Skip to main content

Let Me Lie


Let Me Lie

Someone is watching Anna's home. Whoever it is begins leaving cryptic messages in her mail slot. Based on the descriptive wording used in these notes, it appears that the person behind all of this is her mother or father. There's only one problem: Anna's parents are dead.

Tom and Caroline Johnson died within seven months of each other. The cause in each case was suicide, as both threw themselves off a nearby cliff to their deaths. Even before the weird notes started appearing, Anna knew something was up. She was never comfortable believing that her parents were capable of killing themselves, and is certain they were murdered.

The problem Anna has is convincing anyone of this believed truth. Her sister, Laura, doesn't want to hear it, and the police have better things to do than reopen cases that were neatly closed as suicides. It is at this point that Clare Mackintosh's latest psychological thriller, LET ME LIE, begins to take off. Astute readers will have to buckle up for one heck of a ride, especially since this is a Clare Mackintosh novel.

" engaging thriller that should please all fans of this genre and hopefully get new readers to jump on the Clare Mackintosh bandwagon."

Mackintosh may not be a household name yet, but she should be. She suffers from what I like to refer to as The Sixth Sense curse. I chose this title in reference to the terrific film by M. Night Shyamalan. The big twist at the end caught pretty much everybody by surprise. It was so clever, in fact, that viewing any future movies by Shyamalan is somewhat ruined due to distraction. The cause of this distraction lies with the viewers themselves, who, instead of sitting back and letting the film wash over them, are spending their time trying to predict when the twist will happen.

I LET YOU GO was Mackintosh’s debut, and it had a doozy of a twist --- one of the best I ever read. It was so good that it caused me to spend much of my time reading her follow-up work, I SEE YOU, with my brain trying to work out where and how the twist was going to happen. This second novel was a great read but did not come close to the impact of I LET YOU GO. That brings me back to LET ME LIE. The fact that one of Anna's parents may still be alive is not a surprise or a twist. Actually, we see chapters from their points of view right at the start of the book. Now, all that is left for the reader is to sit back and allow the author to take you along for another very worthwhile journey into the depths of psychological thrills and games that most assuredly will contain twists you will not see coming.

The end of Part One exposes that at least one of Anna's parents is still alive. It is difficult to go much further without revealing some top-notch plotting and additional surprises that Mackintosh has cooked up. It's safe to say that she’s no one-trick pony as LET ME LIE is another well-written and incredibly readable thriller. Readers, just like Anna, will find everything they know (or what the author is allowing you to know) stripped away and laid bare until you are left completely exposed and wondering how what you thought to be true could be so far from what actually was going on.

What I kept kicking around in my head as I was reading --- and I challenge my fellow readers to do the same --- is to figure out what the title suggests. Does LET ME LIE represent a plea to allow someone to tell untruths, or is it someone requesting that he or she wants to be left alone? In one case you get a potentially unreliable narrator, and with the other you are allowed the opportunity to dig deeper into a possibly mind-blowing secret. Either way, it adds up to an engaging thriller that should please all fans of this genre and hopefully get new readers to jump on the Clare Mackintosh bandwagon.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on March 15, 2018

Let Me Lie
by Clare Mackintosh