to be trusted. Of course this means that you distrust everyone more or less from the start and oh my goodness that gives a lot of doubt for one novel!

I did enjoy this latest offering from someone who I consider one of the top writers in this genre. I needed to know what was true, and this is an author who isn’t so determined to keep us spinning that she forgets the link she has forged for us to the characters which means that there are some emotional moments to go with the draw-dropping twists.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Little Brown Book Group who kindly allowed me to read a copy of Let Me Lie prior to publication today, 8 March 2018. This unbiased review is my thanks to them, and the mistress of the twist, Clare Mackintosh.

First Published UK: 8 March 2018
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group
No of Pages: 416
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Other books by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go
I See You

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 28)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy 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 finished reading Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh which will be published on 8 March 2018 and I predict will swiftly become a best-seller.


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 ask questions about her parents’ deaths. But by digging up the past, is she putting her future in danger? Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie . . . Amazon

I have just started reading And The Birds Kept On Singing by Simon Bourke a book from my own collection and enjoying it immensely.


Pregnant at seventeen, Sinéad McLoughlin does the only thing she can; she runs away from home. She will go to England and put her child up for adoption. But when she lays eyes on it for the first time, lays eyes on him, she knows she can never let him go.

Just one problem. He’s already been promised to someone else.

A tale of love and loss, remorse and redemption, And The Birds Kept On Singing tells two stories, both about the same boy. In one Sinéad keeps her son and returns home to her parents, to nineteen-eighties Ireland and life as a single mother. In the other she gives him away, to the Philliskirks, Malcolm and Margaret, knowing that they can give him the kind of life she never could.

As her son progresses through childhood and becomes a young man, Sinéad is forced to face the consequences of her decision. Did she do the right thing? Should she have kept him, or given him away? And will she spend the rest of her life regretting the choices she has made? Amazon

Next I plan on reading Dark Waters by Mary-Jane Riley which will be published on 16 March 2018. This is the third in the Alex Devlin series which began with the brilliant The Bad Things and was followed by the equally captivating After She Fell.


Secrets lie beneath the surface…

Two men, seemingly unconnected, are discovered dead in a holiday boat on the Norfolk Broads, having apparently committed suicide together.

Local journalist Alex Devlin, planning an article on the dangers of internet suicide forums, starts digging into their backgrounds.

But Alex’s investigation soon leads her to a much darker mystery – one that will hit closer to home than she could possibly have imagined, and place the lives of those she loves in terrible danger. Amazon

What are you reading? What do you think to my choices this week? Do share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (February 4)

This Week on the Blog

The week started with my review of a book set in the early Victorian times with plenty of wickedness to entertain its readers: The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin.

My excerpt post came from The Girl in the Woods by Camilla Läckberg, the tenth in the Patrik Hedström and Erica Falck series.

This Week in Books featured the authors Martin Edwards, Stuart Turton and Ellen Horan or in other words some non-fiction, an original crime novel quite unlike anything else I’ve read and a historical mystery set in New York.

On Thursday I resurrected my Five of the Best monthly post which features my favourite five star reads reviewed in January for the years 2014 to 2018. I do enjoy reminding myself of the wonderful books I’ve read over the years and it seems as though many of you enjoy this too.

Next up was my review of A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward a crime fiction novel set in the fictional town of Bampton in Derbyshire. I awarded this book the full five stars.

Finally I posted my review of The Story of Our Lives by Helen Warner, a contemporary novel which follows the lives of friendship between four women over twenty years.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly a book that has the eclipse of 1999 as a backdrop to a rape trial. The actions of the four main characters involved at the time have consequences years down the line when the eclipse hunters are in the Faroe Islands. I love Erin Kelly’s writing and He Said/She Said is an involved and thoughtful tale, one that really did make me think but I’m delighted to report that Erin Kelly never forgets that she is writing to entertain her readers.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover


Don’t be left in the dark.

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, four lives change forever.

Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear.

And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, she also knows that you can never see the whole picture: something is always hidden . . . something she never could have guessed. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Well I made it all the way through January without purchasing a single book but I have been exceptionally lucky in being approved by NetGalley for three books I’ve had my eye on for some time.

Having impressed me with her first two books I Let You Go and I See You, I was delighted to see that Let Me Lie by Claire Mackintosh will be published on 8 March 2018.


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 ask questions about her parents’ deaths. But by digging up the past, is she putting her future in danger? Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie . . .NetGalley

The author Kelly Rimmer contacted me to tell me her latest book, Before I Let You Go was on NetGalley and did I want it? Of course I want to read it, A Mother’s Confession was one of my surprise finds of 2016 and I’ve lost count of the friends I’ve bullied into reading it since then! Before I Let You Go will be published on 27 February 2018.


The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As the weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhoods, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break. NetGalley

I ‘found’ Sharon Bolton soon after I got my first kindle back in 2010 and she’s not let me down since and last year’s Dead Woman Walking was exceptional. So I was super excited to hear that The Craftsman will be published on 5 April 2018.


Devoted father or merciless killer?
His secrets are buried with him.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play? NetGalley

So what do you think? Any of those beauties take your fancy?


Since my last post I have read 5 books which is way above average for a normal working week, and I have gained 3 but because 2 of my reads were library books my TBR remains static at 186

Physical Books – 107
Kindle Books – 55
NetGalley Books –24


I have banked another third of book token this week and as I haven’t bought any books I’m still in credit!