One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life: 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 baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to ask questions about her parents’ deaths. But by digging up the past, is she putting her future in danger?

Last year I read Clare Mackintosh’s I See You, a fantastically creepy thriller written with skill and flair. Mackintosh’s latest novel, Let Me Lie, is much in the same vein, with enough twists and turns to keep you up into the small hours of the morning.

There is nothing subtle about this book. The writing is rather on-the-nose and ventures into melodrama at times, with certain characters’ dialogue sounding like something a moustache-twirling villain would shout at a victim tied to railway tracks. But despite its flaws, Mackintosh excels in creating tense situations in which characters we care about come up against impossible odds.

With Anna Johnson, Mackintosh has created a believable young woman struggling with her grief over her parents’ deaths. Mackintosh introduces numerous different elements to her character that make her feel well-rounded and empathetic, and her reactions to the mad events happening around her (which themselves often require some suspension of disbelief) are always measured and realistic.

Our other main character is Murray Mackenzie, a semi-retired police officer who becomes embroiled in Anna’s fight to find out what really happened to her parents. He, too, is a very likeable character, whose skill in detective work doesn’t always extend to knowing how to cope with his mentally ill wife.

You might get whiplash from the number of twists in this book. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, Mackintosh once again reveals that nothing is as it seems. Readers who delight in being wrong-footed and in trying to figure out the answers to complicated puzzles will find much to love here.

This is a thriller that adeptly succeeds at jerking you out of your everyday life and plunging you into a thrilling journey full of secrets and with danger at every turn. Prepare to lose sleep over this one.

Many thanks to Little, Brown for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.