Let Me Lie by Clare MackintoshLet Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

Let Me Lie

byClare Mackintosh

Paperback | March 13, 2018

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In the newest psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of I Let You Go and I See You, Clare Mackintosh brings us a gripping story about how those who love us never really leave us...

Two years ago, Tom and Caroline Johnson committed suicide, one seemingly unable to live without the other. Their adult daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents' deaths, unable to comprehend why they chose to end their lives. Now with a young baby herself, she feels her mother's presence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. But as Anna digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her. She soon learns that nothing is as it seemed.
Clare Mackintosh is an award-winning New York Times and international bestselling author. She spent twelve years on the police force in England and has written for the Guardian, Good Housekeeping, and other publications. A columnist for Cotswold Life, she is the founder of Chipping Norton Literary Festival and lives in North Wales with...
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Title:Let Me LieFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9.1 × 6 × 1 inPublished:March 13, 2018Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0451490673

ISBN - 13:9780451490674

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good #plumreview Great story and characters. I didn’t see that ending coming!
Date published: 2018-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clare Mackintosh Does it Again! I absolutely loved this book, just like any book written by Clare, the plot twist was crazy, and I did not see it coming at all!! I love how the author tries to make you think of so many different scenarios of how the book will end, but her twists always surprise me!
Date published: 2018-07-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from excellent psych thriller! Once I was a few chapters in I couldn't put it down...especially part 3! A great suspense novel, enough to hook you and keep you wanting to know. It's not what you think and not predictable, lots of twists and surprises- trust no one! Great character build up! The end tied up all the loose ends and I was satisfied. Looking forward to reading another book by Clare M. Hope it becomes a movie. Already recommended it to my mom and a friend! Excellent read!
Date published: 2018-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really good! This book was a really good read. Not a scary thriller, but had some great twists.
Date published: 2018-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book!! I loved this book, such an incredible read! Clare Mackintosh keeps amazing me with her novels; they just keep getting better and better. My biggest gripe with thrillers is when I guess the big twist but I never can with her novels! And even if I have a hunch about one of the twists she throws in another shocker to throw you for a loop. Definitely a great read!!
Date published: 2018-06-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great read I enjoyed the twists and turns of this book. Characters are likable, especially Murray and Sarah. There are moments that caught my breath because I was surprised and there was even a moment when I shed a tear. A great read for a rainy, lazy day!
Date published: 2018-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a good read! I read this book in 24 hours! Right when I thought I had it all figured out, I didn't and something would happen that would catch me completely off guard. I highly recommend!
Date published: 2018-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! This was a fantastic read - I could not put it down. I read the whole thing in one weekend. Lots of twists and turns - highly recommend!
Date published: 2018-06-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thrilling Great novel with lots of twists and turns to the even last page. Definitely had me hooked!
Date published: 2018-05-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So many twist and turns! I have to say im happy I gave this book a chance! I really liked I let you go her first book but her second one was a disappointment. This one made me a fan again :) If this one is not on your TBR its must add
Date published: 2018-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! Loved, loved, LOVED this book. Had me guessing the entire time and just when you think you have it figured out.....another twist to keep you guessing. Great read!
Date published: 2018-05-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great ending! I found it took quite a while for me to really get into this book, but once I did I loved it!
Date published: 2018-05-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great thriller! If you've read books by Mackintosh before change your view because this is a lot different than Let Me Go for example. This one had a big focus on relationships and complicated family drama which is probably why I connected with this one. Definitely check this one out if you're a thriller fan or are new to the genre.
Date published: 2018-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Crazy Thriller Where The Twists Just Keep Coming This book was a phenomenal read from Clare Mackintosh! Completely riveting, you have no idea where this story is taking you until you get there. Anna's parents, Tom and Caroline, committed suicide exactly a year apart, leaving her an orphan and completely devastated. But on the one year anniversary of her mother's death, she receives a note in the post that indicates that their deaths may not have been suicides at all - and Anna is now left fighting to find answers to what really happened to her parents. Clare absolutely surprised me with this one, chapter after chapter I felt like I was on the right track of guessing what had happened, and I loved that I kept being proven wrong. A book that can keep surprising me is a perfectly crafted read in my opinion. If you are looking for a book with a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then this is the read for you!
Date published: 2018-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing story absolutely incredible and had to finish it right away
Date published: 2018-05-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Mystery Movie of the Week Plot Anna’s parents commited suicide over a year ago, she doesn’t believe that their deaths were suicides. And of course strange things start to happen. It begins when Anna receives a mysterious card in the mail with the message: suicide-think again, which sends her running to the police. A retired officer, Murray MacKenzie unofficially helps Anna by looking into the circumstances of their deaths. Murray MacKenzie, is an older, intuitive detective, a wonderful character. This book could easily be the first book in the Murray MacKenzie dectective series. Fingers crossed that Clare Mackintosh & her publishers feel the same way. The story is told from a common thriller device, using three points of view, Anna’s, Murray’s & an unknown person’s. With its numerous plot reveals, the author kept me turning the pages......but sadly after the halfway point the story descends into the ‘mystery movie of the week’ territory. With the exception of the retired policeman’s character, the story itself is not overly memorable (unlike Mackintosh’s first book, I Let You Go). Only 2.5 Stars
