Cover Image: To Tell You the Truth

To Tell You the Truth

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this book but I was a bit disappointed by the ending.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for this ARC in exchange for my honest review
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This is the first book I've read by Gilly MacMillan and I found it to be an uneven and ultimately unsatisfying read. The novel is atmospheric , with some twists and turns with a plot that is reliant on an unreliable narrator. However, for me it was rather slow paced, I found Lucy to be an unlikeable character and was not convinced by the use of the invisible friend as a plot device. 
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital ARC.
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A really good thriller read from Macmillan. I was immersed in the book and the twists and turns. I really enjoyed the unique style of this read and it added to the atmosphere and overall enjoyment.
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Another psychological thriller, this time Gilly MacMillan’s To Tell the Truth, her fourth standalone novel. Whilst these domestic noirs seem so popular these days, this one relies on a damaged bestselling novelist whose brother went missing when they were children. Now her husband is missing and through the use of flashbacks, the story slowly unfolds until the hasty finale. One of the more average examples of this type of thriller, so a satisfactory suspenseful two-and-a-half-star rating. With thanks to NetGalley and the author for a preview copy for review purposes. All opinions expressed herein are bias free and totally my own.
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I have several of Gilly Macmillan’s novels, and this was another blinder!  They have all been page turners and I get drawn straight in from the first chapter.
And that is exactly what happened again to me, so in retrospect starting this just before I went to bed may not have been the smartest idea but at least it meant I knew the next day I was in for a treat of a book.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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To Tell You The Truth is the first book by Gilly Macmillan that I have read and I found it to be interesting. I found myself not being able to trust Lucy or her narration whatsoever. The fact that she still speaks to her imaginary friend her from childhood makes me wonder if there is something more going on with her mental health. I really don’t know what to trust except for the fact that Dan was a total waste of space.

There were a lot of twists, turns and secrets that I never saw coming. But I am still left with the one question that was never answered which I won’t mention because it will spoil the book.
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I did not work this out at all! The twists and turns were written SO WELL in this book, I can’t stress that enough.
I loved the way it was written, I always do with Gilly MacMillan books, I find them so fast paced and engaging which is exactly what you want from a thriller!
I love the perspective of an unreliable narrator as if you’re not exactly sure whether to believe her or not, it’s a very cleverly written book and I urge anyone who wants a fast paced thriller to go and read this right now/purchase it when it’s out - you will not be disappointed!
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To Tell the Truth tells the story of successful author Lucy, who is plagued by the memories of her childhood, where she was partly responsible for her younger brother going missing.  When her husband also goes missing, police are quick to suspect that Lucy could be involved, and it brings the past crashing back into the present.   

I really struggled with this novel, as I just found it rather dull and mundane.  The beginning was so long and drawn out, and I was actually bored of Lucy and her ranting about her book and this invisible friend who she then turned into a book character but who she was also seeing in real life.   

Lucy as a protagonist is so irritating and not engaging at all.  Her husband Dan is even worse, so I couldn’t wait for him to actually go missing.  I thought the way he treated her was appalling and I was very surprised by her reactions to the things he did; I just didn’t find them believable.  She gave the impression to the reader that she was annoyed and would do something about it, but then she didn’t; she was so submissive and let Dan walk all over her, yet we were supposed to think she was a strong, assertive, accomplished writer.  The two sides didn’t tally.    

I found it very difficult to read the flashbacks about Teddy, knowing what was about to happen to him.  I just felt it could be very triggering for some readers and wasn’t hugely necessary; the author could have told us the history in a different way, rather than make us endure the flashbacks. 

The ending was rushed and just slightly ridiculous in my opinion.  I’m not surprised no one could have guessed the ‘twist’ because it was so unexpected and a bit farcical.  We were also left with unanswered questions, which was hugely frustrating.  

I wanted to like this book, but I couldn’t wait for it to end.
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Lucy Harper has achieved what many writers dream of: her detective novels about Eliza Grey have become highly successful and she built up a huge fan base. Her husband Dan supports her and takes care of their finances and everyday life. When he, without asking her first, decides to buy a house, she gets angry, even more so when she learns where exactly the house is located: close to where she grew up, next to the woods where her younger brother once disappeared and which she connects with her most dreadful nightmares. How could he do something like this, knowing about her childhood? Quite obviously, he is gaslighting her – that’s what Eliza tells her. Eliza, not only the protagonist of her novels but also the voice that has been in her head as long as she can remember. What has been useful for her writing now becomes complicated when Lucy struggles to distinguish between what is real, what is fiction and what is only in her head and when her husband is found murdered, the writer finds herself the main suspect of a story just like her novels.

