Last year I started to really get into thrillers more. I think it all started when I started to read more Stephen King and liking that creepiness vibe to his stories, but wanting the same thing in a shorter book (seriously, King’s books can be massive). I had read two other Clare Mackintosh books prior to picking up Let Me Lie and I loved both of them – I Let You Go was a book that I just could not put down, it was so intense, and I See You really got to me when I started thinking about the amount of cameras that are out there in the world and how our routines are just that: routine. Let Me Lie, however, just didn’t seem up to par with either of those books. It didn’t have the same drive that those books had, with me literally wanting to do nothing but read.
Here’s what it’s about:
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.
This book did have so much potential but it felt too unrealistic – and just plain silly – to me. Anna, our main character, drove me absolutely nuts as I read this. She did so many idiotic things and just didn’t use her brain at all. We don’t really get to know anyone throughout the whole book, which made it really hard to connect with anything. AND it was a very boring story. I was used to the last two books by Mackintosh that had me on the edge of my seat, but this one I would lazily read before bed, knowing that there would be SOME BIG TWIST but it felt like everything – the plot and the characters – were there for the sake of this twist. I felt like Anna should’ve paid more attention to what was in front of her and maybe none of this would’ve happened.
While I really disliked Anna’s part of the story, I did really enjoy Murray’s story – he’s a retired cop who still kind of works for the police, and he comes across Anna’s story and wants to relive his glory days and try to solve her mystery. I really loved his character and his relationship with his wife, Sarah, and this relationship touched me more than anything in Anna’s life.
As it is, a lot of this book was predictable, it wasn’t overly thrilling, and since it took quite a boring turn, it won’t be ranked up there with my favourites.
I wish I could continue on and share a book that I loved in comparison, but the next thriller I read was In A Cottage In A Wood by Cass Green. This was a new-to-me author and I first saw her book when I was at the local drug store. I was pulled in by the cover, a picture of a creepy cabin in the woods and the tagline that went “her dream home will become her worst nightmare.” I didn’t buy it initially, but it was one of those books that was staying with me and so when I was back at the same drug store one day, I decided to pick it up since I needed a bit of a thriller fix. I was also interested because this was one of those titles that I hadn’t heard a lot about and I always like diving into thrillers that aren’t overly hyped everywhere I look.
Here’s what this book was about:
A strange encounter
Neve comes across a troubled woman called Isabelle on Waterloo Bridge late one night. Isabelle forces a parcel into Neve’s hands and jumps to her death in the icy Thames below.
An unexpected gift
Two weeks later, as Neve’s wreck of a life in London collapses, an unexpected lifeline falls into her lap – a charming cottage in Cornwall left to her by Isabelle, the woman on the bridge. The solution to all her problems.
A Twisted secret
But when Neve arrives, alone in the dark woods late one night, she finds a sinister-looking bungalow with bars across its windows. And her dream home quickly becomes her worst nightmare – a house hiding a twisted secret that will change her life forever…
Let me start by saying that this book could’ve been so much better than it was! It started off super creepy, with Neve encountering a mysterious woman who jumps off a bridge after asking Neve her name. I read this late at night and was definitely creeped out by the description of Isabel, the woman Neve meets, and their interaction altogether. I was also creeped out by the cottage when Neve first goes to it.
However, when it comes to characters, Neve was the most annoying character in a thriller that I had ever read about. She must’ve been just over 30, living with her sister, and not being an adult in any way. She works as a receptionist and goes out partying all the time, not having respect for her sister or her sister’s family, stumbling home late at night. She moves to this cabin with barely any money and proceeds to make loads of idiotic decisions (like, really, if you have NO JOB and NO MONEY please proceed to buy wine and fancy coffees and tons of things you don’t need!). I expected her to maybe learn something by the end of the book but she really doesn’t change her ways. Don’t get me wrong – I did enjoy Neve’s character in the beginning and found her to be different from a lot of the heroines we see in thrillers, but her story got old really fast and she just started to become annoying.
There are other characters that she meets, but we really don’t get to know anyone too deeply, and there are some characters who just seemed cliched and like the characters you would expect in a story like this. Ultimately, there wasn’t really anything new introduced.
This story could’ve been something amazing and spooky, but the twists and turns it took were predictable and kind of eye-rolling. There was just one instance where I was really shocked, but the final “surprise” was a majorly laughable disappointment. This story read like chick-lit meets thriller and while it had a few creepy instances, it definitely was not a favourite.
Have you read either of these books? What were your thoughts on them? Do you have any thrillers you could recommend?