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Monday, October 26, 2020

Creepy Psychological Thriller Another Riveting Read from Macmillan

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Shy, awkward Lucy Harper has always relied on her imaginary friend, Eliza Grey, to comfort her in times of distress.  When her 3-year-old brother disappeared decades ago after sneaking out of the house to follow Lucy on a midnight adventure, Eliza was there to calm her troubled mind.  Instead of fading away as her creator aged, Eliza grew larger than life until Lucy hardly knew where Eliza ended and she began.  When Lucy sold her first mystery novel featuring Eliza as a tough-talking police detective, Eliza became a beloved star.  Four books later, the author is only just beginning to realize how thoroughly Eliza has taken over her life, both professionally and personally.

When Lucy decides to take a break from her pretend friend, penning a new book that does not feature the popular character, it does not go over well—not with her publisher and not with Dan, her unpublished husband who's always been jealous of his wife's success.  When Dan vanishes one night under strange circumstances, the police question Lucy, clearly suspicious.  Lucy's sure—pretty sure—she had nothing to do with his disappearance, but lately, with Eliza taking up all her head space and her memories straying more and more often to her brother, who has never been found, Lucy's not really sure of anything.  Did she hurt her husband?  What really happened when her younger sibling went missing all those years ago?  Lucy's mind has always been a place where fact and fantasy collide.  What is truth and what is not?  What did Lucy do?

Gilly Macmillan is one of my favorite writers of psychological suspense and her newest, To Tell You the Truth, does not disappoint.  Its premise seems a bit far-fetched, but it offers a unique and intriguing setup to a story that's full of didn't-see-that-coming twists.  A creepy, atmospheric vibe runs through the novel, adding another unsettling layer to the narrative.  Lucy is an undeniably odd duck but she still makes for a sympathetic and compelling heroine.  All of these elements in addition to a fast-paced, surprising plot combine to create a riveting, edge-of-your-seat read.  I ripped through this one while sitting at the DMV with my 15-year-old son for three hours and it definitely made the wait more tolerable.  I don't know if To Tell You the Truth is my favorite Macmillan yarn, but it's a thrilling read that I very much enjoyed.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other Macmillan novels as well as those by Mindy Mejia, Megan Miranda, and Lisa Jewell)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a half dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of To Tell You the Truth from the generous folks at HarperCollins via those at Edelweiss+.  Thank you!


  1. I really enjoyed her last release The Nanny, so I'm eager to read this one too!

  2. Any book that helps you survive the DMV is awesome. :) And the plot of this one sounds twisty and fun.

  3. Glad you liked this, I'll put it on my list. I love psych thrillers but haven't had good luck lately: Confessions on the 7:45 and now (no review yet, Goodnight, Beautiful.)

  4. This would be a good DMV book! I agree that the twists were good. I thought it was going in one direction, but I was wrong.

  5. This sounds like a book you'd barely be able to breathe while reading! Adding to my TBR. I've had this author on my TBR for ages but this one especially calls to me.


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