Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Louise's Review: A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone

Reviewed by Louise Wykes

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.

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After reading some absolute gems in the past few months,  I did not hesitate to pick up one of Orenda’s new books as I was sure I would be in for an exceptional read and I am so pleased to say that this book did not disappoint at all. 

A Suitable Lie completely turns the table on domestic noir genre by being narrated by a man, Andy Boyd.  At the beginning of the book, he is a grieving father of Pat, whose mother died in childbirth.  Into his safe, predictable life whirls Anna who completely takes Andy’s breath away and they fall quickly in love and Andy decides to marry Anna as soon as he can as much to give his son another mother as much as allowing himself a new wife. 

However, it is clear from the wedding night that Andy does not know as much as about his new wife as he thought as a terrifying incident leaves him wounded.  It quickly becomes clear to Andy and the reader that Anna has trouble containing her rage and seems intent on taking it out on her new husband.  Added to his troubles at home, there are suspicious thefts of money at the bank where Andy has recently been promoted to manager. 

This is not an easy read in any sense of the word, there are several very upsetting scenes that made me stop, put down the book and walk away for me to calm my breathing down as the tension is palpable.  The author completely takes the reader into the darkness that Andy faces in his own head and in trying to make out to his family and friends that life is going well. 

At one point I thought I would have to stop reading as the pain and upset was so viscerally drawn but something kept me reading and I am glad I did as the book completely surprised me constantly.  Don’t pick this book up expecting a comfortable read but if you want a completely new perspective on the issue of domestic violence then this tense, thrilling and intense book is marvellous. 

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