The Lies We Tell

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

The Lies We Tell by Niki Mackay is a great read, hugely exciting and packed with action. Dark and twisted, it was creepy to the very end. 

Miriam is married to Nick, a gentle, undemanding man and a notable, big cheese film director. She has a great career as a radio presenter as well as her lovely daughter,Tabitha, however her life with Nick lacks that certain something. When her first love unexpectedly reappears in her life she is again charmed by him. Then Tabitha disappears and desperate to find her, Miriam hires P.I. Madison Attallee to find her. But as Madison starts her investigation it soon transpires that this case goes much deeper than a missing teenager…

Very well plotted, this totally gripping book was evil, harrowing but incredibly absorbing and I did not want to put it down until I knew the truth. Miriam was selfish, self-obsessed and difficult to like though this took nothing away from my enjoyment of the story. Madison was far  more personable and even though she had her own set of struggles to cope with, her openness, honesty and determination to succeed were most endearing qualities. 

The Lies We Tell by Niki Mackay was compulsive and compelling from beginning to end and I would recommend it without any hesitation.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Orion Publishing Group via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This book takes the reader on such a roller coaster ride, I feel like stopping for air.  This is the second book by this author, and I can't wait to read some more in future. Recommended!
Was this review helpful?
This book both thrilled and scared me. I was shaking when I finished it 
With every twist and turn, the plot got deeper. I did guess the major twist in the story but it didn’t spoil anything. 

This book is a stand out thriller that will stay with me for a long time
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley and publisher for an early copy of this book.
I understand it is the second in a series and I haven’t read the first of anything else by this author.
The book was gripping from the start and not something I would usually read and I couldn't put it down. 
I won’t go into detail as other people have but I would definitely recommend.
Was this review helpful?
This is brilliant!

Miriam has a wonderful life – she’s a famous radio presenter, is married to a super famous film director, has a beautiful instagrammable daughter and has all the money she could dream of.  The perfect life some might think….but then she has a liaison with someone from her past and everything starts to spiral out of control.

Her teenage daughter goes missing.  The police think it’s just a ‘teenage’ thing, she’s done it before but Miriam has that feeling in her gut…..and it appears there’s more to it than everyone anticipated.

She hires Private Investigator Madison to find her.  And Madison uncovers a world that Miriam didn’t know existing.  A world that she’s been wrapped up in longer than she knew.  But will they find her daughter? And will Miriam’s past truly come back to haunt her?

I was completely gripped with this and couldn’t put it down!  It’s one of those where you think you’re sussing it out (and in part I was right in the beginning) but there is SO much more than you can imagine!  The suspense was brilliant, and there were twists and turns when you didn’t think there could be anymore!

The characters are brilliant.  Miriam is a self-assured confident woman – or so she appears.  We learn that there is much more to her than first appears.  Madison is a fantastic protagonist.  She’s battling her own demons which really helps her to understand some of the characters we meet, and she goes all out to crack the case.  The supporting cast are also brilliant – I absolutely love Peter!

The writing style is clear, easy to read and to follow.  The chapters alternate between characters and its clear throughout which part of the story you’re at.  It’s worth noting that there are some sensitive issues in this – prostitution, rape of underage girls and paedophilia so maybe best to avoid if you may find this upsetting.

However, I really enjoyed this book and now NEED to read Niki’s first book so I can meet Madison from the beginning! The story absolutely can be read as a standalone – I didn’t feel I was missing anything from the first book but because I loved this so much I just HAVE to read it!

Absolutely brilliant book the will keep you on your toes, suck you in and blow you away!
Was this review helpful?
THE LIES WE TELL by Niki Mackay is a dark and twisted tale of abuse and control and it made my skin crawl to the very end. 

Miriam has a wonderful life married to Nick, a gentle, undemanding man who also happens to be a hot-shot film director. She has her career as a radio presenter and her beautiful daughter, Tabitha. But beneath the surface, Miriam knows that her life with Nick lacks something and when her first love unexpectedly appears in her life again, she cannot help but be charmed by him. And then Tabitha disappears and Miriam's life changes beyond recognition. Desperate to find her and not wanting to disappoint Nick yet again, Miriam hires P.I. Madison Attallee to find her baby. But as Madison starts to dig it soon becomes clear that this case goes much deeper than a missing teenager. Can Madison find Tabitha and uncover the truth before it is too late? And will Miriam ever get her daughter back?

