TRIGGER WARNING: Death, Suicide, Grief
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 baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…
OK, I must confess something I’ve been keeping VERY quiet. I am a MASSIVE Clare Mackintosh fan. I know, it’s hard to believe, you didn’t see that one coming.
When Clare announced the release of her third novel, I was ecstatic and I’ve been counting down the days ever since. As soon as I could preorder it from Goldsboro Books, I did and I may have sneaked it right to the top of my TBR pile… Which is cheating a bit but who’s counting.
I have to say, she’s pulled it out the bag again. Not only has she managed to top the Hardback charts, but she’s pulled out an incredible story from that magical mystery brain.
This is not the first time Clare Mackintosh’s works have touched on mental health, but it is the first time it’s been this overt. I will always advocate that stories, fictional or non, need to be told and we need to break that ‘shush, conceal, don’t feel’ attitude around mental health. If I have ONE bug bear though, it’s that often, mental health is used as a shock factor, or simply slotted in with no contextualisation of the fact it’s a real struggle for many people.
So before I review the plot, I want to give Clare Mackintosh a huge shout out for the Author’s Note at the end of the novel. While talking about the inspiration behind LML, she also provides the details of some fantastic charities, such as the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team (where the novel is set), Mind and importantly, the Samaritans helpline on 116 123. This is the sort of responsible authoring I love, and I can’t wait to see more pages like this in books in the future.
In true Mackintosh style, this novel isn’t short of twists and turns and an original eye on crime. From the escapades of Rita the dog, to the heartbreaking, heartwrenching relationship between Sarah and Murray, the characters are all crafted in such a believable way that you can’t help but become invested in their stories.
For a novel that is discussing such heavy subject matter, there are so many moments of light relief throughout, which make this a thought-provoking read. The reality of mental health conditions are that they permeate every day life; weddings, funerals, parties. Life doesn’t stop, which makes coping with grief, mental health conditions and loneliness that bit harder.
If you are looking for a tasty thriller that isn’t all about the shock, and more grounded than some, I recommend picking up a copy of Let Me Lie – you won’t regret it.
Can’t quite afford a copy? Lucky you – I’m giving one away! So how can you win?
Comment, retweet or let me know down below – what’s currently at the top of your reading pile?
I will choose the winner on Sunday 15th April, so get going!