“The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us.”
Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.
Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.
Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.
Worldbuilding: The quiet, safe street where Clara and Nick live is a lie. The community where one might think nothing much happens is a lie too. Even the happy marriage between Clara and Nick seems to be a lie – and maybe partially is. There’s so much tension in this world, that you nearly choke on it with every page.
Characters: Though one might expect to like Clara more than Nick, I liked him more. I tend to love flawed characters – they both were considerably flawed, don’t get me wrong. There were times when Clara came through as somewhat head-in-the-clouds and a bit annoying to me. I mean, how does a grown woman not know anything about the financials of her family? Seriously? Highly irritating to me. I didn’t hate her or anything, and I sympathized with her loss, though her behavior as a result was pretty out there. She went through different stages of loss, and I felt by the end of the novel she made a lot of progress. Essentially, she was plagued by doubts, while Nick kept reaffirming his love for his wife and family though his behavior was questionable in the light of the truth.
Plot: I’d say the story was composed of two perspectives, Clara’s and Nick’s. The two stories tackled two different timelines, one leading to the accident, and another one leading from it. Both stories were full of tension and thrilling in their own ways, and the combination made for a very interesting experience. The tempo felt overall slow at times, and because the situations themselves were sad or unpleasant, it made me feel like I wanted us to move faster from this or that point.
Writing: First person, present tense narrative, his and her POV. I liked Nick’s voice better, it seemed more down-to-earth and easier to relate to for me.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – and autobuy name for my experimental, dramatic-craving moods.
Every Last Lie is a touching, at times annoying, always tense story of a family struck by tragedy. It’s an interesting perspective on loss, surviving day-to-day life and responsibilities, and dealing with reality in all its forms. I recommend it to fans of dramatic and tragic stories, but I do advise caution in going in: it takes a lot of strength, I think, to embark on this journey and keep going until the end. It’s an emotional roller-coaster and by the end of it I felt emotionally drained. I think it was the most emotionally exhausting Mary Kubica read for me, and she only does intense stuff to begin with.