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A Suitable Lie

Published Date: 10th February 2016

Available in

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EBook
9781910633502
£5.99
30th July 2016
Paperback
9781910633496
£8.99
15th September 2016
Audiobook
B01M7SU2QS
£18.99
22nd November 2016

Description

Some secrets should never be kept…

Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match … and she loves his son like he is her own.  When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it. A dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.

A brave, deeply moving, page-turning psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, exploring the lengths people will go to hide their deepest secrets, even if it kills them…

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‘Hard-hitting noir that is also emotionally intelligent and engaging’ Caro Ramsay

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Strong female characters, honest, pithy dialogue and ever-present empathy for the victims make this a deeply satisfying read’ Sunday Times

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A deeply personal thriller that will keep the reader turning those pages, with twists and turns designed to keep the heart pumping’ Russel D. McLean

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‘The plot is layered and intriguing, my attention never once wandered; it scared the heck out of me in places and kept me reading into the early hours. Overall it was an intense, emotive and beautifully honed piece of “gritty crime” fiction’ Liz Loves Books

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‘Malone’s writing style is first rate and his ability to transport the reader into the world he has created is beyond compare. If you like books full of characters that are so full of life you feel as if you know them, then Malone’s work is for you’ EuroCrime

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‘A stark, gripping storyline’ Scots

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‘Bristling with unease, this is domestic noir at its very darkest, twisting the marriage thriller into a new and troubling shape. It’s a winner … no question’ Eva Dolan

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‘A moving and compelling account of a form of violence that remains cloaked in shame and ribald imagery in society. Malone perfectly balances storytelling with a brutal commentary on a dysfunctional relationship’ Sarah Ward

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‘A dark and unnerving psychological thriller that draws you deep into the lives of the characters and refuses to let go. This is a brilliantly written book; I could not put it down’ Caroline Mitchell

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‘A chilling tale of the unexpected that journeys right into the dark heart of domesticity’ Marnie Riches

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‘Michael J. Malone is one of my favourite writers and his new novel does not disappoint. While on the surface this is a departure in genre for Malone, his incredible skill with language and prose remains, and his talent for characterisation really comes to the fore, creating a story that will I won’t forget in a hurry. Malone is a massive talent … get on board now so you can brag you were reading his books long before the rest of the world’ Luca Veste

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‘A tightly wound page-turner with real emotional punch’ Rod Reynolds

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‘An unsettling and upsetting story that kept me enthralled, horrified and quite often, in tears. Dark, disturbing and peppered with his trademark humour, A Suitable Lie is a fantastic read, and, as a writer, Malone just gets better and better’ S.J.I. Holliday

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‘A disturbing and realistic portrayal of domestic noir with a twist. The humour and emotion laced within the darkness was just the right mix for a shocking yet compelling read’ Mel Sherratt

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‘This searing depiction of an abusive marriage with the conventional roles reversed nonetheless manages to radiate warmth and integrity – and humour –in even the darkest situations. Malone’s effortless writing style confirms him as a sharp new voice in crime fiction’ Anya Lipska

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A Suitable Lie is stunning, heartbreaking, passionate and tense. A book that packs a powerful punch – in more ways than one – and left me reeling and totally drained’ Off-the-Shelf Books

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‘Really powerful. Seriously, I loved this book. A terrific read, I read it in one sitting.’ Martina Cole