I'm not going to lie, this book was much more evil and harrowing than I expected but it gripped me and I was desperate for the vulnerable characters in this book to get justice, and could not put the book down until I knew the truth. Miriam is a strange character in that I didn't always like her and while I always felt sorry for what she was going through with her daughter, there were times when she was so selfish and self-absorbed that I wanted to shout at her. Madison is much more likeable and relatable and even though she has her own struggles to deal with, her honesty and willingness to keep trying are endearing. 

THE LIES WE TELL by Niki Mackay will make you uncomfortable, will make you stop and think, and will horrify you at times and for those reasons alone it is a book that must and should be read everywhere. A compelling and engaging novel from start to finish with moments that truly shocked me.
Was this review helpful?
What a book I have to tell you about today, firstly my thanks to Tracy over at Compulsive Readers for having me on one epic blogtour. What a friggin read this was, I don't even know where to start on how to tell you all about it, so I think a look at the blurb and then I shall just get cracking. (I am also aware that's one hell of a size of a photo but wifi and the laptop are not really my friends tonight so just going to roll with it.
Miriam Jackson is a famous radio presenter. Married to a successful film director, she has created the perfect life for herself. Then her daughter goes missing. Miriam is desperate to find her before her husband finds out and her perfect life crumbles around her. So she calls the only person who can help : private investigator Madison Attallee, who has just solved the biggest case of her career. Can Madison find Miriam's daughter? And will Miriam share the truth about her past? 
Well, now that you have read the blurb I can only imagine how your now intrigued to read it. I don't even know where to start, I want to tell you every single little thing but don't worry I wont because I want you to enjoy it for yourself.
Okay so we are told the story through three characters point of view, which I loved. We learn all about Miriam, her famous film director husband Nick and their teenage daughter Tabitha. As a family they have a celebrity status about them. Nick spends a lot of his time in New York and Miriam is a famous radio host and holds the fort at home while Nick is away. When an ex-flame turns up, Miriam is taken back in time, ex -flame Ben was her teenage boyfriend and she gets caught up in the memories and lets the ball drop at home, while Nick's away her daughter Tabitha goes missing. Tabitha has down this once before and it ended up making the papers. Keen to try to keep her husband out of it this time, Miriam calls the police, DI Peter Branning turns up to find out more. After a chat with Peter, it leads to Miriam being put in touch with private investigator Madison Attallee.
Madison is one hell of a character, a recovering alcoholic who was once on the police force, she is moody, sarcastic and tough. A woman who still battles her demons everyday but has a love for music and cigarettes, she will stop at nothing until she gets the results she wants and with having a teenage daughter of her own Molly, she feels Miriam's angst and will do everything she can to bring Tabitha home no matter what is takes.
Our third point of view takes us back in time to 1994 and we hear from Ruby Williams. It soon becomes clear how Ruby connects with what is currently going on and wow what a journey we end up being taken on.
The Lies We Tell becomes a bit of a harrowing tale of organised Child Abuse, and to give Niki credit she handles it really well, we do not get told the whole nitty gritty with huge amounts of great detail but what we do get is the harrowing tale these girls do go through. Its such a difficult subject to talk about or read about but sadly we do live in a world where it does happen and I totally take my hat off to Niki for broaching the subject.
A book that kept me on tender-hooks and had me racing through the last few chapters with some undisturbed reading into the early hours. Its harrowing at times, gripping, thrilling and you never know what's around the corner. My first Niki Mackay novel and will not be my last, she reeled me in and spat me out and left me in a bit of a book hangover. The ideal read that got me out of a reading slump after barely picking up a book for a few days.
Was this review helpful?
Having really enjoyed hosting Niki Mackay‘s first Madison Attallee novel, I, Witness, I was delighted to be able to join this second tour as well.

