Hello there and welcome to a throwback post that I originally wrote for the first instalment of a bi-weekly series, originally named #MaloneMonday. I had slacked off a bit on my blog tour ‘TBR’ pile to take a week to catch up on all three of Michael J Malone’s Orenda published novels. I came up with this grand (if I do say so myself) idea after winning the first book and going onto buy the next two, kept telling myself that I will get to them. Well after a kick from multiple bloggers and Michael’s newest published novel In The Absence of Miracles upcoming quickly (Ebook 19.7.19 and paperback 19.9.19) I needed to catch up!
If you’re not aware of who Michael J Malone is, he is an author who has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears was his debut novel which won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers and when it was published he added a ‘J’ as to differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake.
My post today is all about the stomach knotting, hard to swallow domestic thriller that is A Suitable Lie…. just incase you didn’t guess that! This book was published by Orenda Books on the 5th of August 2016 and can be purchased in paperback here and ebook here.
Check out the blurb:
Some secrets should never be kept….
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. A brave, deeply moving, page-turning psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, exploring the lengths people will go to hide their deepest secrets, even if it kills them…
I am still quite speechless from reading A Suitable Lie, as well as slightly breathless. Usually I use post it notes to remember key parts of a novel, which helps me type up a review. With this novel, no post – it notes were used, I am pretty sure that every page is engraved in to my brain. Andy Boyd is a widower who is bringing up Pat, his son with the help of his mother and brother. Afraid that he’ll never find someone who can pull him from the lonely despair of widowed life, until he meets Anna who is a funny, thoughtful and kind woman. Happy with life, he’s unaware of a grave mistake that works a wedge between himself and his family, creates tensions at work and is very life or death. This is a truly terrifying twist on what begun as Andy’s second chance of a love story.
The characterization portrayed in this book are spot on, the creation of good and evil is spot on. The novel has a darkly realistic foundation, that really hits home – Michael has weaved a tale that revolves around the huge issue of spousal abuse; behaviour that occurs everyday. A Suitable Lie shows that just because this type of violence isn’t always ‘upfront’ in a public setting, doesn’t mean that it does not happen. I applaud Michael for exploring these dark themes, although unsettling and hard to swallow at times, it is hugely dark, twisty and thought provoking. I felt nauseated reading, it’s the essence of a neck-breaking thriller. My heart went out to Andy Boyd, who found love and married with the best of intentions to give not only himself another chance of happiness, but a way of providing familial security for his young son.
I spiralled through a range of emotions while reading A Suitable Lie, from rage, to sympathy, to sorrowful. The narrative niggles its way into your brain, that you can’t quite compartmentalise – it’s hauntingly disturbing and psychologically chilling. The storyline is grippingly paced, with a first person dialogue that increases in tension damn quickly. I was unable to devour this book in one sitting, due to the shock value of it – A Suitable Lie is read to be savoured, a handful of chapters at a time with chocolate on stand-by for the sinister blows. Packed full of emotive details, character building and Malone hasn’t sacrificed the visualisation details for the storyline and vice versa. He’s created a vexing portrayal of a destructive relationship that shows not only the impact of a domestic violent relationships, but how the ripples affect the children within the marriage – how this could lead to the beginnings of the cycle of deprivation , third parties and how the constant high emotions can influence everyday life. A Suitable Lie is one of the most stomach knotting, heart wrenching and disquiet book that I have ever read. Not one that I can easily close and walk away from – I would highly, HIGHLY recommend this novel to a reader who is in the market for a stay with you domestic thriller.
ALL THE STARS!
Thoroughly enjoyed! I can’t wait to share my thoughts about Michael J Malone’s second Orenda Born House Of Spines that will coming to you in a fortnight! Until then, make sure to add A Suitable Lie to your TBR pile!
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