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‘Michael’s novel is vivid, visceral and compulsive.’ Ian Rankin
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‘The slow-drip undermining of Andy’s authority and sense of self feels very real and the psychological manipulation is painful to read about, so well has the author put the reader inside the mind of his main character. And Malone shows himself to be an expert plotter as well. A straightforward delineation of domestic abuse would have been engaging enough, but Malone throws in some twists and turns. Crucially these feel properly embedded in the story, rather than thrown together to obfuscate or confuse. It’s a tough high-wire act, balancing believability with surprise, but the author pulls it off with aplomb. Excellent stuff.’ Doug Johnstone, The Big Issue
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‘Malone tackles the taboo subject of female violence against men with insight and compassion (for Anna is no one-dimensional witch), while creating all the hallmarks of a fine, page-turning psychological thriller.’ Daily Mail
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‘Wow! What an emotionally powerful read. It’s by far the best fictional account of domestic abuse I’ve read and because of that, very difficult, even painful, to read at times. I found myself longing for Andy, the main character, to be happy again after the tragic death of his first wife. The way the relationship begins with Anna is so ‘normal’, so believable, that, even though I knew it wouldn’t end well (the blurb suggests as much – and it IS a psychological thriller after all), I was lulled into a false sense of security. I felt his happiness, and that made it even harder to read when things started going wrong.  Dark, disturbing, tragic and frightening, there are nevertheless bright moments, as there would be in real life.’

K.E. Cole

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‘A mystery involving some disturbing account anomalies at Andy’s bank is appropriately overshadowed by Malone’s painful depiction of a man in turmoil.’ Publishers Weekly

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Highly Recommended: A Suitable Lie is an intense, nerve wrecking read. Thomas Enger 

Author

Michael J. Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge: Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; and Beyond the Rage. His poetry includes: In The Raw, Running Threads and Lip Synch. Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website www.crimesquad.com. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.

Online Reviews

‘This is a beautifully written book that takes a difficult subject and makes it so very real. I have just finished reading this novel and my overwhelming feeling is of raw, almost visceral, emotion. With strong and utterly believable characters, Malone drives a compelling narrative with a plot that will twist your stomach and have you on the edge of your seat. Seriously recommended.’ Live and Deadly

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‘Unsettling, thought-provoking, and absolutely riveting. Michael J. Malone steps into an uncomfortable and distressing subject and makes it relatable, accessible, and real. I felt I could reach out and touch the characters, as though they could be someone I knew, someone I cared about. Encouraging supposition to flip on its head and allowing suspicion to creep in and linger, ‘A Suitable Lie’ is a challenging and clever read.’ Love Reading

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‘A truly gripping and highly disturbing and uncomfortable book. Without giving away the storyline or spoil the book A Suitable Lie is a very tense and thought provoking psychological thriller which kept me gripped throughout.’ Goodreads

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Read Michael talk about his latest book A Suitable Lie on the Pulp Pusher blog

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‘”A Suitable Lie” by Michael J Malone is not an enjoyable book. But it is a compelling one: a book that draws you in and keeps you engaged as you witness events that are at times challenging and unpleasant. And as the pages turn you find yourself gripped by the desire to know how an increasingly impossible situation can be resolved. It’s a sign of involvement when you find yourself urging Andy to address the issues confronting him, hoping against hope – and mounting evidence to the contrary – that he can somehow claw his way out of the increasingly deep hole in which he finds himself.’ Undiscovered Scotland

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‘A Suitable Lie is beautifully written and pieced together by Malone. This novel is gripping from the first page to the last, with moments of discomfort and extreme violence, but every element necessary to grasp the desperate situation that Andy is in … Malone has a superb talent for building up the narrative so subtly and carefully that it is only when you reach the end the reader realises  that they have read a book which has completely blown their mind.’ Segnalibro

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‘Have you ever read a book that made you question your beliefs? Made you question your understanding of a topic that remains in the shadows? Pulled at your emotions until you felt stripped bare and exposed? … That is THIS book!! Michael J. Malone has taken a tough and often hidden issue and tore it wide open….but not how you may think! Set in Ayr, Mr Malone weaves the threads of trust, loss, anger, control, jealous, resentment, past trauma and questioning the norm throughout the pages of this story.’ Crime Book Junkie

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‘I got a sense of Andy and his life, spiralling out of his control, and the decimation of this jovial, likeable character was abundantly painful. Always I was left with the question of just how this nightmare was going to be resolved, because certainly it never promised a happy ending. This novel once again shows the strength of Orenda Books; their ability to see the glimmer of brilliance in each of their writers. A Suitable Lie is undoubtedly absorbing and will get under your skin from the very first blow. It is stunning.’ Woman Reads Books

