Anna is well immersed in her exhausting first few months of being a new mother. She can now appreciate just how gruelling it is to be a parent and misses the council of her mother and father who recently committed suicide, months apart, at a local cliffside spot overlooking the beach. Anna’s parents weren’t the perfect couple, but they were well loved by Anna and her uncle Bob. With an ‘oops’ baby, a fledging new relationship, the loss of her parents and the inheritance of the family home and business concerns – Anna’s new life is more than busy.
Whilst Anna’s mother Caroline was obviously struggling after the death of her dynamic car salesman husband Tom it was a still a shock to everyone that she chose to end her own grief by taking her own life, knowing it would only add to the grief of her daughter Anna. Anna of late has had little time to query the circumstances of what led up to her parents separate suicides and is concentrating on making sure her baby daughter is well looked after. Life with a new baby is always chaotic. There is someone out there though who thinks it’s time Anna woke and up and staring asking the right questions. A card arrives in the mail and everything Anna thought she knew is turned on its head.
The take home. Clare Mackintosh has created a terrific character here in retired Detective Murray who takes on Anna’s ‘case’ of looking into the death of her mother. Really hoping the author will give her creation another outing as Murray was fabulous to meet and is someone that deserves his own mystery series for sure. The side storyline of his sacrifice in looking after his mentally ill wife is gorgeous and the absolute highlight of the novel. It’s a little unexpected treasure to find in a modern domestic mystery novel.
Now onto the rest. LET ME LIE does have a lot of “filler” that does little to advance the storyline and the book struggles to maintain the needed tension during these times. What LET ME LIE does offer is the terrific central premise of ‘was it murder, was it suicide’, which is doubly weighty to consider with there being two suspicious deaths, not one. The alternate narrator does add a satisfying dollop of creep factor as Anna’s life at home is being secretly observed and the reader will feel sympathy when her concerns are not taken seriously. It is good to see the protagonist is a new mother, as in that Anna is multi- tasking murder inquiries whilst dealing with a new baby, a new relationship, money concerns and a pesky neighbour. All of the things.
LET ME LIE is a well-constructed crime and mystery read that lags a little too much to be truly suspenseful though compensates with the deep diving into such family dynamics of alcoholism and mental illness. That ending though – eek! What does it mean? A sequel? We got it all wrong? Read LET ME LIE to find out!