Thursday 27 July 2017

A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone @michealjmalone1 @OrendaBooks #Review

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, too. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. He ignores it; a dangerous mistake that could cost him everything. 
A brave, deeply moving psychological thriller which marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland's top crime writers.

A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 15 September 2016.

I am a huge fan of Orenda Books and have read most of their published books. One or two have slipped under the net though and when I was looking through my books and trying to decide what to take on holiday with me, I re-discovered my copy of A Suitable Lie. I've read one of this author's crime novels and enjoyed it, and I know that A Suitable Lie has had some fabulous reviews, so the decision was made, and the book was packed in my suitcase, bound for Corfu.

Wow! What an incredible read! This is one of the most heart-breaking stories that I've read for many years. Michael J Malone has taken the almost taboo subject of male domestic violence and produced a novel that tears at the soul. He shows incredible insight into the emotional and physical impact of a man being abused by the person who should love him the most.

Lead character Andy has had his share of tragedy. His young wife died in childbirth and his own father died when Andy was young. Meeting Anna seems to be the start of a new, happier chapter for him. Anna is bright and attractive, she loves his son Pat and she seems to adore him. Their courtship is trouble-free and the future looks rosy. Everything changes on their wedding night.

Andy's complete confusion, mixed with horror and sheer terror is expertly portrayed by this very accomplished author. The reality of Andy's situation is clearly set out; he feels trapped, he doesn't know where to turn. He's a big bloke and knows that if he speaks out about Anna's violence he will be either laughed at or scorned. Who will believe him? What will happen to the children?

A Suitable Lie is a shocking, controversial and quite explosive story. It can be unsettling, is often uncomfortable but is is utterly compelling. Despite the dark themes, the author injects shots of humour within the story and has created some incredible relationships for the characters. Andy's brother Jim and his work colleague Sheila are wonderfully created and provide a glimpse of light relief amongst the otherwise quite overwhelming intensity of the story.

I'm only sorry that I didn't read A Suitable Lie before now, but I'm so pleased that I finally got around to it. It is a wrenching and deeply moving story. Michael J Malone is a talented author and I'm looking forward to reading more from him.

Michael Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns' country, just a stone's throw from the great man's cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult, maybe.

He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Don't ask.

BLOOD TEARS, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge:Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers and when it was published he added a "J" to his name to differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake.

Find out more at
He can be found on twitter - @michaelJmalone1

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