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‘A Suitable Lie is stunning, heartbreaking, passionate and tense. A book that packs a powerful punch – in more ways than one – and left me reeling and totally drained. This is a compelling story from start to finish and certainly yet another book I’ll be recommending widely. There are a few twists, turns and surprises. But most of all, A Suitable Lie is a book that will leave you on the edge of your seat and take you on an emotional journey, gripped with worry, anger, tension and relief.’ Off The Shelf Books

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‘If you like psychological thrillers, then this is the book for you. It is dark, powerful and highly emotive. An excellent cast of characters, with the wilds of Scotland framing the scenes, A Suitable Lie is a superb and moving account of one mans survival in a situation that nobody should have to experience. Highly recommended’

Bibliophile Book Club

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‘It is difficult to accept that domestic abuse against a man was not taken seriously. Even though the book is set a few years ago I found myself questioning whether attitudes have changed. It’s a fascinating book to read, chilling, difficult to put down and at times difficult to read.’ Steph’s Book Blog

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‘A twisted marriage mixed with a noir crime and a white collar case; that’s what Michael J. Malone has created in this amazing book. Interesting, gripping and so real that you will not be able to put it down. Want to go out for a date?’ Blog Loving

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‘A Suitable Lie is one of the best books I have read – ever. I loved the author’s brave storytelling, and the credible and unsettling story of an abusive relationship is deftly combined with the wow factor that had me completely wrapped up in a twisted, addictive story of how one action can cause a life to spiral out of control, with severe consequences.’ Reviewed the Book

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‘The strength of this book is the realism, as the relationship becomes twisted and unhealthy. Andy is a man who is gradually torn apart emotionally and spiritually, by the woman he loves. This impacts his entire life and his self esteem. Andy is a man in need of rescuing. He goes from being part of a close-knit family, to being increasingly isolated and alone. His children witness the sad events in the household. We see how Andy struggles to come to terms with what is happening and to leave his marriage. This is a story of survival, in the toughest conditions. A domestic horror story.’ Northern Crime

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‘Michael J Malone has written a novel with a topic that is unfairly and not usually discussed. He has written with emotion, depth and brilliance. Never before have I felt so uncomfortable with reading such a plausible and compelling read. It leaves the reader feeling painfully sensitive to the characters and their plight. This is one seriously heart-stopping tale, and one that I will remember for a long time. Delving into abuse in a relationship is never going to be easy, but Malone’s perfectly written prose is both profound and insightful. Intense and skillfully plotted A Suitable Lie has to be a MUST read for 2016.’ Postcard Reviews

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‘The author tackles this difficult subject in a sympathetic way. The narrative has an innocent quality about it, almost as if we’re about to read a cozy chic lit book about happy family life which makes the terrible turn of events all the more sinister and nerve-wracking. I won’t include any spoilers because the surprise and shock element are all crucial parts of the book. I couldn’t put this down, was frantically page turning and I feel thoroughly drained now after reading this!’ Mrs Bloggs Books

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‘This novel just took me on a rollercoaster of emotions, I spent much of my time screaming at Andy to take some action but actually sometimes doing nothing is just as harrowing as doing something. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book after turning the last page – it was so damn good and one I will remember. This is a novel full of twists, tension and gut-wrenching emotion. It is one I would recommend to all crime fans!!’

