Sutton and Ethan Montclair is the beautiful couple. But in
their gorgeous five bedroom, three fireplace Victorian home
in Franklin, Tennessee, along with two BMW's, a hefty
portfolio, successful careers as authors, their marriage is
beginning to crack. When Ethan goes down to breakfast, he
expects to see his wife, as always, eating her cereal and
reading the newspaper. No Sutton. Instead, a note telling
him she has left him. She is very unhappy and he is not to
try to find her.
Stunned, then angry, he is more confused when he finds her
handbag with cash and her credit cards, her phone, computer,
all her clothes and her car is in the garage. What is she
trying to do? Is it drama? Has someone taken her? He calls
her mother, who stops by and casually asks for her check
that she receives monthly from her daughter. She seems
unconcerned that Sutton is gone and thinks she will return
soon. He calls her BFFs, who have heard nothing from her and
urges Ethan to call the police. He goes onto her computer to
check their financial info and finds there is $50,000
missing. He calls the police and after their initial
interview, he becomes their number one suspect and they
begin to really dig into the task of finding a motive. They
find information about the loss of their son, Dashiel, from
SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
J. T. Ellison tells a shocking story of lies, deceptions,
and betrayals. I was not able to put this book down and had
many incorrect theories, and motives. The only thing I
guessed correctly was a third person who left a trail of
destruction, murder, and lots of pain for Sutton and Ethan.
The plot was clever with characters that were impossible to
admire. At times, I found Ethan extremely weak, while Sutton
was cold, calculating and selfish. The rookie police
officer, Holly Graham, impressed me with her work ethics,
her warmth and her unfailing belief in Ethan. She was a nice
addition to this psychological thriller that leads on a path
with many, many twists and turns that promise to amaze you.
I like Ms. Ellison's writing style, short chapters with a
title on each to whet your appetite and continue on to the
finale which had several surprises. I am a fan and totally
enjoyed LIE TO ME.
Domestic noir at its best. Readers will devour this
stunning page-turner about the disintegration of a
as grief, jealousy, betrayal and murder destroy the facade
of the perfect literary couple. New York
Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison takes
exceptional writing to a new level with this breakout
They built a life on lies
Sutton and Ethan Montclair's idyllic life is not as it
appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is
ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and
financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As
tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note
saying not to look for her.
Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as
family and the media speculate on what really happened to
Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the
couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is
Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him
enough to kill the child she never wanted and then
The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave
the reader breathless.
Ethan found the note ten minutes after he rolled out of
bed that Tuesday, the Tuesday that would change
everything. He came downstairs yawning, scratching his
chest, to…nothing. Empty space, devoid of wife.
Sutton always began her morning at the table with a bowl
of cereal, a piece of fruit, and a cup of tea and read the
paper, scoffing at the innumerable typos—the paper was
going under, paying for decent copyediting was the least
of their worries. A bowl full of cereal, a glass of milk
and a spoon would be laid out for him, the sports page
folded neatly by his seat. Always. Always.
But this morning, there was no evidence Sutton had been in
the kitchen. No newspaper, no bowl. No wife.
He called for her. There was no answer. He searched
through the house. Her bag was in her office, her
cellphone, her laptop. Her license was stashed in her
small wallet, all her credit cards present and accounted
for, a twenty folded in half shoved behind them.
She must have gone for a run.
He felt a spark of pleasure at the thought. Sutton, once,
had been a health nut. She’d run or walked or done yoga
every day, something physical, something to keep her body
moving and in shape. And what a shape—the woman was a
knockout, willowy and lithe, strong legs and delicate
ankles, tendons tight and gleaming like a thoroughbred. A
body she sculpted to match his own, to fit with him.
Ethan Montclair couldn’t have a dog for a wife, no. He
needed someone he could trot out at cocktail parties who
looked smashing in a little black dress. And not only
looked good, but sounded good. He needed a partner on all
levels—physical and intellectual. Maybe it was shallow of
him, but he was a good looking man, drew a lot of
attention, and not only did he want his wife to be
stunning, he wanted her to be smart, too. And Sutton fit
He knew they made a powerful, attractive couple. Looks and
brains and success, so much success. That was their thing.
After Dashiell, she’d bounced back into shape like the
champion racehorse she was, though later, when their world
collapsed, she’d become tired and bloated and swollen with
medications and depression, and she no longer took any
interest in being beautiful and fit.
That she’d decided to start running again gave him hope.
So much hope.
Spirits lifted, he went back to the sunny, happy kitchen
and got his own bowl, his own milk. Made a pot of tea,
whistling. Went for the stevia—no sugar for the health-
conscious Montclairs, no, never.
That was when he saw it. Small. White. Lined. Torn from a
spiral bound notebook, a Clairefontaine, Sutton’s favorite
for the smooth, lovely paper.
This…thing…was incongruous with the rest of their spotless
kitchen. Sutton was above all things a pathological
neatnik. She’d never just leave something lying about.
All the happiness fled. He knew. He just knew. He’d been
all wrong. She hadn’t gone running.
He picked up the note.
I’m sorry to do this to you, but I need some time away.
I’ve been unhappy, you know that. This shouldn’t come as a
big surprise. Forgive me for being a coward. Forgive me,
for so many things.
Don’t look for me.
She was gone.
He felt something squeezing in his chest, a pain of sorts,
and realized that his heart had just broken. He’d always
thought that a stupid, silly term, but now he knew. It
could happen, it was happening. He was being torn in two,
torn to shreds. No wonder there were rites warning against
this—What therefore God hath joined together, let not man
God was ripping him apart in punishment, and he deserved
it. He deserved it all.
He didn’t cry. There were no tears left for either of them
He put the note down carefully, as if it were a bomb that
might go off with the wrong touch. Went to their bedroom.
Nothing seemed out of place. Her brush, her makeup case,
her toothbrush, all lined up carefully on the marble. Her
suitcase was in the closet.
He went back downstairs to her office, at the back of the
house. Doubled checked.
Her laptop was on her desk.
Her cellphone was in the charger.
Her purse was on the floor next to her chair.
Her wallet inside, the smiling DMV photo that made her
look like a model.
Like a zombie, he moved back to the kitchen. He opened the
refrigerator and got out the milk. Poured cereal in the
bowl. Dropped the stevia into his tea. Sat at the empty
table, stared at the spot where his wife’s head should
What was he supposed to do now? Where could she be? He ran
through the possibilities, the places she loved,
discarding one after another. Surely he was wrong in his
thinking. Surely she’d simply run away, to one of her
friends. That’s where she’d gone. Should he call Ivy and
see if Sutton was camped in her kitchen, instead of his?
Should he give her some time, and space, like she asked?
She left without her things, Ethan. Sutton’s lifelines are
her laptop and phone. It’s her office, her world.
A dawning realization. Sutton hadn’t shaken the
depression, not completely. She was still prone to fits of
melancholy. She might have done something stupid, crazy.
She’d tried once before, after…Oh, God. Her words. Perhaps
she was telling him exactly what she’d done.
I’m a coward. Forgive me. Don’t look for me.
He threw the bowl of cereal across the room.
“Bloody f**king hell. You selfish, heartless bitch.”