Book Review: Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica

There’s a hand on my elbow; his hat is in his hands. He steps inside my home, sure to cling to me so that he can brace Felix’s soft spot should I fall. “There’s been an accident, ma’am,” he says again.

Just days after giving birth to her son, Felix, Clara is on the receiving end of every wife’s worst fear- her husband and young daughter were in a serious car crash. She learns that her husband, Nick, was killed when his car hurtled into a tree but her daughter, Maisie, was spared- just a small scratch remains as evidence of the ordeal. At first, the cause of the accident, high speeds and reckless driving, leave little room for doubt. However, as the story moves along Clara starts to question her husband’s role in the accident.

Nick was speeding; he took the turn too quickly and died. But what if that’s not the way it happened? What if Nick was killed?

Her suspicions are validated with Maisie wakes shrieking in the night and trembles with fear when she spots a black car driving by or parked in the grocery store parking lot. 

But as she says it again, wide awake and far more terrified this time for it to be make-believe— the bad man is after us!— my mind makes up for Maisie’s lack of details, imagining a bad man trailing Nick and her down Harvey Road, and at this my heart begins to pound, my hands to sweat more than they are already sweating.

When her pleas to the detectives originally assigned to investigate the accident fall on deaf ears, Clara takes it upon herself to unearth the truth behind Nick’s death. However, as she digs deeper she uncovers a hidden side of her husband that casts a darker shadow over his passing and leads her to question their entire marriage. In tandem with this we get to see, through Nick’s experiences, just how quickly and easily things began to sprial out of control.

And now, standing in the weak glow of the kitchen’s dimmed recessed lighting, I wonder: if Nick could keep this secret from me— if he could go weeks without alluding to financial trouble, if he could lay off employees and not mention it to me— then what else wasn’t he telling me? What else don’t I know?

Determined to prove his death wasn’t his fault or simply a meaningless accident, Clara throws herself further into exposing every facet of Nick’s life. Blinded by paranoia, the lack of sleep as a result of her newborn son and the anguish of loss, she picks up any lead no matter how outlandish and she follows them until the bitter end.

An archetypal Kubica suspense with a tragic conclusion, Every Last Lie is ultimately about the consuming nature of grief.

No secrets, he always said. None. But now I’m beginning to believe there were secrets indeed. Many secrets.

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A review copy of this title was provided by Park Row Books (Harlequin) via Netgalley


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