Chillers, Killers and Thrillers

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‘This was a really emotional read on so many levels. The subject matter of domestic abuse is never easy to read about but this was particularly uncomfortable for me on many levels. There are scenes of violence as you might expect but not in the way you think and certainly they’re not used for gratuitous reasons which is what makes them even more disturbing.’ The Book Trail

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A Guest Post by Michael as part of his Blog Tour for A Suitable Lie. From First Page to Last

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‘It is all very uncomfortable stuff, but Malone’s poetic prose hypnotises and horrifies in equal measure, magnetising my hands to this book. It has the feel of watching a car crash through the fingers of your hand. You don’t want to watch, but can’t help yourself observing. The same could be said of ‘A Suitable Lie’. This book insidiously curls around you like a boa-constrictor – and it won’t release you until you have read the final page. Thought-provoking, educational and if you don’t feel anything when you lay down this book, then you must have a heart of stone. Malone will become stellar with this book.’ Michael Malone is Crime Squad’s Author of the Month

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‘A Suitable Lie left me thinking about it long after I had finished reading the last page – this isn’t for the fainthearted as there are some graphic violent scenes but these are not for gratification and are used with care and eloquence, bringing to life the horrendous experience of domestic abuse.’ Have Books, Will Read

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A Suitable Lie, by Michael J. Malone, is a psychological thriller exploring the complex issue of domestic abuse. In this tale it is the husband who is being abused. His reasons for staying within the marriage are compellingly presented … It can be tricky to prove exactly what goes on in the privacy of a home. Fiction is an effective way to get people empathising with such complexities. This book is also a gripping read.’ Never Imitate

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‘This is not a book to be taken on lightly, it will probably make you think and reconsider how you view the world, but it is definitely a book that should be read.  I hope that, because this is not a debut novel, it gets a lot of people reading and talking about such an important subject.  Individual actions can change the world and hopefully this book will be one of them.’ Book Lover Worm Blog

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Read Michael’s guest post as part of his blog tour The Quiet Knitter

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‘A Suitable Lie is a gripping, violent and surprising book, one of the finest within the domestic genre and extremely compelling. You will feel like you’re part of their lives and you won’t be able to stop thinking about it.’

The Misstery

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‘It kills me that I can’t say more but I honestly don’t want to spoil it for you. You simply must read A Suitable Lie. I’ve come to the conclusion that Malone is a game-changer and this novel has set off a new wave of psychological thrillers.’ This Crime Book

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‘This was such a striking novel that hit me right where it hurt. Malone’s style is divine, drawing you in and holding you tightly within its grasp. I was hooked from page one and couldn’t wait to see how this story would end. It was addictive storytelling, with a lesson right at its heart. Don’t judge. Don’t assume. Don’t think you know the truth.’ This is Becca’s Books

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A Suitable Lie is on the Love Reading Bestseller list!

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‘Michael J Malone has written a really brilliant, dark psychological novel which I found completely compelling and convincing. Despite the dark places Andy found himself in, I hope that anyone in a similar situation reading this book would find the courage to try to speak to someone before things get any worse, as they did for Andy. A disturbing yet compassionate book.’ Portobello Book Blog

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‘This wasn’t just a good read, it was exceptional. I should also mention that hidden within this phenomenal storyline there is some truly beautiful writing. I’m struggling to think of another book that stirred my feelings quite like this. I had to constantly remind myself that it was only a story because I was so consumed with emotion. It was brutal and compelling. It was outstanding. This is a book that will stay with me for a very long time and one you certainly won’t want to miss.’ Ampersand Book Reviews

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‘A Suitable Lie is an intense read which is highlighting a topic which is a far bigger issue than most realise. It is a story that will stick with you for a long time to come and it is important that it does. Not to be missed.’

Grab This Book

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‘A Suitable Lie was an enjoyable read which provided a chilling glimpse into a dysfunctional relationship. It is a dark story of love and marriage, pain and loss, and how we find the strength to move on.’ The Owl on the Bookshelf

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‘This is not a fast story, it progresses at a gentle pace and the stories are delicately laid out one by one, before they are perfectly interwoven and the pace picks up, bringing it all crashing down around you in a wave of emotionally charged, breath-taking narrative which is beautifully written. This is deeply disturbing, dark, domestic noir at it’s absolute best and is an absolute must read.’ Emma The Little Book Worm

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‘Michael Malone has a clear and unarguable talent when it comes to prose and story and A Suitable Lie is an engaging read  that will remain with you long after the final page has been turned – it went very quickly from being a “where’s this going?” to costing me sleep as I simply had to find out.’ Mumbling About