The Lies We Tell is another gripping and thrilling mystery, this time focusing on a missing person. I think I enjoyed it even more than I, Witness. I love Madison and enjoyed seeing how her MA Investigations team has settled into its stride and – dare I say it – her personal life is on a more even keel.

The central mystery initially takes a sadly familiar track but is given a shot in the arm by central character Miriam’s particular circumstances, and takes this book to an even more disturbing level.

The story jumps back and forth in time to build a terrifying picture and web of intrigue. The flashbacks are not for the squeamish and the book goes to some extremely dark places. It is compelling throughout, however, the investigation gaining pace and racing towards a dark conclusion and its horrifying twist.

I have thoroughly enjoyed both of Niki Mackay‘s Madison Attallee books so far and I really hope there are more to come. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a British PI story and a dark and gritty mystery thriller.

Huge thanks to Orion for the ARC of The Lies We Tell and to Tracy Fenton for my spot on the blog tour.
Was this review helpful?
Last night I betrayed my husband.

This morning my daughter disappeared.

My husband may have forgiven my first mistake. But he will never forget this.

And so I have to find her.

Before it's too late. For all of us.

Meet Miriam Jackson, she's a famous radio presenter with her own daily talk show. She is married to a very successful film director Nick and she has created the perfect life for herself, up until her daughter goes missing.

Miriam is desperate to fine her before her husband finds out and her perfect life will start  to crumble around her. But her daughter has gone missing before so has she just run away or is there something more sinister going on?? She calls on the only person who can help, in the for, of Private Investigator Madison Attallee, who has just solved the biggest case of her career.

Can Madison find Miriam's daughter before it's too late and more importantly will Miriam share the truth about her past??

Well, where do I start with this...........I didn't just like it, I LOVED it, full of suspense, mystery and fear was palpable on each page I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I finished it in two sittings which is at times unusual for me with life always getting in my way but I couldn't put it down.

The sociopath/kidnapper character was absolutely brilliant, very well written and cleverly constructed. They were everything you'd expect with a sociopath - cold, calculating, manipulating and has no regard for anyone's feelings or who they hurt on their path of destruction. It was a spine-chilling, pulse pounding roller coaster ride of a read and at times, I could feel I was right there with the characters and felt my blood pressure rising on a couple of occasions, especially towards the end.


A really well researched and well written book, I'm really looking forward to reading what Niki writes next (no pressure) but in the meantime I will be reading her previous novels.
Was this review helpful?
The Lies We Tell is book 2 in the series, and although I have not read the first one, it can be read as a standalone. I will be keeping my eye open for future books.

The Lies We Tell is a gripping read right from the start, it was really hard to put down and I would definitely recommend this author.
Was this review helpful?
Be prepared for a deep and twisted story, involving secrets, parenthood and lies. Ready?
In the beginning of the story we discover a little of Miriam and Maddie’s lives, they both have their struggles and problems but they try to survive every day. Miriam has recently connected with an old ex-boyfriend, and now her daughter has disappeared; the police only think that is a teenager searching for party and will return soon, but she is terrified that something could had happened to her. That’s when Maddie will enter to the story, she is a PI and will be helping Miriam searching for her daughter, an easy case that will get much more difficult than she was expecting. Starting for why Miriam doesn’t want to call her husband to let him know that his daughter is missing. Yes, he is a very busy man, but he would like to know if there’s a problem, no?
Miriam and Maddie have a lot of similarities; they both have a daughter, they know what is to live with alcoholism and having men problems. I suppose that there’s more information about Maddie in the previous book, but you can follow her all the time and where there’s something from the past referee it is well explained. Even if this is the second book of Maddison Attallee you can read the book like a standalone.
I was totally glued to this story, in the beginning I was scared that I would mix both characters’ stories, Miriam and Maddie, but when you enter to the plot you don’t have any doubt of which character is speaking.
This is a story you have to let flow on your mind; compelling and addictive The Lies We Tell is an amazing book!
Niki Mackay has won a new fan, I can’t wait for a new case.
Was this review helpful?
An interesting story or rather stories told from different perspectives from different characters. Although I enjoyed it and cannot really offer any constructive feedback it wasn’t my favourite read but I think I may well be in the minority here. Sometimes a book just doesn’t do it for you does it?
Was this review helpful?
Hi and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Lies We Tell! Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invite and Orion for the eARC through NetGalley!

