Book Review: Clare Mackintosh’s ‘Let Me Lie’

Let Me Down

Nobody does twisty better than Clare Mackintosh, but the twists* in this so-so third book of hers are obvious if you’re familiar with her writing style.

Image: Goodreads

The three-part story (inspired by one IRL), about Anna’s parents’ identical suicides months apart, begins with an unknown narrator — we’re made aware that it’s one of the parents — in purgatory.

We’re then introduced to Anna, herself: Save the Children worker; mother of newborn Ella; shacking up with baby daddy and grief counselor, Mark, in her parents’ house.

On the first anniversary of her mother’s death, Anna receives a card through the mail slot that reads:

Suicide? Think again.

Enter Murray, a retired investigator working the civilian desk at the police station, who re-examines the case on the QT while tending to his beloved wife Sarah, an armchair detective who has BPD and is voluntarily in and out of a psychiatric hospital. (I loved this couple! Excellent characterizations.)

From different POVs, we slowly learn the truth about the deaths. The turns are good but the pacing isn’t, and the final reveal did not jibe with me.

The author had said and shown in a February 8 Facebook Live post (wonky link, but available on her FB page) that the hardback is a collector’s edition with exclusive bonus content on how Murray and Sarah met. So, I preordered it from Amazon, only to receive a regular copy — which is all that my local booksellers carry. Disappointed by that sham and by the pedestrian plot, I wish I just had borrowed the ebook from the library.

 

Release date: March 13, 2018

* The initial twist occurs in The Wife Between Us, and the clifftop scene on page 44 is strikingly similar to the one in Not That I Could Tell.