book review · Books

Book Review: A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone

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Genre: Psychological Thriller

I must admit I’m becoming a bit weary of psychological thrillers – especially ones with ‘girl’ in the title. But reading A Suitable Lie restored my hope that not all contemporary fiction in the thriller genre has become a bit of a cliché, written to a now exhausted formula.

There are no stereotypes in this highly original page turner. Malone avoids anything remotely formulaic in this novel and he keeps it real. The writing is pacy and economical. There’s nothing gratuitous. If anything it’s all quite understated and is more effective for that.

Yes, at first main character, Andy Boyd seems just an ordinary bloke doing ordinary bloke type stuff, but very soon the reader discovers he’s not so ordinary. He’s suffered a terrible bereavement – the loss of his wife in childbirth – and now he’s a single parent to his young son. But then he meets and falls for Anna. It all goes well at the start. He’s happy again. But it’s all too good to be true.

Things go terribly wrong. Happiness changes to doubt, fear and jeopardy along with shame and guilt. There are shocking revelations.

But amongst the bleakness and blackness there’s humour too and moments of touching humanity.

The main characters are very well drawn but so too are the supporting cast. There’s an authenticity to the relationships Andy has with his friends and family, especially his mother.

All in all this is a thrilling but also satisfying read.

Type of read: Disturbing rather than terrifying. One sitting is a real possibility so clear the diary.

Back Cover Blurb:

Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match… And she loves his son, too. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. He ignores it; a dangerous mistake that could cost him everything. A brave, deeply moving psychological thriller which marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s top crime writers.

A Suitable Lie is published by Orenda Books and is available as a paperback, and as an ebook.

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