I have several of Gilly Macmillan’s novels, always liking how she plays with the reader’s sympathies for the characters and the unexpected twists which keep suspense high. “To Tell You the Truth” is also masterfully crafted in terms of being vague and keeping you in the dark about what is real within fiction and what is only imagined by Lucy. Just like the protagonist, it takes a long time to figure out where the actual threat comes from, many different leads offer options for speculation which makes reading totally enjoyable. 

Having a crime writer who finds herself suddenly suspect in a crime in which the police use her own writing against her, is a setting which has been used before. Yet, Gilly Macmillan added a lot of aspects to make the case much more complicated. On the one hand, the voice in Lucy’s head is quite strong and surely a negative character whom you shouldn’t trust. Again and again, Lucy also seems to suffer from blackouts thus opening the possibility of actions she simply cannot recollect and which therefore remain blank spaces also for the reader. The backstory of her vanished brother and the big question looming over all if she herself might be responsible for his likely death – maybe even willingly – also add to the unpleasant feeling that she might not be a victim in this story at all.

Her husband, too, raises many questions. He is, quite obviously, envious of his wife’s success since he also dreams of a career in writing but lacks talent. The bits and pieces of information one gets directly lead to the assumption of him gaslighting her. However, the possibility of Lucy getting it all wrong due to her hallucinations and the Eliza-voice is also in the air. 

A creepy thriller which keeps you alert at all times. Even though I found the end a bit too simply for the plot, a fantastic read I totally enjoyed.
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A really enjoyable mystery!

This is the second book of Gilly Macmillan that I've read and I really enjoy her style of writing. It flows well and it keeps you entertained from the beginning to the end. There's also always a nice twist that you don't see coming. 

This is the story of Lucy Harper. She is a successful author of a popular crime series but her life is not moonshine and roses. She is married to Daniel who is jealous of her success and she made the mistake of letting him be in charge of her/their money. A very traumatic event when she was young is also still haunting her. Her brother disappeared and was never found and people suspected that she killed him. She has an imaginary friend, Eliza, who steps in when she can't cope. It feels like her life is spiralling our of control. Then her husband disappears and is found dead and soon her life turns into 1 of her own stories. 

If you dont feel like too much gore and want to read an easy mystery this is definitely the book to read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion
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I have mixed feelings about this book, the beginning was fresh and intriguing, but closer to the ending it kind of fades and gets pretty weird. There was no real resolution so this disappointed me. 

Thank you NetGalley / Random House Cornerstone for providing me with this arc in return for an honest review.
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I read this book last year & it appeared on my shelf again.  Unfortunate it was he for me. I did enjoy the majority of it  but I felt the ending was all over the place & unfinished.
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I was quite disappointed in this book. I really enjoyed Gilly's book the Nanny last year but this one just didn't do much for me. 

One of the main issues I had with this book was that it took ages for things to actually get going. I was quite bored while reading at the start. 

I did, however, like the back and fourth between the past and the present. 

The plot was okay. I usually really like books about writers but this one didn't really work for me. 

The story wasn't that captivating. It felt a little silly and far fetched in places. But I also just didn't really care about Lucy, the main character. I didn't think she was particularly likeable and I didn't feel sorry for her. 

The ending was disappointing and I felt like it was wrapped up a little bit too quickly. 

I did, however, appreciate the discussions around being an author and the relationships they have with their fans but also the characters they write and how that can be overwhelming at times. 

Overall, this was a pretty average thriller, which was definitely a disappointment as I had high hopes 

TW: violence, murder and gaslighting
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I received an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review 

Not my favorite from this author-  definitely not her best.  Hope the next one is up to snuff
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3.5 stars rounded down.

Despite having some issues with this book, I really felt for Lucy. She seemed so vulnerable, so fragile and I totally get how she got overwhelmed by too many people demanding things from her. And Dan, well he was a total jerk!

Lucy Harper is now a very successful author having written five books featuring DS Eliza Grey. The public loves her character and are already eagerly awaiting the next book. Dan is Lucy’s husband. When they met he, too, was an aspiring author but with Lucy’s success he now works for her full time doing admin, accounting, organising her public events and running the house. And also going behind her back to purchase a place near her childhood home, which scares the bejeebies out of her, and writing a book about her awful childhood experience with an ex girlfriend who may not be so ‘ex’ any more.

When Lucy was 9 years old she snuck out one night to spy on a summer solstice event in the nearby woods where pagans danced around a bonfire. Her little brother insisted on coming with her or he would have given the game away. Of course little Teddy being only 3 or 4 was soon too tired and Lucy settled him into her secret place - an old bunker from WWII that no one else seemed to know of. She promised to come back after watching more of the festivities. But when she returns Teddy is no longer there. the child was never seen again nor was his body ever found.

