Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: Monday's Lie

Summary: 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. -- Gallery Books

I can't believe it's already been two years since I reviewed THREE GRAVES FULL by Jamie Mason -- you can read my review here. This book was very unique; and while I didn't exactly love it, I was impressed with the author's storytelling abilities and her refreshing approach to a mystery. I guess you could say that I was intrigued enough with THREE GRAVES FULL because I didn't hesitate to read Ms. Mason's latest novel MONDAY'S LIE.

MONDAY'S LIE tells the story of Dee Aldrich, a woman who has done everything possible to leave her unconventional upbringing behind. Dee married Patrick, her stable college sweetheart, partly to escape her early life. Dee grew up the daughter of a covert operations specialist, and she and her brother were constantly playing "spy games" with their mother -- it was her way to teaching them memory tricks and how to lie. Little did Dee know that these lessons would become very valuable to her later in life.

When Dee's mother dies, Dee is somewhat surprised to discover that her mother left her quite a bit of money. What's even more surprising is how her husband reacts to this news. Dee begins to suspect her husband's motives might not be honorable, and she uses those skills her mother taught her as a child to separate fact from fiction... and ultimately even save her life!

I'm not going to lie. MONDAY'S LIE was a very unique book (not unlike THREE GRAVES FULL) and I found it highly readable. I don't know that I'd go so far as to say I loved it, but it was definitely a page turner for me. I honestly had some idea of where I thought it was going, but suffice it to say, I was confused at times and even surprised by some of the events... but not enough that I would say the ending was shocking!

One thing I found intriguing about this novel was the espionage aspects of the story. I never considered myself a fan of "spy stories," but something about this book made me take interest in Dee's mother career. Despite having passed away, she was a pretty big player in the story -- probably because of the many ways she helped to form Dee's life. It was interesting to read Dee's flashbacks to her childhood and see how her mother began molding her children into "mini spies." I appreciated seeing how the memory games and other tricks she taught her became useful to Dee when she started doubting her husband.

Another really fun part of this story were just how many secrets there were. And boy were there a lot of them... from Patrick, to Dee's mother, to the other spies in the story, to Dee's brother. This story was all about secrets! Many of the secrets were resolved by the end of the novel, but I was still kept wondering about Dee's mother's background and even some things about Dee and her brother. Part of me wanted more answers, but a big part of me liked just how much mystery surrounded these characters.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to the author. She definitely wrote a thriller that isn't like all the other thrillers out there. There was some quality character development and I felt like the relationships were portrayed in a genuine way. The novel was very well written and actually explored parent/child issues, marriage (and the eventual decline of one), as well as grief and loss. Of course, there was also some pretty cool suspense scenes and other things that made it a quality thriller too!

Overall, I enjoyed MONDAY'S LIE and wouldn't hesitate to read another of Ms. Mason's novels!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read. Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


bermudaonion said...

It sounds like I need to pick this up!

Anita LeBeau said...

I have a copy of this and I'm more excited,to,read it now.