cover image Let Me Lie

Let Me Lie

Clare Mackintosh. Berkley, $26 (400p) ISBN 978-0-451-49053-7

This taut, emotionally complex thriller from British author Mackintosh (I See You) centers on 26-year-old new mother Anna Johnson. Anna’s father, Tom, jumped off the cliff at Beachy Head, England; seven months later, Anna’s mother, Caroline, followed suit. The coroner’s suicide decrees have always bothered Anna, and her doubts only deepen when, on the first anniversary of Caroline’s death, someone sends a card that reads, “Suicide? Think again.” Anna’s partner, Mark Hemmings, dismisses the message as a cruel joke, but Anna becomes convinced that Caroline was murdered. Her theory captures the interest of Murray Mackenzie, a retired detective turned civilian desk clerk at the Lower Meads police station, but when Murray begins an unofficial investigation and Anna starts receiving anonymous threats, she must decide whether the truth means more than her baby’s safety. Mackintosh cleverly subverts readers’ expectations while capitalizing on the complicated nature of parent-child relationships. Shocking twists share the page with meditations on love, loss, marriage, and mental illness, and though not every revelation feels earned, the overall story amply satisfies. Author tour. Agent: Sheila Crowley, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Mar.)