One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline
This one came special delivery courtesy of the Library of Grandma. A refreshing change from what I have been reading, I devoured this in two days.
Chris Brennan doesn’t exist. Everything from his resume to his family background is a lie designed to allow him to infiltrate a high school baseball team. No one in the idyllic small town suspects the team’s new father-figure has ulterior motives, especially not the team moms, who have troubles of their own.
Chris Brennan has the background to make his actions believable, and the vulnerability to earn sympathy. He plays the role of loveable coach well, taking advantage of everyone’s human nature to manipulate them to forward his goal.
The other characters offer a range of true-to-life personalities and behaviors. The author captured the boys’ different personalities while giving them all that characteristic teenager attitude. The moms also face different challenges while all trying to be the best mothers they could—trying, and failing often. Overall, the characters came across as relatable, flawed, honest, and undeniably human.
The plot moved at an appropriate pace for this genre, allowing the tension to build while also creating page-turning drama. I confess, I didn’t predict the twist. Honestly, I think the story might have been more interesting without it, but I’ll admit it was well done and pulled me deeper into the story. It also allowed me to have more sympathy for the characters.
The author includes copious descriptive details about the setting and characters, much like a police description of a suspect. Normally I would say that bogs down the story, but each detail revealed the characters’ personalities, and it felt fitting in this type of crime/suspense novel. One thing that bothered me was the way the author educated the reader. She would write, “Christ already knew that X, Y, Z,” to explain things, which felt patronizing. There are more elegant ways of instructing the reader.
The cover is actually a huge clue. Can’t believe I didn’t notice it while I was reading.
One Perfect Lie ramps up tension while instigating page-turning drama. The twists and turns keep the reader guessing until the last chapters. With flawed characters that could be plucked from any American small town, this book has the whole package. A great read. Recommended for fans of mystery and suspense.
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