Date published: 2018-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Was never able to guess where the story was going! Really enjoyed this book. I found that every time I would come up with a conclusion in my head, the book would take another turn. I was never able to predict the outcome so this made for a very exciting read!
Date published: 2018-05-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from not my favorite I like this author's book but this is my least favorite. Found it too predictable and hard to believe the main characters. Kind of weird actually.
Date published: 2018-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Like It's a a great psychological thriller. Some people may find it their cup of tea. Others not. I liked it.
Date published: 2018-04-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I mean...it was good but hard to get in to I don't usually find myself distracted by a good book, which makes me think that maybe this one wasn't that great. I'd find myself having to re-read paragraphs and pages just to absorb the information. Don't get me wrong, it was a decent book but it just wasn't my cup of tea.
Date published: 2018-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than 5 stars! This deserves more than 5 Stars it is one of the best psychological thrillers I have read. It is impossible to put down once you start with unexpected twists. Brilliant MUST READ!!
Date published: 2018-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Perfect For Fans Of Psychological Suspense Anna Johnson's parents both committed suicide seven months apart by jumping off a cliff into the sea. She is troubled as to why they would have killed themselves but seems to be the only one with doubts about it. Her partner Mark having never met them, is concerned for her and has difficulty taking her beliefs seriously. A year to the day following her mother's death, she receives a card suggesting there was more to it than suicide. This further convinces her that her parents were murdered. With the help of Murray Mackenzie, a retired detective who now works the front desk at the local police station, Anna is determined to discover what really happened to her parents. This is one of those novels that you really need to know as little as possible about before reading. The gripping story is told through multiple viewpoints, however whose perspective it is, is intentionally not always clear. Although there is little action, the book is essentially a character-driven one, including solid background development for the main protagonists. With surprising revelations and twists, Let Me Lie does not disappoint and is perfect for fans of psychological suspense and domestic dramas.
Date published: 2018-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Again with the midplot twist! Clare has a knack for throwing in a twist in her books that makes me stop and go "what the hell just happened" and she's done it again with this one. Was not disappointed and really enjoyed this one as much as her others!
Date published: 2018-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! This is another great book by Clare Mackintosh! I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. There were so many twists and turns and unexpected events. Soooo good! The ending was awesome... I cannot wait for her next book. =)
Date published: 2018-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The ending has me wanting more! Really good mystery/thriller, that kept me interested right from the get go. So many twists and turns, most of which I didn't anticipate. The ending has me wanting more!
Date published: 2018-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A compelling thriller After Anna’s parents, Tom and Caroline, committed suicide within months of each other, Anna seeks help from counsel Mark. They become personally involved and soon Anna is pregnant and gives birth to their daughter. At the one year anniversary of Caroline’s death Anna receives a card suggesting her death wasn’t a suicide. Anna approaches the police with this information, and Murray, a semiretired detective, begins to investigate. What transpires will shake Anna to her core. I enjoyed the author’s previous books and this one did not disappoints!
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SO good!!! I could not put this on down! I've read Claire Mackintoshs other two novels and loved them both. This one did not disappoint!
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Third book from Mackintosh Let Me Lie is the third book from Clare Mackintosh. I devoured the suspense and twists in her first two books and was eager to dig into this latest. Anna's parents both committed suicide within a year. On the one year anniversary of her mother's death, someone drops a card through her mail slot. Inside is a cryptic message ... "Suicide? Think again." Anna always questioned their deaths. The bodies were never found and she can't believe her beloved mother would leave her. She decides to check in with the local constabulary on the case. Retired detective Murray Mackenzie is on the desk, now working in a civilian capacity. But old instincts die hard and he decides to look into the case further - on his own. Murrary ended up being my favourite character. His personal story (his wife is mentally ill) was very well depicted and drew this reader in. Their relationship and how Murray copes were some of my favourite bits of the book. He's kind and intelligent as well as being a clever investigator. Anna's emotions and mental health are also explored. However, I wasn't as drawn to Anna, despite her being the lead character. I questioned some of her actions and decisions plot wise. But on the flip side, without some of those decisions, we wouldn't have as many questions and avenues to explore. Mackintosh does give us lots of characters that may or may not have suspicious motives, keeping us guessing. Interspersed are italicized chapters from, well, someone. These are deliberately vague and let the reader decide who it might be. In the beginning, these missives had me thinking things were going to unfold in a certain way (one I wasn't interested in). (Sorry, being deliberately obtuse. )As these entries continue, more and more detail is added, so that their identity becomes evident and the direction changes. Clues to the past are found in these narratives. Let Me Lie was not as fast paced as the first two novels. I found the first part of the book to be a bit of a slow burn. Things do pick up in the last few chapters and one last final twist was a real 'gotcha'! I'll be watching for Mackintosh's next book.
Date published: 2018-03-19

