About a year and a half after Anna Johnson’s parents committed suicide, Anna receives a note — “Suicide? Think again.” — that makes her wonder if her parents had actually been murdered instead. Let Me Lie has an intriguing premise, and I like how Mackintosh portrays Anna’s grief, how she had to work at getting over her parents’ deaths and how receiving the anonymous note reopened all these old wounds.
I especially like how Mackintosh really fleshes out the detective character Murray. Rather than just a straightforward mystery solver, Murray is actually retired from his detective role. His actual job is to man the police station desk, and he should’ve given Anna’s case over to active detectives. But because he misses his detective job and he worries about other detectives dismissing Anna’s theory of murder, he decides to investigate it himself, on an unofficial basis. There’s also a great subplot about his relationship with his wife, who is being treated in a psychiatric facility, and who he clearly loves deeply. There’s a point where he dreams of taking his wife on a really long road trip, and it was the most heartbreaking passage.
Anna’s story was also intriguing, and also had its own emotional heft. The second half was definitely a lot faster paced with lots of twists and reveals. A lot of it I didn’t see coming, and it was fun just to sit back and enjoy the ride. There was one particular character I was super suspicious about throughout most of the book, and it turned out that one of the major baddies was someone I completely forgot about. (Not that they weren’t a major character, just that they were lost to me among a jumble of other characters, and I was so focused on my suspect.)
Tip: Do not look at the Author’s Note before at least the first big reveal. The first sentence, about the author’s inspiration for the story, is a pretty major spoiler. I accidentally saw the Author’s Note while I was still fairly early on in the book, and I’m only glad there were more twists and reveals after that.
Overall, Let Me Lie is a fun read. It starts off as an emotional domestic drama / grip lit, then turns into a fast paced series of twists that reveal hidden darkness in unexpected characters.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.