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To Tell You the Truth

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  3,887 ratings  ·  830 reviews
The acclaimed author of The Nanny, The Perfect Girl, and What She Knew—“a writer to watch” (Publishers Weekly)—returns with another serpentine thriller that is a potent blend of atmosphere, tarnished memories, mystery, and twisty secrets from the past.

Bestselling mystery writer Lucy Harper’s talent for invention has given her fame, fortune, and an army of adoring readers.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 22nd 2020 by William Morrow (first published June 25th 2020)
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Pat No Emma in this one.

Great story of an author though. Sorry not one author but two, her husband is also an author. (OR trying to be I should say)…more
No Emma in this one.

Great story of an author though. Sorry not one author but two, her husband is also an author. (OR trying to be I should say)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,887 ratings  ·  830 reviews

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Melissa ~ Bantering Books
I love a good unreliable narrator.

If written well, an unreliable narrator adds an element of excitement to a novel. An extra layer of mystery and suspense. A touch of madness. It forces us, as readers, to think complexly, connect puzzle pieces, and draw independent conclusions. Our minds are put to work, so to speak.

And if you enjoy the challenge of an unreliable narrator as much as I do, then Gilly Macmillan’s latest mystery, To Tell You the Truth, may be just the book for you.

Lucy Harper, a be
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Publication: September 22nd 2020

Lucy Harper is a famous writer whose best selling series of books feature DS Eliza Grey. Lucy knows Eliza well because she has been Lucy's imaginary companion as long as Lucy can remember. When Lucy was nine years old, she took her three year old brother, Teddy, out at night to watch a pagan summer solstice bonfire and only Lucy (and Eliza) made it home. Teddy was never seen again and Lucy's memory of that night and her behavior is suspect.

Now Lucy lives under a
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 'Your work is compromised because it's commercial. You gave up any integrity your writing might have had when you decided to write for this market. It's so disappointing. And don't even get me started on Detective Sergeant Eliza Grey. She's a cliche if I ever met one.'

'Are you finished?' I asked.

'Do you not see it? How can you not see it? Don't you ever despair that you've sold out? Or perhaps you can't see it. I wonder about that sometimes.'

I stared at him, hoping there was a way thos
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
To tell you the truth, I really enjoyed this book. Bestselling Author, Lucy Harper has written a successful series featuring Detective Eliza Grey. Fans adore this series and can't wait for the next book. Her husband, Dan, a man who hoped to be a writer himself, has bought them a new home and enjoys spending the money Lucy makes. But when Lucy writes a book that her publishers are less than impressed with, she is feeling down, she and Dan argue then one evening, Dan goes missing.

With Dan missing,
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best selling mystery writer Lucy Harper has just completed the next chapter in her DS Eliza Grey series, based on her imaginary childhood friend by the same name.

But when her husband Dan suddenly goes missing, it comes to light, that her 3 year old brother, Teddy, had also disappeared, when Lucy was just 9 years old.

The story of "what happened to Teddy" is interspersed throughout the current day narrative, of a writer who is starting to wonder what is fact, and what is fiction...

Is she being ga
Nilufer Ozmekik
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Yesss! I love this author’s works and I devoured it at one sit. It’s so much better than her latest work “Nanny” which I also enjoyed it.

Here are the tempting, captivating ingredients of this freshly produced from writer’s creative and disturbing mind :

Unreliable, blurry minded heroine is our narrator: a bestseller author Lucy Harper who keeps her past connected to the disappearance of 3 years old brother Teddy as secret, using her imaginary friend as a tool: main detective character Eliza Gre
Katie B
If you are a frequent reader of psychological thrillers, no doubt you are familiar with unreliable narrators. This book managed to take it to a whole nother level. With everything going on in the main character's head, it felt like the author could go in many directions and therefore I just sat back and enjoyed watching it all unfold.

Lucy Harper is the author of the best selling mystery series featuring DS Eliza Grey. Lucy's husband goes missing and that stirs up memories of when she was a child
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Lucy Harper is a very successful author of a crime series featuring DS Eliza Grey. She is married to Daniel who has aspirations of literary success but has not succeeded so he manages aspects of Lucy’s life. Daniel is jealous of her success which manifests itself in various ways and then one night after a disagreement Daniel disappears. Lucy has a past she has kept hidden. When she was nine her younger brother Teddy, aged three also disappears at solstice celebrations in Stoke Woods near her
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
To Tell You the Truth is like a House of Mirrors......

