Author: Michael J Malone
Publisher: Orenda Books
First, da blurb:
Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match … and she loves his son like he is her own. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it. A dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.
A brave, deeply moving, page-turning psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, exploring the lengths people will go to hide their deepest secrets, even if it kills them…” (taken from the Orenda Books website)
This review contains mild spoilers so if you want to know my final thoughts, in the immortal words of Simon Pegg in Spaced, skip to the end!
A Suitable Lie is the second book by Michael that I have read, after the fantastic House Of Spines (my review to follow soon), and I am happy to report that it is another cracker. This book frazzled my nerves pretty much from the start; once the ‘action’ starts, it rarely lets up. I guess this book falls under the psychological thriller category, and as such as soon as Andy meets Anna you know that she isn’t going to be all that she seems; and boy is she not all that she seems!! This book deals with male domestic violence/abuse, and it packs one hell of an emotional punch – no pun intended. There were many times when I was genuinely scared for Andy, willing him not to go home; almost screaming at the book for him to tell someone, to leave Anna, to seek help. The quality of the writing throughout is superb: you feel every punch, jab and insult hurled at Andy. Michael creates characters that you really get to know, to love, and to hate and/or pity. When the turning point finally comes you cannot help but let out a huge sigh of relief (I think I held my breath for pretty much the whole damn book), and I almost let out a cheer when Andy finally opens up (ok, I totally let out a little cheer). But just when you think you can breathe again, relax, open a bottle of wine in celebration – maybe not that last bit – Michael throws in a curve ball and jangles your nerves all over again. What a git 😉
Final thoughts: I loved this book so much; from the very first page to the very last. A supremely written story that will have your nerves on edge, at times too afraid to turn the page, but at the same time compelling you to do so. The subject matter makes this a tough read at times; it is, what I can only imagine, a frighteningly realistic portrayal of what is unfortunately still a taboo subject to many people.
Bloody brilliant. HIGHLY recommended. 20/5