Read from the Book

CHAPTER ONE Death does not suit me. I wear it like a borrowed coat; it slips off my shoulders and trails in the dirt. It is ill fitting. Uncomfortable. I want to shrug it off; to throw it in the cupboard and take back my well-tailored clothes. I didn't want to leave my old life, but I'm hopeful for my next one-hopeful I can become someone beautiful and vibrant. For now, I am trapped. Between lives. In limbo. They say sudden good-byes are easier. Less painful. They're wrong. Any pain saved from the lingering good-byes of a drawn-out illness is offset by the horror of a life stolen without notice. A life taken violently. On the day of my death I walked the tightrope between two worlds, the safety net in tatters beneath me. This way safety; that way danger. I stepped. I died. We used to joke about dying-when we were young enough, still vital enough, for death to be something that happened to other people. "Who do you think'll go first?" you said, one night when the wine had run dry and we lay by the electric fire in my rented Balham flat. An idle hand, stroking my thigh, softened your words. I was quick to answer. "You, of course." You aimed a cushion at my head. We'd been together a month; enjoying each other's bodies, talking about the future as though it belonged to someone else. No commitment, no promises-just possibilities. "Women live longer." I grinned. "It's a well-known fact. Genetic. Survival of the fittest. Men can't cope on their own." You grew serious. Cupped my face in your hand and made me look at you. Your eyes were black in the half-light; the bars of the fire reflected in your pupils. "It's true." I moved to kiss you but your fingers held me still; pressure on my chin as your thumb pushed against bone. "If anything happened to you, I don't know what I'd do." The briefest chill, despite the fierce heat from the fire. Footsteps on my grave. "Give over." "I'd die, too," you insisted. I put a stop to your youthful dramatics then, reaching to push aside your hand and free my chin. Keeping my fingers tangled with yours, so the rejection didn't sting. Kissing you, softly at first, then harder, until you rolled backward, and I was lying on top of you, my hair curtaining our faces. You would die for me. Our relationship was young; a spark that could be snuffed out as easily as coaxed into flames. I couldn't have known you'd stop loving me; that I'd stop loving you. I couldn't help but be flattered by the depth of your feeling, the intensity in your eyes. You would die for me, and in that moment, I thought I might die for you, too. I just never thought either of us would have to. CHAPTER TWO Anna Ella is eight weeks old. Her eyes are closed, long dark lashes brushing apple cheeks that move up and down as she feeds. One tiny hand splays across my breast like a starfish. I sit, pinned to the sofa, and think of all the things I could be doing while she feeds. Reading. Watching television. An online food shop. Not today. Today is not a day for the ordinary. I watch my daughter, and after a while her lashes lift and she fixes navy eyes, solemn and trusting, on me. Her pupils are deep pools of unconditional love, my reflection small but unwavering. Ella's sucking slows. We gaze at each other, and I think how motherhood is the best-kept secret: how all the books, all the films, all the advice in the world, could never prepare you for the all-consuming feeling of being everything to one tiny person. Of that person being everything to you. I perpetuate the secret, telling no one, because whom would I tell? Less than a decade after leaving school, my friends share their beds with lovers, not babies. Ella's still gazing at me, but gradually the focus in her eyes blurs, the way morning mist creeps over a view. Her lids drop once, twice, then fall closed. Her sucking-always so ferocious at first, and then rhythmic, relaxed-slows, until several seconds elapse between mouthfuls, and she stops. I lift my hand and gently press my index finger onto my breast, breaking the seal between my nipple and Ella's lips, then pull my nursing bra back into place. Ella's mouth continues to move for a while; then sleep takes her, her lips frozen into a perfect O. I should put her down. Make the most of however long she will sleep. Ten minutes? An hour? We are a long way from any kind of routine. Routine. The watchword of the new mother; the single topic of conversation at the postnatal coffee mornings my health visitor bullies me into attending. Is she sleeping through yet? You should try controlled crying. Have you read Gina Ford? I nod and smile and say, I'll check it out; then I gravitate toward one of the other new mums. Someone different. Someone less rigid. Because I don't care about routine. I don't want to leave Ella crying while I sit downstairs and post on Facebook about my "parenting nightmare!" It hurts to cry for a mother who isn't coming back. Ella doesn't need to know that yet. She stirs in her sleep, and the ever-present lump in my throat swells. Awake, Ella is my daughter. When friends point out her similarities to me, or say how like Mark she is, I can never see it. I look