cover image A Suitable Lie

A Suitable Lie

Michael J. Malone. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-910633-49-6

British author Malone (Blood Tears) paints a moving and plausible portrait of a deeply troubled marriage in this thriller set in Scotland in 1996. Andy Boyd, an affable bank manager in the small community of Ayr, has avoided socializing after his beloved wife, Patricia, died giving birth to their son. Then he allows his brother to persuade him to have a night out at a pub, where Andy meets and falls for Anna Reid, who turns out to be a new employee at his bank. After less than two months, Andy pops the question, and they marry, despite his mother’s reservations about Anna. Her concerns are validated when, on the wedding night, Anna breaks his nose, the first of many violent acts she directs against her husband. Andy, who forces himself to restrain from retaliating, keeps hoping that Anna will somehow get her anger under control. A mystery involving some disturbing account anomalies at Andy’s bank is appropriately overshadowed by Malone’s painful depiction of a man in turmoil. (Jan.)