REVIEW: LET ME LIE, BY CLARE MACKINTOSH

 

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

Last year, Tom and Caroline Johnson chose to end their lives, one seemingly unable to live without the other. Their daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents’ deaths, unwilling to accept the verdict of suicide.

Now with a baby herself, Anna feels her mother’s absence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. But as she digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her.

Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie….

 

My Thoughts: Multiple narrators, including an anonymous one, lead us through Let Me Lie.

I liked trying to decipher the clues that came to Anna in the form of scary messages. Odd events that make her question everything she thought she knew.

Would Anna find the answers to the disturbing events? Would her family secrets be unveiled? What if her past was exposed as a twisted lie?

Murray Mackenzie, the retired detective who worked the case, was an interesting character. I liked how his own personal issues with his mentally ill wife added another layer to the story. He seemed to be a compassionate person, which isn’t necessarily how I see the police. But I liked how he worked, and even how he and his wife Sarah talked about possible scenarios. They felt like a team, and those moments were some of their best.

As the pace sped up, and just when I thought I knew what was happening, unexpected truths were revealed.

Even beyond what I thought was “the end,” another surprise stunned me. I had to read the last line again and again, leaving me with more questions. A 4.5 star read.

***

REVIEW: SNAP JUDGMENT, BY MARCIA CLARK

When the daughter of prominent civil litigator Graham Hutchins is found with her throat slashed, the woman’s spurned ex-boyfriend seems the likely suspect. But only days later, the young man dies in what appears to be a suicide. Or was it? Now authorities are faced with a possible new crime. And their person of interest is Hutchins. After all, avenging the death of his daughter is the perfect reason to kill. If he’s as innocent as he claims, only one lawyer has what it takes to prove it: his friend and colleague Samantha Brinkman.

It’s Sam’s obligation to trust her new client. Yet the deeper she digs on his behalf, the more entangled she becomes in a thicket of family secrets, past betrayals, and multiple motives for murder. To win her case, she’s prepared to bend any law and cross any boundary that stands in her way. Sam has always played by her own rules, and it’s always worked…so far. But this case cuts so deep and so personal that one false move could cost her everything.

My Thoughts: Samantha Brinkman hits the ground running on a typical day of lawyering in Snap Judgment. A young woman has been found with her throat slashed, and her father, Graham Hutchins, a prominent lawyer, is devastated.

A student at USC, Alicia seems to have no enemies or any dark secrets that would lead to her murder. As Sam and her team, which includes her “hacker” investigator Alex, zero in on the group of students that were part of Alicia’s “tribe,” there are numerous questions raised about each of them, at one point or another. And when Alicia’s ex-boyfriend Roan, whom everyone believes killed her, turned up dead by hanging, it looked like a suicide. But there are doubts about that. There are some indications he might have been murdered. Suddenly Graham Hutchins becomes a person of interest.

The best part about this series is how the reader gets to watch Sam maneuver around and turn the facts to her advantage, preparing for creating a reasonable doubt should a case end up before a jury.

Meanwhile, a horrible mobster from Samantha’s past, who has “something on her,” shows up to collect. What he wants from her goes against everything she believes in, and might involve revealing the whereabouts of a young woman. Can she turn his plans upside down and create her own scenario for his target?

All the red herrings and twisted possibilities led to a very satisfying and surprising denouement, and now I can’t wait to see what Sam will do next. 5 stars.

 ***