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Michael does a piece for Shots Mag as part of his Blog Tour

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Michael does a guest post as part of his Blog Tour Raven Crime Reads

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Michael does a guest post as part of his Blog Tour Crime Thriller Girl
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‘The author has written a book that is both profound and insightful and brings a very little talked about subject into the open. I don’t feel comfortable saying I enjoyed this book considering the subject matter, what I will say is it’s beautifully written, heartbreaking and very realistic. Michael J Malone has written a book that will continue to haunt me in the weeks to come. I won’t be giving A Suitable Lie 5 stars, but I will be giving it the very prestigious GOLD STAR AWARD, I give this award to a book I feel covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that drew me in from the first page and kept me in its grip until I reached the very last page.’ The Book Review Café

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‘At times when reading, I found myself clutching at my heart or head, thinking ‘No!’  I wanted to jump into the page to stop or change what was happening I got so engrossed. This book deserves the same kind of huge recognition as the likes of The Girl on the Train and I hope and expect to see it on a best-sellers list.  I can also easily envisage it as a very good three part drama or even film, it kept playing out that way in my head. With this book shooting straight into my Top 5 of the year so far I can do nothing less that award it the highest rating and enthuse to everyone who loves a brilliant, dark, psychological thriller to get a copy of this book immediately.’ The Very Pink Notebook

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Michael does an interview with Trip Fiction as part of his blog tour

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‘Michael has written an evocative, dark and emotional novel that also works as a compelling psychological thriller. I really liked hearing the man’s perspective in this issue. It is unflinching at times in it’s descriptions of the abuse and I sat reading with my jaw wide open. Michael took me into a realm I hadn’t before even begun to imagine. Well written, with great pace and a shocking yet moving story, A Suitable Lie is a fantastic book that needs to be added to your TBR list. Although a work of fiction, I would hope that this book goes somewhere to highlight the issues in this unfortunately unseen area of domestic abuse.’ Bloomin Brilliant Books

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‘Malone’s achievement in this book is to show how that unexceptional, probably typical masculine characters lends itself not to being abusive (attacking a woman is a line Andy vows never to cross: he’s not so restrained with men, at least not after drinking) but to being made a victim. An excellent book, if sometimes difficult to read: strongly recommended.’ Blue Book Balloon

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A Suitable Lie will wrench your heart, challenge your perceptions, turn you upside down, inside out and spit you out a mangled wreck at the other side. I defy any reader not to be sucked into this when they pick it up. This book is definitely going to be in my #TopReads of 2016 and by the looks of things it is picking up an incredible following – if you are going to read just one book this year – then I’d say make it this one!’ Chapter in my Life

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‘There were times I felt uneasy with the issues that A Suitable Lie raises. But this is a gripping novel so superbly written that it really is difficult to leave. This is a psychological thriller that deals with an extremely difficult storyline but you will love the story of that I am sure. It has become one of my top four books of 2016 instantly. It is a not to be missed novel. I am not going to give away any clues as to the outcome of this story that would be both wrong and disrespectful but I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.’ The Last Word Book Review

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‘I didn’t find A Suitable Lie an easy novel – on the contrary. It presents a sad tale of unhappiness, abuse and distrust, not the recipe for a light read. Andy knows a woman who is in a similar situation to him. It’s far easier to offer advice than to give it. The darkness continues to descend over his life. Nevertheless, even though I sometimes found this a difficult novel to return to, and this is a subject that, rightly or wrongly, I prefer to keep at a distance, A Suitable Lie presents an original contribution to the genre.’ For Winters Night

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A Suitable Lie is an extremely well written novel that will stay with me for a long time to come. Andy’s story will ignite a fire inside readers and have them feeling emotions that they never knew they could feel from a book. Without a doubt this is one of the best novels I have read, not just this year, but in my life time so far. Powerful and moving, this is THE must read of 2016!’ By The Letter Book Reviews

