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Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica
Publisher: Park Row Books
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Length: 336 pages
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Single Sentence Summary: Days after giving birth to her second child, Clara Solberg loses her husband in a tragic car crash that she soon begins to suspect might not have been an accident, after all.
Primary Characters: Clara Solberg – Mom. Wife. Widow. Clara is battling grief and confusion in a haze of post-partum hormones. Nick Solberg – Clara’s deceased husband whose perspective half the story is told from.
From the Publisher: Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon…. Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.
Review: I was a big fan of Mary Kubica’s first novel, The Good Girl and so was eagerly looking forward to Every Last Lie. Her latest psychological thriller starts out with a crushing premise. A young mother in the heady, but exhausting days just after bringing her second child home from the hospital, answers a knock at her door to find a police officer standing there. His words, “There’s been an accident,” forever change Clara Solberg’s life. Her husband, Nick, with their 4-year old Maisie in the backseat and traveling well over the speed limit, crashed into a tree, ending his own life, but leaving Maisie largely unharmed. Soon after, Maisie begins experiencing nightmares and talks of “the man who was after us” and fears that “he came back.” This sends Clara, who is already in denial, even further down that path.
Kubica unfolds her story from alternating perspectives, Clara after the accident and Nick in the months leading up to it. I tend to be a fan of the dual perspective approach, and liked it in Every Last Lie. Nick’s story from the past served to enlighten Clara’s investigation into what actually happened to her husband and daughter. The two sides fit together very nicely, maybe too nicely. I breezed through the book, but found its flaws to be difficult to overlook.
There were too many unanswered questions that didn’t have that much to do with the outcome, but still, I kept wondering about. Why didn’t Nick’s mother like Clara? Why didn’t Clara’s father like Nick? Didn’t Clara have any friends around in the town she grew up in? Or, if so, where were they in this horrible time? Why was Clara so willing to let Nick handle everything that had anything to do with money in their lives? This is 2017.
There were also too many things that just didn’t add up for me. For example, Nick and his belief in “no secrets,” keeping so many secrets. Maisie didn’t seem like a realistic 4-year old to me. The whole character of Connor. Clara’s theories bouncing around like a ping-pong ball.
“The words ricochet back and forth in my mind – murder, suicide, murder, suicide – like a tennis ball alternating over a net, and each time I think I’ve got it figured out, someone swats it with a backhand stroke, making my thoughts – and with it, my sanity – bounce back.”
Me, too! The pieces all fit together, but the picture they created was incomplete. I’m sorry to say that Every Last Lie just wasn’t psychological or thriller enough for me. Grade: C
If you liked this book you might also enjoy:
- The Good Girl by Mary Kubica – If you’re only going to read one book by Mary Kubica this summer, read The Good Girl – Excellent!
- Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan – A definite novel that will keep you guessing throughout – very psychological! (my review)
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for my honest review.
Disclosure: There are Amazon Associate links included within this post.
Sarah's Book Shelves says
Add this one to the pile of disappointing psychological thrillers…GRR. Sorry it didn’t work for you.
I read a book by Mary Kubica and it was a good read but it wasn’t my favorite either. I’m not so sure about this one but I think for now I’m going to pass, I’m struggling with most psychological thrillers!
Susie | Novel Visits says
I don’t read that many psychological thrillers, but the last few…ugh!
I found The Good Girl to be a pretty good read but haven’t read any of her others. I can understand your questions about this one and why they bothered you. I’m avoiding psychological thrillers for the most part,I’m just not having good luck with them.
I have not had any luck with her later novels. Her first one was outstanding; the rest did not impress me at all. I was hoping that she rekindled the magic with her latest, but it sounds like she didn’t. Well, at least I know not to rush into reading it now!
Susie | Novel Visits says
Thanks for stopping by, Michelle. This is the second I’ve read since The Good Girl and I didn’t care for either of them.
Donna @ OnDBookshelf says
I’m going to be in the minority here, but I actually liked this one! It’s not up there with The Good Girl, but I like the stories in psychological thrillers more than the twists. I loved the way Kubica made me ache for this woman and what she was going through days after giving birth. I will agree that there were some threads that weren’t tied up as well as I would have liked (what happened with the lawsuit, and Connor?), but I thought the ending was fitting with the manic state of a sleep deprived grieving woman.
Susie | Novel Visits says
I completely agree with you on feeling so bad for Clara and the horrors of losing her husband just days after giving birth, but it wasn’t enough for me to overlook everything else. Glad it worked for you!