REVIEW: A SUITABLE LIE By Michael J Malone

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Published January 1, 2017 by Orenda Books

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 like he is her own. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it—a dangerous mistake that could cost him everything. 

 

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I’ve had this book for a few months and debated whether I wanted to tackle another psychological thriller centered around domestic violence. What I can say is this is no ordinary psychological thriller! The author has taken an often taboo subject and turned it on it’s head, resulting in a very uncomfortable and often infuriating read in my opinion.

I was immediately taken with the engaging writing style and the way the author introduces us to Andy during the prologue, which was one of the best prologues I’ve read in recent memory. It drew me to Andy and I had to know what had led him to such a desolate, desperate place in his life. Moving on, we get a first hand seat to the love affair of Andy Boyd and Anna. A whirlwind romance you could say and all the while I just kept hoping Andy would slow down, take his time, I mean he has a 4 year old child, what’s the rush?? But you just KNOW Andy is taken with Anna and he lets his lust and attraction blind him to some very subtle red flags. I was definitely feeling apprehensive at this point in the story, knowing that at any time the other shoe was going to drop for Andy and I really didn’t want to be a witness to that!

The too good to be true feelings the author managed to create worked perfectly to set up what follows for Andy once he’s married to Anna.. oh yes, the other shoe dropped hard.  Through use of detailed, descriptive writing along with just the right pacing, I was on the edge of my seat, literally feeling tightness in my chest as things start to go very wrong in the Boyd household. As someone with a background in mental health, specifically working with children from abusive and neglectful homes, I found myself thinking time and again that both Anna and Andy had some serious mental health issues going on between the 2 of them. Don’t get me wrong, I LIKED Andy, I felt for him, but I wanted to SCREAM at him for not seeing what the violence and lies within their home was doing to his young son Pat. Hence, my feelings of infuriation!!

The story is told from Andy’s perspective which really allowed us a close up view as to his thoughts and what drove his decisions.  We meet his family and are also privy to a pretty detailed work storyline involving his job in the banking industry. I have to say, I thought the subplot involving work was going to go in a completely different direction and I was somewhat disappointed in how it resolved itself in the end. The ending itself also seemed somewhat rushed, where things happened rather quickly and a little conveniently.  This, along with so much repetition of the word “wee” throughout the novel are my main critiques.

Overall, there are many things to like about the way the author chose to tell this story. I think what stood out the most for me was the characterization and the fact that by getting to know all the characters involved, I felt so many emotions ranging from hopefulness at one point to just plain sadness and infuriation at so many others. I can honestly say I haven’t felt such strong feelings about characters in a book since reading Gone Girl! If you’re in the mood for a psychological thriller that will put you through the emotional wringer, I’d suggest giving this a try.

4/5 Stars 

Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my copy, I’m happy to provide an honest review. 

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13 thoughts on “REVIEW: A SUITABLE LIE By Michael J Malone

  1. I am tempted to read the book just to see how ‘wee’ was used lol. Anyway, this sounds interesting and I like what you said about the characterization and its awesome when a thriller makes you feel such emotions. That doesn’t happen often. I will definitely look out for this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooo I love the sound of this one, I’m glad you enjoyed it, it’s so frustrating sometimes when you feel an ending wasn’t 100%, I really want to read this now (thanks, again 🙄) but I worry about the ending, in comparison to the rest of the story, where would you rate it – say if the story leading up it was a 10, what would the ending rate as?? (I hope that makes sense 🙈)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question and it makes sense:) I’d rate the ending an 8 and it wasn’t really WHAT happened at the end that I had an issue with it was that it all seemed too rushed and pieces fell into place a little too easy. It shouldn’t keep you from reading though, I think you will have strong feelings about this one like I did since you’re in the mental health field along with being a mom. That’s the thing about this book…it caused me to really feel very angry with both characters…then I’d feel sad for the son…then I’d feel sad for Andy😂 I was all over the place, I like that it challenged my emotions. Can’t wait to hear what you think of this one:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my god hahahaha I said the same thing about WEE in my review. It was literally on every page! I loved this one but I agree with everything you said. Andy was a good guy but he made mistakes too, especially when it came to his kid 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost didn’t say anything about the use of WEE but it was so repetitive it started to annoy and distract me. I couldn’t stop thinking about the kids and how much therapy they would need! That’s what we want a book to do sometimes though…upset us and make us think:)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha! I had to laugh at your comment about the overuse of ‘wee’. One of the things that having a Kindle has allowed me to do is get even more obsessive – when a word starts to annoy me now, I can search and see exactly how many times the author has used it! When I start doing that, it’s usually a sign I should just abandon it and read something else… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh I didn’t know my kindle would do that…there’s probably so much it can do that I don’t use:) The WEE was used quite a bit but in this instance it wouldn’t have kept me from continuing because I was so invested in the story and finding out how it all turned out.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This book won my heart, and boy did I fell for Andy! I’m sorry it wasn’t a 5 star for you and the ending was felt a bit rushed. The author has a way to play with your emotions.. This book is exhausting!! But still my favorite Orenda story ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow this one definitely sounds like a winner despite the ending! I agree it doesn’t happen often enough that a psychological thriller is able to provoke such strong emotional feelings…

    Liked by 1 person

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