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‘At one point I thought I would have to stop reading as the pain and upset was so viscerally drawn but something kept me reading and I am glad I did as the book completely surprised me constantly.  Don’t pick this book up expecting a comfortable read but if you want a completely new perspective on the issue of domestic violence then this tense, thrilling and intense book is marvellous.’ Shaz’s Book Blog

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Michael does an interview with Lucy V Hay

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‘I wanted to put it down. Then I had to pick it up again. The writing is intense, clever, thought provoking, indelible. A Suitable Lie is a harsh yet compelling reality check, a story that will grip you, throw you under a bus, pick you up again then chuck you off a cliff. A slow burner with a dark soul, this is a Grimm fairytale there is no Disney here. But it speaks truth. No matter how much you wish it didnt. Happily Ever After. Nope not so much. A truly incredible novel. I doubt I’ll ever forget it. Mr Malone needs to be writing more like this. I like the books that break me. Highly Recommended’ Liz Loves Books

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‘The main characters are very well drawn but so too are the supporting cast. There’s an authenticity to the relationships Andy has with his friends and family, especially his mother. All in all this is a thrilling but also satisfying read. Disturbing rather than terrifying. One sitting is a real possibility so clear the diary.’

Put It In Writing

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A Suitable Lie is a book that will stay with its reader for a long time after finishing it. Be prepared to run through a full range of emotions, and see which one stays with you at the end. Mine was sadness that I had finished reading such a powerful book but tinged with hope that it may have, somewhere or somehow, changed one person’s life.’

My Chestnut Tree Reading

 

‘A Suitable Lie is relentlessly shocking and intensely suffocating at times. Despite the sensitive subject matter and acutely distressing scenes it’s staggeringly well written and impossible to walk away from.’ Little Bookness Lane

 

Michael does a piece on domestic abuse for The Telegraph.

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Michael does a ‘turning tables’ piece with Damp Pebbles

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‘I was blown away by Malone’s ability to keep me on the edge of my seat, nibbling at my beautifully painted nails like a neurotic addict waiting for the guillotine to fall. Abuse takes many forms and leaves scars of all sizes. I think what made the biggest difference here is that we get to see a man dealing with it. As I said, my review was late to come because A Suitable Lie has made it to my top 10 reads of the year and I feel I can never do justice to my favorite stories. If you are looking for a story that will shake you and stay with you for a long time, characters that will haunt you and pages that will fly so fast as you’ll turn them to find answers, don’t look any further. Michael J. Malone’s book is a brilliant piece of work.’ Chocolate N Waffles Blog

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‘I’m really grateful there are people willing to talk about things like this, because they matter and need to be brought to the forefront of society. Highly, HIGHLY recommended! This book is the epitome of tension and suspense; I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning just so that I could finish it all in one sitting. Extremely well written and looking forward to more from the author.’ The Suspense is Thrilling Me

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Michael does an interview on BBC Radio

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‘Author Michael J Malone is an award-winning poet, but there’s scant romanticism in a brave novel that doesn’t pull back in its haunting descriptions of the wrong done by one human to another. Settings, plot lines and characters are pin-sharp in their realism – it’s almost like watching a fly-on-the-wall documentary. This is possibly one of the most disturbing examples of domestic noir I’ve read and there were times when I had to put it down, walk away and wait for my nerves to settle and stomach to cease its roiling. There’s an unfathomable darkness here that no light will ever permeate.’ Crime Fiction Lover

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‘A Suitable Lie is exquisitely crafted and tightly plotted. Watching a dysfunctional relationship was much like watching a car accident in that I couldn’t look away even if it was painful to watch. This book is truly special and unforgettable, I was moved to tears more than once but there were also moments of joy and laughter. I can’t recommend it more highly and I only hope that my review conveyed how highly I regard both this novel and the author.’ Novel Gossip

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Michael does a Q & A with The Irish Times

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A Suitable Lie was selected as a top 10 of 2016. The Quiet Knitter