Lucy’s alter ego, Eliza, always the stronger one told Lucy what to tell her parents and the police. It was all very traumatic and now it seems that Dan wanted to profit from things she had told him about that time in absolute confidence. But that comes later. She hates the house he has bought, it reminds her too much of the tragic disappearance of her brother. As her stress levels rise, she fractures and Eliza has to bail her out more and more. But when Dan goes missing naturally she becomes a person of interest.

The whole story was quite claustrophobic. I could feel Lucy’s anxiety acutely. Nothing that happened after the move to the new house seemed good. She was constantly on edge, sometimes with good reason but we were not aware at the time. Was Dan just gaslighting Lucy? Did she really see the people she thought she did? The neighbours all feel a bit ‘off’ and she doesn’t know who to trust. In the end we got answers to some of the questions but not all. I didn’t find the story particularly exciting but I found Lucy’s character to be wonderfully complex and it was good to get an insight into how difficult some people find it to navigate many fairly ordinary social and professional situations. But I do think she was better off without Dan. I don’t think this was a thriller, it worked better as a psychological thriller with some very unreliable narrators. Thanks to Netgalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone and Gilly Macmillan for providing an ARC. My opinions are my own.
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Gytha Lodge’s LIE BESIDE ME ‘unreliable narrator’ meets a creepy THE DARK HALF by Stephen King.

I loved the split personality aspect of the book, teamed with Lucy’s inability to not lie - it really gave the book a dark and sinister edge. As Lucy begins to loose her grip on reality, you not only question her ability to recall events but also how much of what’s happening is truth and made-up. For me, this was the strongest part of Gilly’s writing ability but I don’t feel it was carried out as fully as it could’ve been as the book’s focus changes towards the end.

Lucy’s husband was truly despicable. Nothing that he did or said to her throughout the book was justified or at all loving or thoughtful. So when he doesn’t come home one night I was not interested in why at all. Again, this part of the story, for me, interfered with an already pacey and gripping concept. The twists surrounding this sub-plot were made to appear related to Teddy’s story but went off on a whole new agenda.

You’d think that all the events in this story would tie in to the central question of ‘where is Teddy?’. But sadly, as I found out they served nothing but as twisty sub narratives to a conclusion that never got fulfilled.

It’s a shame really because this book had all the right ingredients and I did genuinely love it!! But I was left bitterly disappointed at the end when no answers were given.

- Was there just too much content to wrap up by the end of the book/in the allotted word count?
- Did the author become overwhelmed with Eliza/Lucy’s character?
- Did the editor require too much copy cutting?
- Why is there no ending!

Like Lucy/Eliza, I have a very split decision on this book. I am however now a fan of Gilly’s writing and will be eagerly looking through the Amazon kindle reads later to see what else is on her bookshelf and what I can read next!

Thanks to NetGalley for my advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I did enjoy this story, but it took a long while to get into it.

I couldn't seem to figure out where it was going and at times, became a little repetitive in its story telling 

Would recommend a read though 

Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for ARC
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Oh wow. I flew through this book, desperate to find answers. Found Lucy and elizas relationship interesting, and intriguing. It's such a good story, I couldn't stop reading until the end. I didn't get the ending I longed for, but that's OK I can live with that, I'd highly recommend this book and can see it being a best seller.
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To Tell You The Truth follows the story of Lucy Harper. Lucy is a successful crime author and lives with her husband Dan. Lucy is finalising the next installment in the DS Eliza Grey series. On completion of the novel Dan surprises Lucy with a house. A house that Lucy is not happy about, a house that brings up too many bad memories. Memories of a traumatic childhood where her brother Teddy goes missing and Lucy was the last person to see him. 

Dan isn't the sweet husband he makes himself out to be to everyone. He goes missing one night after leaving Lucy in the house she does not want to be in. Lucy becomes the main focus for the police investigation when they find Dan's car burnt out.

This is my first Gilly Macmillan book and it definitely won't be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I am looking forward to purchasing a physical copy for my collection. It was hard putting this book down, I wanted to know all the answers of the two mysteries. I enjoyed the little snippets we get from the night little Teddy goes missing. It was an ending I did not see coming. 

Publication date: 13th May 2021.

Thank you Netgalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for the advanced copy for an honest review.
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I flew through this gripping thriller in about 24 hours and couldn’t put it down. I was completely hooked from the start and fully invested. I loved Lucy’s character and the clever way the main character from her books, Eliza, became such an important and obsessive part of her life. I also couldn’t stand her husband Dan. I love it  when an author writes characters so well you either love them or hate them, and it’s a sign of great writing. 

I loved the way this was structured, with the present day and then also flashbacks to the time Lucy’s brother went missing which added intrigue and makes you question Lucy’s actions and state of mind. It was also starting to give me ‘Basic Instinct’ vibes at one point. 

This was full of twists and turns and I did not see any of them coming, the ending was also unexpected and I was captivated all the way through. I would highly recommend this, and will be catching up with the remaining books I haven’t read yet by this author.
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