Let me explain.

Gilly Macmillan has placed her main character, Lucy, on a footstool before us. We lean in and try to make sense of Lucy Harper's persona. From all indications the woman before us wears a shy smile and shifts awkwardly on that stool. From all of her unsure movements, we know that Lucy has something simmering and festering inside of her. And as those dripping drops begin to stain the surface, we realize there's quite the story he
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
I do love a Gilly MacMillan book, she always delivers the goods! To Tell You The Truth was a fantastic read, full of twists and unlikeable characters that the ending was not at all predictable. I read this over 2 nights, completely lost in the story.

Lucy Harper was 9 years old when her 3 year old brother went missing in the woods near her home. He has never been found and it has left her traumatised. She is now a successful crime writer and her books sell millions. Her husband goes behind her ba
A twisty thriller with a disappointing ending

Lucy Harper is a famous writer, known for her crime fiction stories featuring her beloved character, Eliza. Her work has made her wealthy, something that particularly pleases her husband, Dan, a once aspiring writer who now "manages" Lucy's career and money. Lucy and Dan's life and marriage look perfect from the outside, but they are anything but. Then Dan suddenly goes missing. His disappearance reminds Lucy of another time someone vanished from her
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy this New York Times Best Thriller of 2020, “To Tell You The Truth”. What intrigued me was that our protagonist, Lucy, is definitely an unreliable narrator, but is she certifiably insane? Is she just your basic crazy, or is she a person who could benefit from some anti-psychotic meds?

When Lucy was nine years old, her brother disappeared. Lucy’s young curiosity was piqued when an anticipated summer solstice celebration enraged the neighbors, including her parents, who bordered the wood
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another fantastic Sweetreads Box pick!

I absolutely loved this book! Gilly Macmillan does it again. So twisty! The dual timelines between the past and present were brilliant. The characters were fantastic ... some you love to hate, others you'll find yourself rooting for! A unique storyline that will keep you guessing and an ending that will leave your mouth hanging open. All the stars!
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
4 Twisty Author Stars

This one was a terrific spin down the rabbit hole! We have best-selling crime author Lucy Harper at the heart of this one. She’s created a great fictional detective – Eliza Grey– and her fans can’t wait to read more about the crimes she’s solving. Lucy’s husband, Dan, is a frustrated writer and is starting to drive Lucy crazy.

Lucy has some secrets in her past that she’d like to keep there, but the truth is just dying to get out. This one features the fun element of a “book w
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

In comparisons to August (during which time I surprised myself by reading a record 7 books in a month!), September is shaping up to be a slower reading month for me. The past 2 weeks were unexpectedly busy and I had a few things going on that occupied my time. I’m back into my regular reading schedule now though and have a few books lined up already so hopefully nothing else comes up between now and end of the month so I can use this last week and a half to “make up for lost time” where
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
In general, I thought the mystery of what happened to famous author Lucy's husband Dan to be intriguing and I liked the ultimate resolution even though it was a rather quick wrap-up. It wasn't a conclusion that I would have guessed, so I appreciated the surprise.
The things I didn't like:
(view spoiler)
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those books where I didn't have a set rating until it was fully complete. Throughout, my rating would have been different depending on where I was in the book's progress, mostly it went downhill. And here I am at the end, and it was just ok..

Lucy Harper is a best selling crime story author and we see this story unfold from her point of view. Her childhood was marred by her younger brother going missing. She has an imaginary friend/alter ego, who is the very popular star of her b
Julie (JuJu)
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
”There are the facts, and then there is the truth.”

This psychological thriller includes a fiesty little firecracker of an imaginary friend. I love reading about imaginary friends and Eliza is fascinating!!

Lucy is a successful author that has based her bestselling book series on her childhood imaginary friend—Detective Eliza Grey is the main character and heroine in her novels. But the more popular Eliza becomes, the more she injects herself in Lucy’s real life. Lucy decides to write her out
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"To tell you the truth" was my first Gilly Macmillan read and a pretty enjoyable one, although truth be told that may be in part cause I love stories where the main character is a writer him/herself.

When Lucy was a kid her little brother Teddy went missing and police suspected she wasn't telling the truth about what happened that night. Now she is a bestselling thriller writer and is married to Dan, another aspiring writer. When Dan goes missing history seems to be repeating itself. Was she invo
“Fiction isn’t just what you find in books, it’s the lies we tell ourselves. [...] The only way to avoid creating your own fiction is not to think at all.”