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‘‘A Suitable Lie is a beautifully written, often harrowing tale. From the very first page I was engaged and invested in Andy. He was such a personable character, so in love with his son, that you couldn’t help but like him and feel for him. When he met Anna, I was happy for him, but that meant meeting the ‘real’ Anna was all the more shocking. And this is where Michael J. Malone has created a true work of art. This is domestic noir flipped on it’s head and it is tragically, shockingly brilliant.’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews 

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A Suitable Lie is a moving poignant story about being human, about our need for love and a lack of it, and the deepest unsettling secrets that must be hidden regardless of cost. This psychological thriller will stay with you for a very long time, and not just because of the excellent storytelling. The masterful use of language brings shocking and disturbing truths. This is very sensitively portrayed, also by bringing a subplot involving Andy’s employee and friend whose actions implicate him in the theft at the bank, and a female colleague Sheila, a survivor of domestic abuse. Michael J Malone has done an incredible job by combining a powerful emotional story and the detached commentary on the nature of secrets and their effects on people’s lives. He also questions what it takes to be a man and how to assert masculinity and its image in a world where certain established patterns govern men’s behaviour.’ Crime Review

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‘Michael Malone has written an emotional, thought provoking and powerful story that may just break your heart. It’s not an easy read but I think it’s a necessary one, if only to highlight that it’s not just women who suffer abuse.  It’s getting to that time when I’m thinking about my Top Books of the year.  There is no doubt that this will be one of them.’ My Reading Corner

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‘I always find these kinds of stories more scary than any serial killer story.  This is something that could happen to anybody.  You think you know somebody but then they turn out to be not at all what they seem and sometimes you have to just live with your choices or try and do the impossible and find a way out. Another bonus with this book was the setting.  I love Scotland and there was a real sense of place here.  I could imagine the bank where Andy worked and the pubs he drank in, the roads he drove on. A Suitable Lie is a tightly plotted look at how easily bliss can turn into hell.  It’s got a very personable style to the writing which draws the reader right into the thick of the action.’ Short Book and Scribes

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Michael takes part in a conversation about writing A Suitable Lie with Greenacre writers

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‘I haven’t read any books by Michael J Malone before despite lots of recommendations in my book club so I decided it was time to pop my Malone cherry! OMG this is a total “knicker gripper sphincter clencher” as we like to say at TBC!. A truly gripping and highly disturbing and uncomfortable book. Without giving away the storyline or spoil the book A Suitable Lie is a very tense and thought provoking psychological thriller which kept me gripped throughout.’ Compulsive Readers 

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A Suitable Lie was selected in Portobello Book Blog’s Top Ten of 2016. Portobello Book Blog

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A Suitable lie was chosen as one of EuroCrime’s top reads of 2016. Euro Crime

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‘A Suitable Lie is tagged as a psychological thriller, and I suppose on the surface, it is. But it is so much more than the sum of its parts. I found the novel extremely difficult to read at times. Dark, disturbing and sickening in parts. On more than one occasion, I had to close my kindle and take a break. It was just too hard to read on, but once I’d recovered, I dived straight back in. The writing was just too good not to.’ Passionate about Books

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‘If you haven’t read it, you are truly missing out.  Staggeringly good, spine tingling and stomach churning, you’ll fall in love and be repulsed in equal measures.  At times you’ll want to put it down and walk away for a breath of fresh air but find it impossible to do so.  Quite possibly the most perfect piece of writing I have ever read!’ Damp Pebbles

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A Suitable Lie was selected as a top ten of 2016. This is Becca’s Books

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A Suitable Lie was selected as one of the best domestic/psychological thrillers of 2016. The Misstery

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A Suitable Lie is on the outstanding book list of 2016. Mrs Bloggs Books

