LET ME LIE by Clare Mackintosh {Review}

Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★½

The stunning new novel from Clare Mackintosh, the international bestselling author of I Let You Go and I See You.

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They’re both wrong.

Last year, Tom and Caroline Johnson chose to end their lives, one seemingly unable to live without the other. Their daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents’ deaths, unwilling to accept the verdict of suicide.

Now with a baby herself, Anna feels her mother’s absence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. But as she digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her.

Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…

LET ME LIE is a dark and clever psychological thriller, and the perfect cure for my reading slump. This is the third book by Clare Mackintosh that I’ve read, and I always enjoy her writing. She has a talent for creating emotional, character-driven suspense with amazing twists that really mess with your head. She makes you love/hate/sympathize with characters, and then bam! A big twist comes along to make you question everything.

Anna Johnson is a daughter grieving over the suicides of her parents the previous year. Then she receives something that makes her suspicious, makes her think that maybe they were murdered instead. The story alternates between Anna and other players in this twisted tale, including a retired detective named Murray who checks into the Johnson’s case. I loved Murray’s character, and his relationship with his troubled wife was heart-rending. The book goes from a slow-burn in the beginning to a thrilling roller coaster ride at the end, and I enjoyed it all.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

THOUGHTS ON BOOKS (#5): Wicked Plants (Audiobook) / An American Witch in Paris

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical AtrocitiesWicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

WICKED PLANTS was an Audible Daily Deal, and with that title and cover, I couldn’t resist downloading it. The book is a curious and often unsettling encyclopedia of plants that have caused harm in one way or another throughout the centuries. I don’t think a lot about plants being dangerous, but after reading this I definitely should. I was surprised that even some everyday foods can be harmful. (There’s a reason cashews aren’t sold in their shell.) However the most harmful of plants kills nearly 6 million people per year. (You can probably guess what it is.)

The audiobook was narrated by Coleen Marlo, and she did a fabulous job making each culprit plant seem down right sinister. I will say that I also checked out the hardcover of this book so I could see the illustrations and read the scientific names of all the plants. There were many presented and they moved by quickly, so it was nice to have a physical copy to reference.

An American Witch in Paris (Harlequin Nocturne)An American Witch in Paris by Michele Hauf
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

A straight-laced vampire and a saucy American witch come together in Paris to save humanity. Vampire Ethan and witch Tuesday are memorable leads, with an intriguing supporting cast aiding their perilous mission. The world-building and conflicts were exciting. I haven’t read a paranormal romance in a long time, so this book was a lot of fun. One thing that didn’t work for me was some of what Tuesday was saying or thinking didn’t fit with a centuries-old witch. (Example: She would call troublesome men “Richards” instead of … well, you know.) AN AMERICAN WITCH IN PARIS is loosely tied to others Michele Hauf has published with Nocturne, though it can easily be read stand-alone. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a review copy of this book.

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

THOUGHTS ON BOOKS (#4): The Perfect Nanny / Into the Water

The Perfect NannyThe Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Ugh, from the very beginning, this book was chilling. Unsettling. It’s not a typical thriller, more character-driven, maybe a character study of sorts. None of the characters were likable, but they were fascinating.

A young Parisian couple, Myriam and Paul, hire Louise as a nanny for their two small children. With a good reference from her previous employer, and being somewhat desperate to find childcare, they quickly welcome Louise into their lives. Oh, dear. Louise seems perfect on the outside, but she has hidden issues, which are slowly reveled as the story progresses.

While reading this book, I felt like I was watching the characters from a distance rather than being a part of the story. I wonder if it’s because this is the English translation from French, or was that the intent. The writing was good…just had a distant feel. The ending, well, I wanted more. Too many questions unanswered.

Into the WaterInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I lost patience with INTO THE WATER early on. By page 32, I counted seven different POVs. Confusing! A few more POVs were added after that. Basically the story was about a place called “The Drowning Pool” where several women died, beginning in the 1600s. The latest death is a woman who was writing a book about this seemingly cursed place. Sounded promising, but turned out to be dull. Needed more suspense. I was looking forward to this book, but in the end it was just meh.

“Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself.” – Angela Carter