Wave a book at me with “lie” in the title and I’ll want it, no questions asked. I love lies and their unravelling (only in fiction though, please!) but in this case I hadn’t foreseen in the slightest what secrets and lies would come floating to the surface…

This is the story of Miriam Jackson. At least, that’s where we start. Miriam’s life is great from the outside looking in: she’s a successful and popular radio show host, she’s married to a handsome and wealthy film director and she has a beautiful teenage daughter. In truth, Miriam is not always as happy as outsiders might think. Her husband Nick, though kind and loving, is often abroad and her daughter Tabitha has grown sullen and moody and rude and Miriam sometimes feels like she’s at the end of her tether. When she bumps into Ben, her first love, she becomes enthralled by him all over again and throws caution to the wind. But then Tabitha, who spent the night at a friend’s house, doesn’t come home. Miriam doesn’t know if she’s overreacting but she feels things aren’t right, that Tabitha could be in serious trouble. The police seem to think that Tabitha is just being a regular teen, that she’s bound to show up again, tail between her legs. However, the senior investigator happens to be in a relationship with Madison Attallee, a private investigator, and passes on her details to Miriam.

Madison Attallee is quite the complicated character. Being a mum of a thirteen-year-old girl herself, Miriam’s story resonates with her and she won’t leave a stone unturned in her search for Tabitha. However, every stone she turns reveals a little more of the cesspool that’s been hidden for the longest time. Moreover, Madison is a recovering alcoholic, still fighting the urge and her demons. Madison was by far my favourite character. She’s moody, sarcastic, acerbic, tough, strident. If you’ve read Helen Fitzgerald’s Worst Case Scenario, and loved its main character Mary, you’ll feel right at home with Madison. For the record, this is Madison’s second outing, last year she appeared in I, Witness, but I hadn’t realised that and I didn’t have the feeling that I was missing anything while reading The Lies We Tell. I do have I, Witness in my library, it has been on my e-reader since last year, and I’m definitely bumping it up!

The third POV is from Ruby Williams in 1994, and it becomes clear quite early in the novel how Ruby’s story is connected to the others’. Towards the finale, one of wrong-doers Madison so eloquently calls “fuckers”, has a say too and we get a few chapters from his POV. These two POVs were really hard to read, they made my blood boil and my skin crawl to the point that I was tempted to throw my e-reader in the pond!

I won’t beat about the bush: a main theme, if not THE main theme in The Lies We Tell is child abuse, organised child abuse at that. It made for a harrowing, at times uncomfortable read. It reminded me of Deborah O’Connor’s The Dangerous Kind in this way, the difference being that I read the latter in 10 staves on The Pigeonhole, so I was never quite so immersed in the darkness as I was now in The Lies We Tell which I binged in a weekend. It’s not overly detailed, there’s no cheap gruesomeness or gore, it’s just a very difficult subject, always has been, always will be. Not in the least because we are all aware that there are fuckers out there that do the shit we read about in fiction such as this. Men who probably actually think the things Niki Mackay makes one of them think in his chapters: that they are the brave ones, the honest ones, the ones who feel they can just take what they want without ever even thinking that 1. It’s not normal to want what they want and 2. Even if it were, taking whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want it is not alpha male behaviour, it’s caveman behaviour and it should have gone extinct ages ago. (Books like this get me worked up, can you tell?) At this point I’m just clutching at Madison’s words that the world is not a dark place, there are just some dark people in it, and as long as there are bright people like her, we might all be okay in the end.

An intense, chilling, twisty, clever and harrowing read that broke me and left me mangled the way only a really good book can. Recommended.
Was this review helpful?
This is the first book that I have read by Niki Mackay even though I have had I, Witness sitting on my TBR mountain for the last year. So Niki is a new author for me and she sure has hell doesn’t disappoint with this cracking story.

In this story we meet Madison Attallee a private investigator, radio presenter Miriam Jackson, and Ruby Williams. And follow a story that is told in first person with alternating chapters between the characters.