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‘This is brave writing from Michael J Malone. He is a pretty imposing guy himself in the flesh but he writes with a moving, emotional tenderness that befits an award winning poet. Reading A Suitable Lie is a draining experience that takes you to the deepest, darkest depths of the human experience where there can be no happy endings, only release. It is not light entertainment to ripple the surface of frivolousness; it is heart rending, soul building, consciousness raising writing that sits you in front of a black mirror and beckons you deeper.’ Steve Wright Online

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A Suitable Lie was selected as one of the top reads of 2016. My Chestnut Tree Reading

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‘Just like all the women who have been abused for years and years, Andy shows that all is not black and white.  It is not as easy as we would like to think.  Not everyone can escape easily. How far would you have to be pushed before revealing your secret? My guess is a lot, if you are male… A fantastic read, ideal for fans of SJ Watson and Sophie Hannah.’ Bleach House Library

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A Suitable Lie was selected as part of the Bookvent calendar at Jen Med’s Book Reviews.

Jen Med’s Book Review

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‘I can see this being a novel that  I’ll be begging other people to read. It would make a fabulous book group choice as I feel that it could promote really interesting discussions about preconceived gender roles, maleness, abuse and family attitudes to privacy. I was totally engrossed from start to finish and could not go to sleep until I found out how it ended. There’s no higher recommendation really.’

On The Shelf Books

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‘This beat me up so much that there came a time when I broke. It was inevitable. I became numb and I no longer hurt, I still cared but I no longer felt. I was out of it. I felt no joy, no sadness, no anger, no pain. This wasn’t a choice – the writing and the story took me to the brink and then pushed me over the edge. When I landed, I dusted off the seat of my jeans and continued on, somewhat indifferent to what played out but needing to know just the same … I haven’t been this upset since Wuthering Heights.’ My Poor TBR

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‘As the novel comes to a dramatic ending, Andy soon discovers physical violence is not the only kind Anna can mete out. A Suitable Lie will definitely tear at your heartstrings, especially the scenes where Andy’s young son, Pat, tries to make sense of what is happening to his father. It is thought provoking and emotional. However, one thing it will not do is leave you sitting on the fence.’ Sheila Rawlings

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‘This book has recently won an award with the TBC facebook group of which I’m a member and is highly thought of by a lot of people I know within this group. I enjoyed the book and was pleasantly surprised to see the different tone. A solid 4 stars.’ Hawley Reviews

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‘Enjoyable maybe isn’t the word to describe this novel, but it is interesting and insightful. At the end  I could sympathise with the way Andy chooses to explain the events to his two young children, to love and protect them at all costs but I couldn’t fully understand his own feelings. As damaged as Anna was she was also very wrong.’ Wendy Unsworth

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‘Overall, there are many things to like about the way the author chose to tell this story. I think what stood out the most for me was the characterizationand the fact that by getting to know all the characters involved, I felt so many emotions ranging from hopefulness at one point to just plain sadness and infuriation at so many others. I can honestly say I haven’t felt such strong feelings about characters in a book since reading Gone Girl! If you’re in the mood for a psychological thriller that will put you through the emotional wringer, I’d suggest giving this a try.’ Its Book Talk

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‘An eye opening chilling novel a look at domestic violence .In this true page turner the man is being abused something we rarely hear about.This is a well written chilling novel of a man caught in a horrible abusive marriage afraid embarrassed to tell anyone&fearful what will happen to his children if he leaves. Highly recommend.’ Net Gallery

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‘Did you hold your breath? Malone’s riveting characterisation and stupendous plot make the book hard to put down. Another low turning point in Andy’s life is in sight, but is it really? Malone wins the gamble with A Suitable Lie: a highly recommended reading that depicts the wrong kind of love.’

Greenacre Writers

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‘Wow! What an incredible read! This is one of the most heart-breaking stories that I’ve read for many years. Michael J Malone has taken the almost taboo subject of male domestic violence and produced a novel that tears at the soul … A Suitable Lie is a shocking, controversial and quite explosive story. It can be unsettling, is often uncomfortable but is is utterly compelling. Despite the dark themes, the author injects shots of humour within the story and has created some incredible relationships for the characters.’

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