EXCERPT: ‘Your work is compromised because it’s commercial. You gave up any integrity your writing might have had when you decided to write for this market. It’s so disappointing. And don’t even get me started on Detective Sergeant Eliza Grey. She’s a cliche if I ever met one.’
‘Are you finished?’ I asked.
‘Do you not see it? How can you not see it? Don’t you ever despair that you’ve sold out? Or perhaps you can’t see it. I wonder about that sometimes.’
I stared at him, hoping there was a way those words could just retreat right back into his mouth and down into his stomach where the acid would fry them. I was outraged that he would sit here in this house, that he’d bought with my money, and suggest that writing thrillers was any easier than any other kind of novel, that I was a lesser writer because of it. That I was inferior to him. That Eliza was inferior. That my readers were.
I stood and picked up my plate. It gave me sweet pleasure to hurl it at the wall. Dan ducked out of the way dramatically as it flew past him, though it would never have hit him, I’m certain it wouldn’t.
My towering outrage flew through the air with the plate, frisbeed alongside it, helped it create a deep dent in the plasterwork before shattering on the floor beside it, creating an unaccountable number of tiny shards like sharpened grains of spilled rice. The steak landed on the kitchen surface with a dull smack and peppercorn sauce dripped down the handmade tiles. I watched, with satisfaction, and thought, if this was in a book, depending on the scene, I might describe those as ‘glutinous rivulets’ and that would be okay with my readers and me.
I hated Dan so very much in that moment.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: To tell you the truth . . . everybody lies.
Lucy Harper’s talent for writing bestselling novels has given her fame, fortune and millions of fans. It’s also given her Dan, her needy, jealous husband whose own writing career has gone precisely nowhere.
Now Dan has vanished. But this isn’t the first time that someone has disappeared from Lucy’s life. Three decades ago, her little brother Teddy also went missing and was never found. Lucy, the only witness, helplessly spun fantasy after fantasy about Teddy’s disappearance, to the detectives’ fury and her parents’ despair. That was the start of her ability to tell a story—a talent she has profited from greatly.
But now Lucy’s a grown woman who can’t hide behind fiction any longer. The world is watching, and her whole life is under intense scrutiny. A life full of stories, some more believable than others. Could she have hurt Teddy? Did she kill Dan? Finally, now, Lucy Harper’s going to tell the truth.
Cross her heart.
And hope to die.
MY THOUGHTS: This is my first encounter with Gilly Macmillan, and it won’t be my last! I read this over two nights – it would have been one had my three year old grandson not kept me occupied all day – my mind spinning, wondering, is this woman mad? Did she kill her little brother? Did she kill her husband? Are we ever going to know the truth? I didn’t know if I could trust what she was telling me, or if she lived in the fantasy world where she creates her books.
The inability to trust plays a huge role in this book. People Lucy thought she could trust, turn on her. Even Eliza seems to be playing games with her. And those neighbours…they all seem to have their own agendas. ‘Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not watching you.’ Sometimes it seems like everyone is watching Lucy. And just who is #MrElizaGrey?
Gilly Macmillan can certainly create atmosphere. To Tell You the Truth is an excellent piece of writing. The ending is unexpected and well done, the chapters short and taut.
We humans like to look at the dark side of things, don’t we? At the most twisted things. We like that feeling of shock and horror. It makes addicts of us.
THE AUTHOR: She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and also lived in Northern California. She studied History of Art at Bristol University and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.
Gilly lives in Bristol, UK with her family and writes full time.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House, UK, Cornerstone, for providing a digital ARC of To Tell You the Truth by Gilly Macmillan for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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