at Ella, and I simply see Ella. But asleep . . . when Ella's asleep I see my mother. There is a heart-shaped face hiding beneath those baby-plump cheeks, and the shape of their hairlines is so alike I know that, in years to come, my daughter will spend hours in front of a mirror, attempting to tame the one tiny section that grows differently from the rest. Do babies dream? What can they dream of, with so little experience of the world? I envy Ella her sleep, not only because I am tired in a way I never experienced before having a baby, but also because when sleep comes, it comes with nightmares. My dreams show me what I can't possibly know. Supposition from police reports and coroner's court. I see my parents, their faces bloated and disfigured from the water. I see fear on their faces as they fall from the cliff. I hear their screams. Sometimes my subconscious is kind to me. I don't always see my parents fall; sometimes I see them fly. I see them stepping into nothing and spreading their arms and swooping low above a blue sea that sends spray into their laughing faces. I wake gently then, a smile lingering on my face until I open my eyes and realize that everything is just the way it was when I closed them. Nineteen months ago, my father took a car-the newest and most expensive-from the forecourt of his own business. He drove the ten minutes from Eastbourne to Beachy Head, where he parked in the car park, left the door unlocked, and walked toward the cliff top. Along the way he collected rocks to weigh himself down. Then, when the tide was at its highest, he threw himself off the cliff. Seven months later, consumed with grief, my mother followed him, with such devastating accuracy the local paper reported it as a "copycat suicide." I know all these facts because on two separate occasions I heard the coroner take us through them, step by step. My parents died seven months apart, but their linked deaths meant their inquests were held the same week. I sat with Uncle Billy as we listened to the gentle but painfully thorough account of two failed coastal rescue missions. I stared at my lap while experts proffered views on tides, survival rates, death statistics. And I closed my eyes while the coroner recorded the verdict of suicide. I learned lots of things on those two days, but not the only thing that mattered. Why they did it. Assuming they did do it. The facts are inarguable. Except that my parents were not suicidal. They were not depressed, anxious, fearful. They were the last people you would expect to give up on life. "Mental illness isn't always obvious," Mark says when I raise this point, his voice giving no hint of impatience that the conversation is, once again, circling back to this. "The most capable, the most upbeat, people can have depression." Over the past year I've learned to keep my theories to myself; not to give voice to the doubts that lie beneath the surface of my grief. No one else has doubts. No one else feels unease. But then, maybe no one else knew my parents the way I did. The phone rings. I let the answerphone pick up but the caller doesn't leave a message. Immediately I feel my mobile vibrate in my pocket, and I know even before I look that it's Mark calling. "Under a sleeping baby, by any chance?" "However did you guess?" "How is she?" "Feeding every half an hour. I keep trying to start dinner and not getting anywhere." "Leave it-I can do it when I get home. How are you feeling?" There's a subtle change of tone that no one else would notice. A subtext. How are you feeling today, of all days? "I'm okay." "I can come home-" "I'm fine. Really." Mark would hate to leave his course halfway through. He collects qualifications the way other people collect beer mats or foreign coins; so many letters they no longer fit after his name. Every few months he prints new business cards, and the least important letters fall off the end into oblivion. Today's course is The Value of Empathy in the Client-Counselor Relationship. He doesn't need it; his empathy was evident the second I walked through his door. He let me cry. Pushed a box of tissues toward me and told me to take my time. To begin when I was ready, and not before. And when I stopped crying but still couldn't find the words, he told me about the stages of grief-denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance-and I realized I hadn't moved past first base. We were four sessions in when Mark took a deep breath and told me he couldn't treat me anymore, and I asked if it was me, and he said there was a conflict of interest and this was terribly unprofessional but would I like to have dinner sometime? He was older than me-closer to my mum's age than my own-with a confidence at odds with the nerves I now saw hovering beneath the surface. I didn't hesitate. "I'd love to." Afterward he said he felt guiltier about interrupting my counseling than about the ethics of dating a patient. Former patient, I pointed out. He still feels uncomfortable about it. People meet in all sorts of places, I remind him. My parents met in a London nightclub; his met in the frozen food section at Marks & Spencer. And he and I met in