Format Read: Hardcover
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: February 3, 2015
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Blurb from goodreads:
From the acclaimed author of the “ripping good” (The New York Times) debut novel Three Graves Full comes a new thriller about a woman who digs into her unconventional past to confirm what she suspects: her husband isn't what she thought he was.
Dee Aldrich rebelled against her off-center upbringing when she married the most conventional man she could imagine: Patrick, her college sweetheart. But now, years later, her marriage is falling apart and she’s starting to believe that her husband has his eye on a new life... a life without her, one way or another.
Haunted by memories of her late mother Annette, a former covert operations asset, Dee reaches back into her childhood to resurrect her mother’s lessons and the “spy games” they played together, in which Dee learned memory tricks and, most importantly, how and when to lie. But just as she begins determining the course of the future, she makes a discovery that will change her life: her mother left her a lot of money and her own husband seems to know more about it than Dee does. Now, before it’s too late, she must investigate her suspicions and untangle conspiracy from coincidence, using her mother’s advice to steer her through the blind spots. The trick, in the end, will be in deciding if a “normal life” is really what she wants at all.
With pulse-pounding prose and atmospheric settings, Monday’s Lie is a thriller that delivers more of the “Hitchcockian menace” (Peter Straub) that made Three Graves Full a critical hit. For fans of the Coen brothers or Gillian Flynn, this is a book you won’t want to miss.
I'm not sure why this is called a thriller, it's got a mystery to it, sort of, but its focus is on relationships, memories, and what we perceive to be normal. I never got any sense of "Hitchcockian menace" and there's no real sense of menace until late in the book. The beginning didn't grab me and I had to force myself to keep reading but by about 1/3 of the way through I was caught up in the story and kept reading until I finished it.
I had a hard time relating to Dee, her experiences were far enough out of my normal that I had trouble connecting. She's OCD about some things, highly analytical but not terribly introspective, and everything is a big deal. She's obsessed with her late mother (there's no mention of her father until late in the story and he's seemingly dead) and she's even more obsessed with being normal. Her childhood was not normal by her standards and a normal life is her #1 priority. But she's a fairly likable person who in her own way is trying to do the right thing and messing it up, as most of us do. I liked that the entire story is told only from her POV, there's no head hopping and no attempt to get us inside her husband's head. A single POV was perfect for this story. Not only is her husband not who he appears to be but so are other people around her. As the cracks in her marriage widen she struggles to understand what's happening and calls upon lessons and games she and her mother conducted when they were younger. Mason plays coy about what sort of covert work Dee's mother did and who she worked for which was annoying at times. She didn't have to with a real organization, she could have created her own; all the coyness just made it more difficult to buy into the conceit.
I read several reviews that mentioned Mason's language was beautiful and rich but honestly I found a lot of it pretentious. It seemed as if she couldn't decide whether she was writing a mystery, a romance on the rocks, or a work of literature. Now, that's not to say that mysteries and romances can't have lovely language but Mason was working it too much and it felt forced.
I didn't love "Monday's Lie", and it tried a little too hard at times to be serious and 'literature' but after a slow start, it was engrossing and I never knew where the story was going or what would happen next. Despite myself, I was intrigued and had to keep reading to see what would happen.Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away to one reader. Open to US residents only. No purchase necessary. Please read my Giveaway Policy. VOID where prohibited.
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