Let Me Lie Review
Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh: My Review
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Clare Mackintosh's books are pretty much the only reason why I read crime fiction. It's definitely not one of my preferred genres and I find it so hard to find crime novels that I'm really invested in because so many of them seem very similar in terms of their setting and overarching plot, while others are just plain boring. However, all three of Clare's psychological thrillers are extremely diverse, proving she is not a one trick pony; unfortunately, while I did enjoy it, Let Me Lie did not have quite the same impact on me as her two previous works.
When Let Me Lie first came out I was immediately enticed by its very vague synopsis. Our first POV is Anna Johnson who is trying to adjust to life without her parents, both of whom committed suicide within only a few months of each other. On the anniversary of her mother's death, Anna receives an anonymous card with a message that raises some big questions and causes Anna to believe her parents may have been murdered. She approaches Detective Murray Mackenzie, our second POV, who is retired but works as a civilian at the police station and wants to investigate the cold case of the Johnson suicides independently to help Anna find out what she wants to know.
As always, Clare Mackintosh's use of language throughout the book was utterly engaging - being a former policewoman, she obviously knows her crime stuff inside out, but she also has an undeniable writing talent that was showcased so well in Let Me Lie. The story was saturated with secrets and lies and shifty characters and, of course, she never disappoints with her shocking plot twists which had me flicking back through the pages to see what I'd missed. I also thought the use of multiple perspectives was extremely clever and brought even more intrigue to the story rather than making it confusing, as it so often can.
I've got to say, though, one of my favourite aspects of the story was the representation of mental health, which wasn't something I was expecting to find in this book. While the mystery was good, I think I was even more drawn to Murray's personal side story with his wife Sarah and her struggle with her diagnosis. The way they both endured and persevered through her mental illness challenges was so heartwarming and I thought Murray was such a lovely character.
Where the disappointment came for me was it had a much slower pace than I wanted, particularly in the first half of the book. I found myself putting it down quite a lot (which is never a good sign) just because parts of it were dragging so much and felt like filler passages to move the story along without any real purpose or significance, causing my attention to drift. For that reason I would definitely say I found this to be the least engaging of Clare's books, but I will still definitely be reading her future works.