a seventh-floor apartment in Putney, in a consultation room with leather chairs and soft woolen throws, and a sign on the door that read Mark Hemmings, Counselor. By Appointment Only. "If you're sure. Give Ella-bella a kiss from me." "Bye." I hang up first, and I know he has the handset pressed against his lips, the way he does when he's deep in thought. He'll have gone outside to make the call, forgoing coffee, or networking, or whatever thirty counselors do when they're released from the classroom. In a moment he'll rejoin the others, and he'll be lost to me for the next few hours, as he works on his empathy for a made-up problem. Pretend anxiety. A fictional bereavement. He'd like to work on mine. I don't let him. I stopped seeing a therapist when I realized all the talking in the world wasn't going to bring back my parents. You reach a point where the pain you feel inside is simply sadness. And there's no cure for that. Grief is complicated. It ebbs and flows and is so multifaceted that unpacking it makes my head hurt. I can go for days without crying, then barely be able to breathe for the sobs that rack my body. One moment I'll be laughing with Uncle Billy about something stupid Dad once did; the next I'll be filled with rage for his selfishness. If Dad hadn't killed himself, Mum wouldn't have done, either. The anger is the worst part of all of this. The white-hot fury, and the guilt that inevitably follows. Why did they do it? I've gone over the days preceding my dad's death a million times; asked myself if we could have done anything to prevent it. Your dad's missing. I'd frowned at the text, looking for the punch line. I lived with my parents, but I was away overnight at a conference in Oxford, chatting over morning coffee with a colleague from London. I excused myself to call her. "What do you mean, missing?" Mum wasn't making sense. The words came slowly, as though she was dredging them up. They'd had an argument the night before; Dad had stormed off to the pub. So far, so normal. I had long since accepted the storminess of my parents' relationship; the squalls that would pass over as quickly as they blew in. Except this time Dad hadn't come home. "I thought he might have slept at Bill's," she said, "but I'm at work now and Bill hasn't seen him. I'm out of my mind, Anna!" I left the conference straightaway. Not because I was worried about Dad, but because I was worried about Mum. They were careful to keep the causes of their arguments from me, but I'd picked up the aftermath too many times. Dad would disappear-off to work, or to the golf course, or to the pub. Mum would hide in the house, pretending to me she hadn't been crying. It was all over by the time I got home. Police in the kitchen, their hats in their hands. Mum shaking so violently they'd called a paramedic to treat her for shock. Uncle Billy, white with grief. Laura, Mum's goddaughter, making tea and forgetting to add milk. None of us noticing. I read the text Dad had sent. I can't do this anymore. The world will be a better place without me in it. "Your father took a car from work." The policeman was about Dad's age, and I wondered if he had children. If they took him for granted. "The cameras show it heading toward Beachy Head late last night." My mother let out a stifled cry. I saw Laura move to comfort her, but I couldn't do the same. I was frozen. Not wanting to hear but compelled to listen all the same.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Let Me Lie"Shrewd, skillful."—Entertainment Weekly"Instant gratification grip-lit of the highest order."—Metro"Constantly surprising and very twisty."—Shari Lapena“Another one-more-chapter, stay-up-late sensation from Clare Mackintosh. No doubt about it now—she’s a major talent.”—Lee Child“Clare Mackintosh has nailed it again. Let Me Lie is an emotional ride with fantastic twists.”—Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author of The Child“Raced through Let Me Lie...inventive, twisting, and perfectly controlled.”—Sarah Vaughan, author of Anatomy of a Scandal“Mackintosh’s three bar-raising psychological thrillers (starting with I Let You Go, 2016) have proven her adept at crafting compellingly flawed, authority-bucking characters and creating twists from the ripple effects of their relationships and personal issues, including abuse, mental illness, and alcoholism. This one’s perfect for Kate Atkinson and Tana French readers.”—Booklist (starred review)Praise for I See You “[A] deliciously creepy tale of urban paranoia.”—Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10“An intense psychological thriller that I inhaled with my heart in my mouth...unsettling and claustrophobic read. Truly shuddersome.”—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl Praise for I Let You Go “Genuinely shocking...[a] cunning psychological thriller.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review “An intense psychological thriller...[that] revels in surprises and twists…outstanding.”—Associated Press “I Let You Go is a master class in plotting, with a killer twist. I could not put it down.”—Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You