By: Clare Mackintosh
Published Year: 2018
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They're both wrong.
One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: 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 young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…
I have read Mackintosh’s previous two novels and enjoyed them. I liked her second more than her first, so I was looking forward to this one. The cover honestly didn’t do much for me and wouldn’t be one I picked up off of the shelves with no prior knowledge.
What I thought
Anna Johnson lost both of her parents about a year ago. Her dad committed suicide and then 6 months later, her mom committed suicide in the same way. It is the anniversary of her mom’s death when she receives a note on her front door that reads “Suicide? Try again.” Anna, who has been having doubts about her parents’ deaths, sees this as the confirmation she needs to move forward with her suspicions. She goes to the cops with the letter, where retired cop, Murray, who is currentl working at the front desk, takes on the case. Soon after, it seems as though someone is coming after Anna to stop her from finding out the truth.
This story is told in 3 parts, and the first part was my least favorite. The book got off to a bit of a slow start. It was interesting seeing Anna bring her suspicions to the police and making my own theories (was it her neighbor? A mobster? Anna’s baby daddy?), but I knew a plot twist was coming and I just wanted it.
There was a second storyline about Murray and his wife who has a mental illness that causes her to check herself into a facility from time to time. It was an interesting storyline, but at times felt a bit too much considering it wasn’t meant to be the main storyline.
When the plot twist/part 2 came along, I was a lot more interested in what was happening. It felt as though the story was really moving forward and I liked seeing some of the relationships. It also erased an element from the first part that I didn’t like, so that helped.
Then! I got to part 3! I had no idea yet another twist was coming and it was a good one. Part 3 was my favorite part of the book because I really felt like that was when the action started happening. The pace of the book picked up greatly and I enjoyed it so much more.