For me this book starts off has a slow burner where we get to know the characters. But now that I have read it, the author has lay down the foundations for what turns into an addictive intriguing reading. Then the three characters soon become one. When their stories are woven together and we learn what the connection is. Which I didn’t see coming at all and I ended up having an OMG moment.

I loved the characters in this story all of them bringing something difference. Which has left me wanting to read the author’s first book. Which I highly recommend.

This is a very clever, well written story that had me hooked from start to finish. Which I highly recommend.

Thank you to Tracy Fenton for a copy and the Blog Tour invite.
Was this review helpful?
On the surface this is a book about a 16 year old going missing, the investigation into her disappearance and the effects on those close to her. However, dig deeper and it is a complex read which examines dark subject matter in a sensitive way.

Miriam, a radio presenter, is married to Nick an in-demand film director. They have a 16 year old daughter Tabitha who has been pushing the boundaries and subsequently her relationship with Miriam is suffering from teenage angst and drama. Nick is in LA working on a movie and Miriam has recently become reacquainted with her first love, and whilst Tabitha is at a sleepover Miriam agrees to meet her ex. Returning home the next morning she awaits Tabitha coming home, but she doesn’t arrive, can’t be contacted on her mobile and her friends says she left hours ago. So where is she?

This is the second book in a series (which I didn’t realise) but can be read as a standalone. It reintroduced private investigator Madison, who I loved incidentally, a former Detective who left the force in murky circumstances. Told in multi-person narrative from both Madison and Miriam we read about Miriam’s worry and fear and Madison’s hard work at finding Tabitha. Interspersed with this we have flashbacks to the 1990s to a young woman named Ruby who dies in her brother’s arms (this is the first chapter in the book so isn’t a spoiler at all). The multiple viewpoints and flashback are written beautifully and deftly handled, they keep the plot moving and make this a real page turner of a book.

The contrast between Madison and Miriam is stark, both are mothers, both are doing their best and both are flawed and make mistakes, but they are fully rounded and believable. Miriam makes some silly decisions early on which I have to admit that I groaned at, but then, this book turned on its head. There is a very clever and inventive plot at play here, which lulls you in with a slow build up before the real action begins.

What begins as a missing person’s enquiry suddenly becomes something much bigger – it is a real spider’s web of crime. Some readers may find some of the issues addressed in this book difficult to read and I was surprised by the turn the book took. I applaud Niki Mackay for her sensitive handling of a difficult subject and for shining a light on some of society’s darkest crimes. It is so pacy and very readable with some genuinely worrying and shocking moments.

I have to admit to doing a complete 180 on this book as I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy it at the beginning and ended up not being able to put it down. It is chock full of great characters and I’m keen to read the first book in the series I, Witness as some of the backstories alluded to in The Lies We Tell really intrigued me. This is a great crime novel with some brilliant themes; women and their roles, motherhood, love and the darkest of crimes. Miriam and in particular Madison are strong female protagonists who more than carry this intriguing and clever book.
Was this review helpful?
The Lies We Tell is the second book in the Madison Attallee series (I, Witness is the first) and whilst it can be read as a standalone I always recommend reading the previous books in the series first so you get to know the main characters and their background and Madison is one character I really think everyone should get to know properly.

Miriam is a local radio presenter, married to a famous Hollywood film producer, Nick with one teenage daughter Tabitha.  When Tabitha goes missing whilst Nick is in the USA Miriam calls the police but they can’t do much as Tabitha is 16 and seems to have packed a bag, so Madison Attallee is instructed as a Private Investigator to find her missing daughter.

The Lies We Tell is narrated by several of the main characters; Madison, Miriam and a young girl called Ruby.  Each voice is authentic, powerful and believable and each chapter takes the reader deeper and deeper into the story.

The subject matter is DARK and DISTURBING and may be upsetting for readers, but at all times it is dealt with sensitivity.  Another well written, gripping thriller from Niki Mackay and thoroughly recommended by me.
Was this review helpful?
I was a huge fan of this author’s first book, I witness, so I was very excited to be invited onto the blog tour for her second book especially as Madison was making another appearance.

Once again the author has written a fantastic, unique psychological thriller that was incredibly gripping. I read this book whilst up with ill children and it was great company in those hard hours as the interesting story line meant I didn’t mind!

