On the surface, Ethan and Sutton Montclair live a fairytale life. Each is a successful author, working out of their Tennessee home, and their marriage appears solid and happy to those who know them. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Ethan wakes up one morning and notices his wife is gone. Worse, she left a note saying that she needed time away and instructed him to not look for her.
Disregarding his wife’s written wishes, Ethan contacts her side of the family to see where she is. But when family members swear they haven’t heard from her and don’t know where she’s staying, Ethan involves the police, who then treat this as a missing-persons case and make him their prime suspect.
As police investigate Sutton’s disappearance, the truth slowly begins to reveal itself. Soon everyone learns that the Montclairs weren’t the happy couple people thought they were. Worse, others come forward claiming that Ethan was abusive, among other things, which seems corroborated by a record of domestic violence visits police have made to their house over the years.
While his life continues to play out like one of their novels and his character is attacked by the court of public opinion, Ethan struggles to prove his innocence and help locate his wife.
As the plot unfolds, more demons spill from the Montclairs’ closet. The couple, it turns out, was still dealing with the loss of their child. Beyond that, each character is shown to have been hiding things (some of which do feel thrown in for shock value) that ups the ante as Ellison’s story charges forward.
While readers spend the first half of the book reading from Ethan’s point of view, things shift dramatically when the narrative switches to Sutton. The plot isn’t always the most believable, but it is always very entertaining. Those going in looking for the unexpected might guess correctly on some of the plot twists, but the vast majority of readers will be hit with multiple surprises as they sprint their way to the finish line.
While the plot sounds and feels somewhat similar to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl at first glance, Ellison does prove to make this setup her own by adding in chapters from a separate, mysterious narrator who adds an intriguing shade of darkness to the story.
In the end, fans of psychological thrillers will enjoy trying to figure out the clues in order to solve the mystery before Ellison reveals it to them.
With a blazing-fast plot that reads like it was tailored for the big screen and enough suspense to hook readers early and hold them in their reading chairs until the end, J.T. Ellison’s Lie To Me is some of her best work to date and a must-read for fans of Harlan Coben and Gillian Flynn.
Author: J.T. Ellison
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10