Ever since she broke my heart with BURNT PAPER SKY, Gilly Macmilland has been on my list of favourite mystery writers. Whilst all her books are vastly different, they share the same sense of tension and urgency that makes for a compulsive all-night readathon. It’s funny how sometimes you just know within the first few pages that you’re going t
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have started to never read a Gilly Mackmillon blurb before starting her books, as I know it be will an amazing story with twists galore!! She never disappoints, I was completely hooked from the start.

Lucy Harper was 9 when her 3 year old brother Teddy went missing, after she had taken him out one night into the woods for Solstice night. They never find him.

Lucy is now grown up and is a successful crime writer living with her husband Dan. Dan surprises Lucy by buying them a new home right by t
Louise Wilson
Lucy Harper is a best selling author. She has a secret that she has kept hidden for thirty years. Her name had been Lucy Bewley and she lost her brother Teddy in the woods when she was just nine years old. Teddy had never been found. Lucy has been haunted by this ever since. She had always denied knowing what had happened to her brother but her parents and the police thought she was hiding something. She's now married to Dan, he k ows all about her past. So she was shocked when Dan bought a mans ...more
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Review to come.
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lucy is a popular author and one with a history. Her little brother disappeared when he was three when he was with her. He has never been found, and they suspected her.

Lucy also has an imaginary childhood friend, Eliza, who has made herself famous in Lucy's books and who Lucy hears talking to her and giving her advice even today.

But...Eliza has run her course, and Lucy takes her out of her newest novel.

Was that a wise decision? Lucy finds out it is not a good idea because her agent won’t accept
Christina McDonald
A dazzling thriller with a compelling and unreliable narrator, To Tell You The Truth is fresh, bold and ferociously smart.

The story begins with our protagonist, Lucy, a successful thriller author with a dark past – her little brother Teddy went missing after she took him out in the woods for a Solstice festival when she was nine. When her husband, Dan, unexpectedly buys a house in her old neighborhood, old memories are drudged up. But Lucy doesn’t know if she can trust her memories at all. She’s
Meh. Plus, the ending is a doozy of a flat mess.
Laurie Murphy
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2020-books
Lucy Harper is a best selling author who has turned her imaginary childhood friend, Eliza, into the lead character of her detective series. One thing though, Eliza is still with her thirty years later and sometimes materializes when Lucy needs help. And boy does Lucy ever need help.

Stuck in a crumbling marriage to Dan, Lucy is also trying to strike out in a new literary direction without her star detective. This doesn't sit well with her agent, her publisher or her husband, all of whom are count
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucy Harper was nine years old when her brother vanished in the woods near home. She was the only witness and her account is main source of the police investigation. Now thirty years later her brother is still missing and Lucy is a bestselling thriller writer. She has a knack of writing stories resulting in fame and fortune and a big following of adoring fans. With her husband Dan keeping secrets of his own Lucy is forced to face up to some unwanted memories when her husband buys a new family ho ...more
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To Tell You The Truth is the fourth stand-alone novel by British author, Gilly Macmillan. Best-selling author of the DS Eliza Grey books, Lucy Harper has just completed the fifth book in this very popular series. Surely a cause for celebration? But Lucy is a little nervous. Her agent will soon discover that Lucy has taken a brave step with the latest book, and he might not be too pleased.

“…how naïve I had been when I first got published. How I hadn’t realised what a treadmill I was stepping on
Jenny Baker
Maybe 2.5 stars. I'm so undecided. I didn't love it or hate it. I'm beginning to think that Gilly Macmillan's books aren't for me. I loved What She Knew, but this one and The Perfect Girl were average. ...more
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Gilly Macmillan is the New York Times & Sunday Times bestselling author of TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, THE NANNY, WHAT SHE KNEW (previously published as BURNT PAPER SKY in some territories), THE PERFECT GIRL, ODD CHILD OUT & I KNOW YOU KNOW.

Gilly is Edgar Award nominated and an ITW award finalist. Her books have been translated into over 20 languages.

She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and also lived in

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It’s time to turn your attention to something dark and twisty, to a story (or two or three) so engaging, the pages just fly by. In short, it’s...
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“Words flow for me when I’m writing, but they can stick in my throat like a hairball when I have to speak up for myself.” 0 likes
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