Welcome to my stop on the epic A Suitable Lie blog tour!
About the book
Published: 15th September 2016 (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.
From the synopsis I was intrigued by this book as it did not give much away as to what A Suitable Lie was about – just like this review won’t do either!
Andy is a widower, having lost his beloved wife, Patricia, in childbirth so he is parenting their young son, Pat alone with the support of his mother and brother, Jim. Andy is not looking for love when he meets Anna but he is bowled over by her friendly, open personality and beauty. Anna really bonds with Pat and Andy thinks that everything is perfect – but all is certainly not what it seems which starts to become clear on their wedding night.
This book is hard-hitting, upsetting and uncomfortable reading but it needs to be – domestic abuse is horrendous, violent, all-consuming and terrifying therefore it cannot be sugar-coated to make it easier on the reader – but it is also beautifully written. What makes this book so compelling is the accurate depiction of a descent into the covering up of abuse by both the abuser and the abused.
Andy is a great character, warm, caring and completely selfless – looking out for those around him, loyal and trusting, always seeing the good in those around him. Malone writes wonderfully from Andy’s perspective, his trusting and calm nature coming through even at the toughest of times.
A Suitable Lie is about such a tough subject which is handled by Malone with compassion and realism which provided an insight from both perspectives. It was so well plotted, showing Andy’s descent into living the lie he is and trying to keep up the pretence that everything is fine, as perfect as it appears on the outside – but all is definitely not as it appears.
A Suitable Lie left me thinking about it long after I had finished reading the last page – this isn’t for the fainthearted as there are some graphic violent scenes but these are not for gratification and are used with care and eloquence, bringing to life the horrendous experience of domestic abuse.
About Michael J.Malone
Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers.
Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage.
Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website http://www.crimesquad.com. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.