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Book DetailsISBN: 9781780899862
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Book Review: To Tell You the Truth: A twisty thriller that's impossible to put down by Gilly Macmillan - Reviewed by CloggieA (31 May 2020)
To Tell You The Truth is the fourth stand-alone novel by British author, Gilly Macmillan. Best-selling author of the DS Eliza Grey books, Lucy Harper has just completed the fifth book in this very popular series. Surely a cause for celebration? But Lucy is a little nervous. Her agent will soon discover that Lucy has taken a brave step with the latest book, and he might not be too pleased.
“…how naïve I had been when I first got published. How I hadn’t realised what a treadmill I was stepping on to. How the sheer pace of it, and the exhaustion, eroded your confidence and then chipped away at your sanity, how it made you vulnerable because the books crowded every corner of your brain, every minute of every day, until your main character stepped off the page and compromised your real life, which made you feel crazy.”
Eliza has been with Lucy all her life, playing, sharing, advising, telling her what to do and say. Eliza is Lucy’s alone: no one else can see or hear her. She was with Lucy that night of the Summer Solstice when her little brother Teddy disappeared. And then Eliza became her muse, her star character. But by the third book, she became more real to Lucy, maybe a little too real. In this fifth book, Eliza had been incapacitated, much to her indignation and anger.
While Lucy has been wholly absorbed in creating the source of their future income, her husband, Dan has been doing some anticipatory spending, but Lucy truly wonders, when the purchase is revealed, how he could ever have imagined it could meet with her approval. As for his newest literary project, it’s not until much later that Lucy discovers just what he has been up to.
Macmillan’s sixth novel is brilliantly plotted: red herrings, twists and surprises keep the reader guessing as the story races to a nail-biting climax. The present-day story is interspersed with a second-person narrative relating the events of the summer of 1991 when three-year-old Teddy Bewley vanished, never to be seen again.
The story is so cleverly constructed that the reader will be asking themselves: Is Lucy an unreliable narrator, or is her apparent paranoia well-founded? Is she a consummate liar or just an inventive story teller? Is she a murderer, or is she a victim?
As always, this author has a way with words: “The familiarity felt disorientating, like seeing a face you think you recognise before realising it’s your own. Aged, subtly changed, but bearing traces of everything you ever lived through, even the things you want to forget.” Once again, Macmillan does not disappoint. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Random House UK.
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