Thursday, 12 March 2015

Monday's Lie

Author: Jamie Mason
Genre: Suspense
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 304
Publisher: Gallery Books
First Published: February 3, 2015
First Lines: "It's funny what you remember about terrible things."

Book Description from GoodReads:  From the acclaimed author of the “ripping good” (The New York Times) debut novel Three Graves Full comes a new thriller about a woman who digs into her unconventional past to confirm what she suspects: her husband isn't what she thought he was.

Dee Aldrich rebelled against her off-center upbringing when she married the most conventional man she could imagine: Patrick, her college sweetheart. But now, years later, her marriage is falling apart and she’s starting to believe that her husband has his eye on a new life... a life without her, one way or another.

Haunted by memories of her late mother Annette, a former covert operations asset, Dee reaches back into her childhood to resurrect her mother’s lessons and the “spy games” they played together, in which Dee learned memory tricks and, most importantly, how and when to lie. But just as she begins determining the course of the future, she makes a discovery that will change her life: her mother left her a lot of money and her own husband seems to know more about it than Dee does. Now, before it’s too late, she must investigate her suspicions and untangle conspiracy from coincidence, using her mother’s advice to steer her through the blind spots. The trick, in the end, will be in deciding if a “normal life” is really what she wants at all.

With pulse-pounding prose and atmospheric settings, Monday’s Lie is a thriller that delivers more of the “Hitchcockian menace” (Peter Straub) that made Three Graves Full a critical hit. For fans of the Coen brothers or Gillian Flynn, this is a book you won’t want to miss.

Disclaimer:  My sincere thanks to Gallery Books and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Review:   I eagerly requested to review this book because, let's face it, the premise is awesome - a mom covertly teaching her kids to read people and situations and teaching them survival skills using fun games so that the kids didn't realize what they were learning to do.  Years later the daughter uses these skills to find out more about her suspicions involving her husband.  Cool idea, right?

Unfortunately, instead of the 'pulse-pounding and atmospheric settings' that is claimed in the write up on this book it felt more like a book about family dynamics and relationships written in a very muddled way.  The story was slow to take off and no real energy or suspense was felt until right at the end.  And even when it did pick up it petered off again finishing with a lackluster ending. In fact, I have to admit that I struggled to finish this book over a couple of weeks of picking it up and putting it down.

I think the problem stems with the book feeling very wordy yet there's not a lot of movement in the plot.  I never really felt like I knew enough about the dynamics of Patrick and Dee's marriage except for the issue between Patrick and Dee (something Dee did that Patrick cannot let go) that is rehashed over and over by Patrick.  It became frustrating to read and felt more like plot filler.  

Also, the back and forth storytelling from Annette's past (Dee's mother) and Dee's current situation also hindered the pace of the plot.  And even with this peek into Annette's past the reader still doesn't get a good look into what exactly she did.  I think that view would have given the reader a better understanding of Dee's life growing up in a household with a mom who has an unusual and dangerous job.

In the end I wasn't impressed with this book. I was expecting it to be a riveting read but it fell flat for me.  The premise was strong and intriguing but the execution left me wanting a lot more out of this book.     

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

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