Today is my stop on the blog tour for A Suitable Lie, a psychological thriller by Michael J Malone which looks behind closed doors into a troubled marriage…
‘Was it desperation, anger, jealousy? A disturbed mind’s version of an act of love?’
The story is narrated by Andy Boyd, a man who has suffered greatly having lost his wife during childbirth, leaving him to raise their child alone. He had dismissed the chance to find love again, until the day he meets Anna – a fun and beautiful woman who seems to be his perfect match, and a woman who dotes on Andy’s young son Pat, treating him like one of her own. A whirlwind romance ensues and despite some doubts from loved ones Andy and Anna marry, but it is on their wedding night that Andy discovers that his new wife is not all that she seems. From this point I was gripped by Andy’s story, and I was concerned for him and his child as the disturbing events began to unfold. And whilst I felt anxious about how their stories would develop as the situation began to spiral out of control, I struggled to put this book down.
‘What if you can’t? What if you are certain it will stop, despite all evidence to the contrary? You love the person, you don’t want to give up on them despite everything. You just tell yourself a suitable lie, and carry on.’
This is a dark and compelling tale about what goes on behind closed doors and within it Malone deals with some difficult issues surrounding domestic abuse and the impact that it has both physically and psychologically. The abuse that unfolds in A Suitable Lie was deeply disturbing and shocking and certain moments made for uncomfortable reading as Andy finds himself subjected to frequent pain and humiliation at the hands of a loved one. But whilst this made for harrowing reading I found that the portrayal of the abuse and its wider impact was dealt with quite sensitively whilst raising some important thoughts surrounding the attitudes towards domestic violence and what is perceived to be a ‘typical’ case. It deals with the complex array of emotions experienced by victims as they try to process why this has happened and how they can move on from it, and how their family may react. This was particularly moving in Andy’s case as his young family were also witness to certain incidents, seeing things that are beyond a child’s comprehension. I remained gripped by this story and was eager to get to the end to see if there would be light at the end of the tunnel for our troubled protagonist, and the tension was maintained until the very end.
‘Had I really jumped willingly into the whole mess or had it sneaked up on me while I was simply trying to be happy?’
A Suitable Lie was an enjoyable read which provided a chilling glimpse into a dysfunctional relationship. It is a dark story of love and marriage, pain and loss, and how we find the strength to move on.
A Suitable Lie was published on 6th October 2016 by Orenda Books. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for providing a copy for review.
This review is part of the blog tour for A Suitable Lie, you can check out the other stops on the tour on the dates and blogs below!