Novel Approach: Missing persons and lies surround crime writer in new Gilly Macmillan novel

“Nobody’s ever been arrested for a murder; they have only ever been arrested for not planning it properly.” — Terry Hayes

There’s an old joke about crime novelists and how their internet search history would make them appear to be a murderer, but what if the authors are doing more than imagining crimes? Our latest read transports us to Bristol, England, where it follows a crime writer who finds herself as the primary suspect in a missing person case, for the second time in her life.

To Tell You The Truth by Gilly Macmillan

In Gilly Macmillan’s latest thriller “To Tell You the Truth,” the author performs a series of acrobatic plot twists leaving the reader hanging on to her every word until the final page.

The story drips with suspense and moves quite quickly after the first 50 pages once the reader learns two things: the protagonist, Lucy, is a crime novelist and her marriage isn’t what she thinks it is. When Lucy’s husband Dan goes missing, the reader is thrown for a loop as they’re left wondering, like Lucy, if she was involved in his disappearance.

As a novelist, Lucy has a very active imagination, and her bestselling novels happen to revolve around her childhood imaginary friend, a piece of her imagination that she’s never quite been able to shake. When Lucy sees her imaginary friend out in the world, it leaves the reader wondering just how reliable is Lucy’s mind ... a question that comes into play more and more as Macmillan leaves crumbs about Lucy’s childhood trauma sprinkled about the pages.

Macmillan expertly crafts her novel about a novelist to craft a dazzling puzzle as readers try to piece together what happened to Dan and whether or not they can trust Lucy’s unreliable narrations. Readers won’t be able to put down the book as Lucy grows increasingly unraveled by the events surrounding her and teeters toward disaster.

From the book jacket…

To tell you the truth . . . everybody lies.

Lucy Harper’s talent for writing bestselling novels has given her fame, fortune and millions of fans. It’s also given her Dan, her needy, jealous husband whose own writing career has gone precisely nowhere.

Now Dan has vanished. But this isn’t the first time that someone has disappeared from Lucy’s life. Three decades ago, her little brother Teddy also went missing and was never found. Lucy, the only witness, helplessly spun fantasy after fantasy about Teddy’s disappearance, to the detectives’ fury and her parents’ despair. That was the start of her ability to tell a story—a talent she has profited from greatly.

But now Lucy’s a grown woman who can’t hide behind fiction any longer. The world is watching, and her whole life is under intense scrutiny. A life full of stories, some more believable than others. Could she have hurt Teddy? Did she kill Dan? Finally, now, Lucy Harper’s going to tell the truth.

If you enjoy…

Readers looking for more thrills in their life might also enjoy reading Ruth Ware’s thrillers. The bestselling author’s “The Turn of the Key” follows the story of a nanny who finds herself behind bars after the death of a child and her most recent book “One by One” follows a group of coworkers on a retreat in the Alps when one by one the colleagues begin to disappear.