Madison was once again my favourite character and I enjoyed following her as she solved her latest investigation. She’s a very fiesty, strong and able woman who, despite battling a few personal issues, manages to do a great job. Her team of Emma and Claudia were equally kick ass and I loved the interaction the three shared.

I thought this was a fast paced, gripping book that had lots of twist that kept me guessing until the end. The author manages to handle a difficult subject sensitively and very realistically which makes the emotions of the characters very poignant. It is my worst fear to lose one of my kids so I felt a lot of sympathy towards them as they dealt with everything.

This is the second book in the series and I can’t wait to read more from this talented author.

Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Orion for my copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
When Tabitha, Miriam's teenage daughter goes missing, she doesn't panic. Miriam has seen Tabitha knocking about after skipping school before but the whole thing soon turns more sinister when Tabitha doesn't return home. Miriam has her reasons for holding back the news of the disappearance from her famous film director husband, who works out in the US more than he is home. When she finally has to involve the police a leak to the press soon escalates onto front page news. Now Miriam has to explain why she hadn't told him. Miriam brings in PI Madison Attallee to help find her daughter knowing that it could mean the end of her marriage.
As the story is told from many characters it soon becomes apparent that everyone has something to hide. This is a very dodgy house of cards which is so very fragile that it could come tumbling down at any point. The story drops back to when Miriam was a young girl trying to fit in at home. Her mum and her and her step-dad and his son.
I love a story with timelines, one in the past and one present day, you just know that when they come together that there is going to be something big but I wasn't expecting the outcome that I got. I hadn't thought big enough, I hadn't thought it could be so crushing and so unthinkable. This turned this book from an OMG read to mind-blowing. I was thrown into attack mode as my rage built as I read and re-read.
The reasons that I couldn't connect with certain characters began to make sense and how I felt about others changed. This is a read with a fantastic build and superb conclusion.
Many thanks to NetGalley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
Was this review helpful?
I finished reading this book a few minutes ago, and I am trembling, quite unable to type this review. This was everything which thrilled me but scared me equally to my core. The secrets that spilled out were horrifying and evil; it showed me how truly dark some humans could be. 

Niki Mackay is a brilliant writer who took me down the road of this slow burn thriller where I was introduced to radio presenter Miriam and her film director husband Nick and their routine life when their daughter Tabitha who went missing. Police and investigator Madison were called to find her daughter. 

I assumed this book would be a routine thriller with a missing child arc. I glided happily down the pathway till the first twist hit me, I was delighted. When the pathway got way twisted, the thrills became darker, yet I couldn't stop reading even when I knew I was going into nightmarish area. The power of this story kept me hooked. I could guess the major twist, but that didn't stop me from reading this book. 

Three POVs, two timelines, dark twists and perversions, and a prose that kept taking me deeper into this literary quicksand made this book a standout thriller, something which will remain with me for a long time.
Was this review helpful?
I haven’t read the first book in this series and although I assume it gives more insight into the character of Madison, it isn’t necessary to read it before this one.

So Miriam has a problem.  Her daughter is missing, police aren’t too interested as she is 17 years old, her husband is famous and she’s hiding a huge secret.  The only option she can find is to call upon Madison Attallee – private investigator to help before her secret is out.

Despite being a slow burner I was hooked from the start.  Most of all I love that the main protagonists are both strong, intelligent but flawed females.  For me, this made the characters both relatable and fascinating.  Neither were overly likable at times but for some reason it was impossible not to empathise and feel what each was going through.  The more details emerge, the more we learn about each woman.

Written in short chapters that are told from Madison or Miriam’s perspective the reader is given small snapshots into their past and current lives.  Dispersed throughout are chapters from the past voiced by a character named Ruby who initially has no bearing on the situation.  As the narrative unfolds and we learn more about Madison’s past, the more twists begin to unfold.  Each chapter provides a glimpse of insight into events and information but it’s only when the pieces begin to slide together that the clever storytelling becomes apparent.

A brilliant slow burner suspense novel with two female protagonists and a cleverly written plot.  Brilliant!
Was this review helpful?