Blog Tour Review: The Lies We Tell – Niki Mackay

The Lies We Tell by Niki Mackay

About The Book

Miriam Jackson is a famous radio presenter. Married to a successful film director, she has created the perfect life for herself.

Then her daughter goes missing.

Miriam is desperate to find her before her husband finds out and her perfect life crumbles around her. So she calls the only person who can help: Private Investigator Madison Attallee, who has just solved the biggest case of her career.

Can Madison find Miriam’s daughter? And will Miriam share the truth about her past?

Really liked the private investigator.

My Review

On the surface this is a book about a 16 year old going missing, the investigation into her disappearance and the effects on those close to her. However, dig deeper and it is a complex read which examines dark subject matter in a sensitive way.

Miriam, a radio presenter, is married to Nick an in-demand film director. They have a 16 year old daughter Tabitha who has been pushing the boundaries and subsequently her relationship with Miriam is suffering from teenage angst and drama. Nick is in LA working on a movie and Miriam has recently become reacquainted with her first love, and whilst Tabitha is at a sleepover Miriam agrees to meet her ex. Returning home the next morning she awaits Tabitha coming home, but she doesn’t arrive, can’t be contacted on her mobile and her friends says she left hours ago. So where is she?

This is the second book in a series (which I didn’t realise) but can be read as a standalone. It reintroduced private investigator Madison, who I loved incidentally, a former Detective who left the force in murky circumstances. Told in multi-person narrative from both Madison and Miriam we read about Miriam’s worry and fear and Madison’s hard work at finding Tabitha. Interspersed with this we have flashbacks to the 1990s to a young woman named Ruby who dies in her brother’s arms (this is the first chapter in the book so isn’t a spoiler at all). The multiple viewpoints and flashback are written beautifully and deftly handled, they keep the plot moving and make this a real page turner of a book.

The contrast between Madison and Miriam is stark, both are mothers, both are doing their best and both are flawed and make mistakes, but they are fully rounded and believable. Miriam makes some silly decisions early on which I have to admit that I groaned at, but then, this book turned on its head. There is a very clever and inventive plot at play here, which lulls you in with a slow build up before the real action begins.

What begins as a missing person’s enquiry suddenly becomes something much bigger – it is a real spider’s web of crime. Some readers may find some of the issues addressed in this book difficult to read and I was surprised by the turn the book took. I applaud Niki Mackay for her sensitive handling of a difficult subject and for shining a light on some of society’s darkest crimes. It is so pacy and very readable with some genuinely worrying and shocking moments.

I have to admit to doing a complete 180 on this book as I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy it at the beginning and ended up not being able to put it down. It is chock full of great characters and I’m keen to read the first book in the series I, Witness as some of the backstories alluded to in The Lies We Tell really intrigued me. This is a great crime novel with some brilliant themes; women and their roles, motherhood, love and the darkest of crimes. Miriam and in particular Madison are strong female protagonists who more than carry this intriguing and clever book.

About The Author

Niki Mackay

Niki Mackay

Niki Mackay studied Performing Arts at the BRIT School, and it turned out she wasn’t very good at acting but quite liked writing scripts. She holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Drama, and won a full scholarship for her MA in Journalism. The Lies We Tell is Niki’s second novel.

Where You Can Buy It

My thanks to Netgalley, Orion and Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for a copy of the book and an invitation to join the Blog Tour.

The Lies We Tell by Niki Mackay was published on the 27th June in both paperback and ebook.

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