There are some secrets you should never keep.

When widower and single father Andy Boyd meets Anna, he can’t believe his luck. When he ends up in hospital on his wedding night, Andy refuses to see this as a warning sign and enters a world of lies that may cost him everything.

What’s it about?

Andy Boyd is a tough Scots rugby player with a young son, Pat. He misses his wife, who died in childbirth, but adores his son and is close to his family.

He wasn’t looking for love, but meeting Anna feels like a fairytale. Unfortunately, some fairytales are nightmares, and Andy will find himself fighting for more than his own life…

What’s it like?

Disturbing. Compelling. Dark. Malone draws us firmly into the heart of Andy’s nightmare and we reel beside him, hoping he can summon up the strength to admit the truth and reclaim his life.

Andy’s horror is so vivid to the reader that they plot with him – what will it take for him to escape from his lies?

Final thoughts

This is a deeply realistic examination of a marriage beset by domestic violence and destroyed by fear. As we witness the cycle of abuse repeating itself, we yearn for something to change, but as Andy’s marriage moves into its death throes, twist after twist keeps us racing through the pages to the shocking finale.

The finale itself leaves some unanswered questions (like what on earth one particular character thought was going to happen as a result of their actions – what was their long-term plan?) and I am, as ever, left a little cold by the flirting with romance that Malone indulges in to keep his central character motivated, but there’s a solid conclusion to this domestic thriller.

‘a suitable lie’,
Michael J Malone,
2016, Orenda Books, paperback

This is another excellent book I found at Crimefest18.