Book review

A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone, Book Review

​Domestic violence is never an easy topic to discuss, read, write or think about never mind the horrifying thought of actually experiencing it. There was a time, of which there still remains a strong legacy even today, when it was equated with women getting beaten up, abused or even killed by primarily their husbands and men in their life. 

Times a changing and I don’t think any Man at any point would have thought or believed the tables of violence would be turned on them. Are you wondering at such a possibility or imagining it to be a remote future possibility? Brace yourselves as not only it is possible but maybe happening to someone you know or near you. 

We are now living in a world where it is very much a reality that a women can be the abuser in a relationship. Well read on and get the book to see how it is possible. It is a fictional story no doubt but that doesn’t distract from it’s possibilities in the real life. Here’s my review of cringe inducing yet well presented A suitable lie. 


Title: A Suitable Lie

Author: Michael J Malone

Publisher: Orenda Books

Published: August 2016

Rating: 4/5

Time period: Contemporary

Profession of main characters: Bank manager and teller.


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…

My thoughts

As a woman/female ever wondered or asked yourself – in the domestic violence situation is it only Men who are the abusers? It is a valid and to an extent even an important question that needs to be asked today; today as in the 21st century, a time when women have an equal role in all relationships. I even caught it on the news, where a few Asian male dominated societies have raised concerns over men being abused by the women in their families etc. Surprised? In denial? Unbelievable?

A woman is seen as a delicate, non violent, sweet talking being, even today they are believed to be in capable of violence especially against their partners. However, we all know how that’s not the complete truth and a version of lies we all hear in the news and from people around us. At the very guarantee of sounding anti feminist I do believe that women can be the abuser – physical and emotional, in a domestic violence situation. On the face value she will play the perfect, award winning part of a victim when the ground reality is anything but that. I am saying this not just because I have seen such women but I do believe that humans irrespective of their gender are capable of violence.

So when in this story, of Andy and Anna being in a less than ideal marital relationship, I learnt the root of their differences I was not surprised but it still made me cringe. Cringe with distaste at human behavior and their lie’s – which seem to slip out of them as easy breathing. The title – A Suitable lie is appropriate too, it asserts itself throughout the story in the lies characters say to themselves. Don’t we all do that – tell lies, white ones, unconscious ones, dark dirty damaging ones too when it suits us? Especially in close relationships, when to maintain peace and at times status quo we tell Suitable lies to whoever is listening. 

In this story, it is Andy who is in a position which very well might drive someone crazy and in extreme cases to a violent end. But that doesn’t happen and it’s commendable, Andy’s handling of the situations is ,well difficult and I can’t fathom how he convinced himself to maintain a non violent stand. Anna on the other hand emotionally is a complete opposite, she is dainty, petite and looks harmful. But boy! that’s deceptive. Her character with its hot, cold deceptive behavior is sharp and well written. 

The author has definitely presented the horrifying behavior in a manner that will make you stop, listen and believe. Not for a minute I thought such a thing was impossible. So if you still think some women are incapable of life threatening, character damaging, soul crushing behaviour – do pick up a copy of #ASuitableLie and be surprised at human behavior and some sad truths of domestic violence. 

Book buy link: Kindle India 


Michael 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 Threadsand Lip Synch. Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. 

Reviewed by Bharti

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