I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lie To Me by J.T. Ellison
Published by MIRA on September 5, 2017
Genres: Adult, Adultery, Contemporary, Law & Crime, Murder, Mystery, Psychological Suspense
Source: TLC Book Tours
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Domestic noir at its best. Readers will devour this stunning page-turner about the disintegration of a marriage as grief, jealousy, betrayal and murder destroy the facade of the perfect literary couple. New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison takes her exceptional writing to a new level with this breakout novel.
They built a life on lies
Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.
Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.
“LIE TO ME twists you up, throws you into nail-biting action and unexpected revelations. Belt yourself in for this roller coaster ride.”–Catherine Coulter, #1 New York Times bestselling author of ENIGMA
“LIE TO ME brilliantly combines a domestic noir thriller with a searing portrait of two writers trapped in a web of lies, betrayals, and murder. Sharply written and masterfully plotted, full of hard truths about the creative life and modern marriage, Ellison has written her finest novel- a breakout page-turner certain to win her a wide audience.” -Jeff Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of BLAME
Ethan and Sutton Montclair are two fiction writers who lead an outwardly idyllic life in Tennessee: million dollar renovated house, both successful in their writing genres, and both attractive, healthy, and seemingly in love. But when Sutton goes missing and Ethan becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance, their perfectly crafted life cracks and frays under the police and media scrutiny. In the months leading up to her disappearance, their infant son has died of SIDS, Ethan has writers block and has revealed that he had a one night stand affair, and Sutton is having her own professional problems with the fallout from an interaction with a bad review by a blogger went way wrong. It’s no surprise that their marriage is crumbling, and those around them have many things to say.
Told in Ethan’s perspective with flashbacks to Sutton’s, you never know who’s accounts of events to believe. Ethan holds things back from the police right away, and the young, idealistic beat cop Holly Graham doesn’t jump to conclusions and accuse him of murder right away like her colleagues. While Ethan knows that his past affairs and womanizing won’t be seen in a good light, he definitely knows that his rocky marriage as of late to Sutton won’t paint a pretty picture of innocence either–especially since he’s more of an alcoholic and control freak when it came to their marriage than he let’s on. Both of them blame the other for the death of their son, and the crack in their marriage widens even further.
Sutton gets her say too, and her side of the story often conflicts with Ethan’s side. She’s held back a lot of her professional accomplishments from Ethan since he’s always had an air of snobbishness towards her romantic fiction writing. Sutton was careful to only say certain things to specific friends, so when they speak with the police, none of them have a accurate picture of who Sutton is or if she might have gone off on her own–but they all think that Ethan might have harmed her.
My favorite character was Holly Graham. Even though this is her first case where she gets to work as a detective, she’s competent, quite capable, and her gut instincts are spot on. She doesn’t let her coworkers tell her how it is, and I really enjoyed her parts of the book. She follows the case through all of the leads–whether they lead her in the right direction or not–and she’s always thinking ahead to find the end goal. You know from the start of the book that there is a dead body in the woods just waiting to be discovered, but the mystery is exactly who is this person, and Holly won’t rest until she gives this nameless person an identity so she can hunt down the killer.
I give Lie To Me a five out of give. With unreliable narrators, you don’t know who’s telling the truth about many things. I really enjoyed trying to figure out what happened to Sutton and whether or not Ethan had something to do with her disappearance. The tension was heightened with the addition of an unknown person’s point of view, and their short chapters certainly ramped up the sense of danger and the sinister side of the story. J.T. Ellison does a fantastic job of letting you get to intimately know each of the main characters–even if they aren’t that likable. Lie To Me was reminiscent of Gone Girl, and I didn’t want to put the book down.
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About J.T. Ellison
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the international thriller series “A Brit in the FBI” with #1 New York Timesbestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the Emmy Award-winning show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville
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