Category Archives: To Tell You the Truth

Review: To Tell You the Truth by Gilly Macmillan

Title: To Tell You the Truth by Gilly Macmillan
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


The acclaimed author of The Nanny and What She Knew—hailed by stalwarts including Ruth Ware, Liane Moriarty, Rosamund Lupton, Tess Gerritsen, and Shari Lapena—returns with another serpentine thriller that cleverly blends atmosphere, tarnished memories, mystery, and twisty secrets from the past into a potent, intense read that will leave you questioning everything you believe.

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.

Cross her heart.

And hope to die.


To Tell You the Truth by Gilly Macmillan is an absorbing mystery which features a mystery author as the lead protagonist.

Writer Lucy Harper’s series starring Detective Sergeant Eliza Grey is a runaway success.  Having just completed her latest novel, Lucy  nervously awaits her agent and publishers’ reactions.  Reluctant to tell her husband Dan about her book, he shocks and angers her with an unexpected purchase. With a great deal of tension between them, Lucy is not overly worried when Dan storms out after an argument. But when Detective Sergeant Lisa Bright shows up on her doorstep, Lucy is afraid her past is about to collide with her present.

Despite her success as an author, Lucy is insecure and relies heavily on Dan to take care of the household duties and their finances. She is also physically and emotionally exhausted by the completion of her book and her husband’s stunning surprise. Lucy is uncertain she wants to make the changes her publishers have requested she make to her latest novel. Already feeling fragile, Lucy is completely overwhelmed in the aftermath of Dan’s disappearance. And without a support system, she does not know if there is anyone among her new acquaintances she can trust.

Although most of the story takes place in the present, there are also chapters about Lucy’s past.  When  she was nine years old, Lucy takes her three year brother Teddy with her into the woods late one night.  She refuses his request to take him home and when her attention strays, he vanishes. To this day, Lucy has no idea what happened to her brother. She has worked hard to put this tragedy behind her, but she remains haunted by his disappearance.  With Dan missing, she fears DS Bright will suspect she is involved with what happened to her husband because of her unresolved past.  Lucy is plagued by self-doubts but she wants to find out the truth about Teddy and hopefully figure out what happened to Dan.

To Tell You the Truth is a riveting mystery with an increasingly unreliable narrator. Lucy is an intriguing protagonist whose husband is rather loathsome. Lucy’s fear and anxiety contribute to an already atmospheric setting.  With unexpected twists and turns, Gilly Macmillan brings this captivating mystery to an unpredictable conclusion.  I absolutely loved and highly recommend this suspenseful mystery to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Gilly Macmillan, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, To Tell You the Truth, William Morrow