review and cover mani: let me lie

LET ME LIE is the third release from Clare Mackintosh and omggggg, it’s just so good. Like, how does Mackintosh manage create such vibrant characters and then usher them through a continuous gauntlet of terrible awful things? I’m asking for a friend. Also, I am that friend because omgggggg.

The back jacket, from Goodreads:

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They're both wrong.

One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.

Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…

The stunning, twisty new psychological thriller from number one bestseller Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go and I See You.

In my opinion, a good twist has a couple of components. First, I need to be invested, because if I don’t care about the characters involved, I won’t feel the weight of the surprise. In the case of LET ME LIE, the more thoughtful beginning of watching Anna cope with the suicide of both her parents really let me dive into her life. The first Christmas alone with her new baby, Anna managed the best she could, but it was a tricky balance to grieve while also questioning her parents' supposed suicides. Now, I won’t touch on what makes her suspicious, or what propels her determination forward, but I will say that because of those introductory, quieter chapters, when things got going, I wanted to dig out my old pom poms and cheer for Anna from my couch, because by that point, I’d become fully immersed in the stakes.

Cover design by Rita Frangie.
Cliffs by the sea by Michael Trevillion/Trevillion Images. 
Female figure by Mark Owen/Trevillion Images.

The second element I need for a fully effective HOLY CANNOLI moment, along with being invested in the characters, are those subtle clues that seem mundane when I read them, only to transform into blazing neon orange arrows later on. “Gotcha” moments are okay, but they don't feel like I’ve witnessed a magic trick. Mackintosh is all about the “look at my left hand to distract you from what my right hand is doing” and it’s AMAZING. Dollars to donuts, I’m looking at that left hand every time, which forces me to physically expel my surprise with a string of NO WAY WHATs, followed by furious, reverse-page-flipping to trace the intricate plotting, mouth agape. In LET ME LIE, that happened no less than three times (yay!). 

So if you love books that draw you in, protagonists who don't always make the wisest choice (which sucks in real life but is awesome in fiction haha), and rising tension that'll have you tearing through the second half, then make sure you read LET ME LIE! And also I LET YOU GO and I SEE YOU. Because Clare Mackintosh. 


For this mani, I used:

OPI – Gelato On My Mind, Stay Off the Lawn, CIA = Color Is Awesome, You Are So Outta Lime, You Don’t Know Jacques, and matte topcoat

China Glaze – Throne-In’ Shade and Rock N’ Royale

FingerPaints – Black Expressionism and Paper Mâché

Julep – Payton and Eliana

ORLY – Makeup to Breakup and Scandal

So Nailicious – warrior, needle, and slayer brushes

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