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.
Domestic abuse seems to be quite a popular topic in books this year. I previously read two fantastic novels: Between You And Me & Behind Closed Doors. A Suitable Lie is another great option if you’re a fan of the domestic thriller genre. This is a truly immersive book that will keep you reading for hours without even realizing it.
A Suitable Lie is about a young widowed man who happens to meet lovely Anna, whom she decides to marry after just a few months. Everything seems perfectly normal, but after the wedding, Anna begins to show signs erratic behaviour, often changing from the perfect wife to a dangerous reckless woman…
While reading A Suitable Lie, I couldn’t stop thinking about how this novel would be an incredibly polemic book in my country. Misogynist violence is one of our biggest issues and this book reverses the roles, although the reasons are never the same.
Anyway, politics aside, I enjoyed this book immensely, despite the topic being so dark. I have to say I struggled a bit with some of Andy’s decisions, but this always happens when I read this kind of stories. And when you have kids in the picture, everything is harder. Dialogues were smart and emotional and I found myself racing through the book in just one afternoon.
At a certain point, A Suitable Lie had me wondering if this was just a really old-fashioned book, but then I had to remind myself that the story was set in the 90s and early 00s. There was a particular storyline where I couldn’t believe how people were reacting. And well, the only reason why I’m not giving this the highest rating is because I didn’t feel that the “work” story was necessary and because I had figured out in my mind what was going on, which meant that there was no real surprise.
Anyway, A Suitable Lie is a gripping, violent and surprising book, one of the finest within the domestic genre and extremely compelling. You will feel like you’re part of their lives and you won’t be able to stop thinking about it.
P.S: How many times can you count “wee”? 😀
P.S 2: I want to visit Scotland!
Orenda Books, 2016
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage. Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website http://www.crimesquad.com. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.