The Good Liar
By: Nicholas Searle
Narrated by: Matthew Brenher
Publisher: Harper Audio
Publicaiton Date: 2/2/2016
My Rating: 3 Stars Spinning a page-turning story of literary suspense that begins in the present and unwinds back more than half a century, this unforgettable debut channels the haunting allure of Atonement as its masterfully woven web of lies, secrets, and betrayals unravels to a shocking conclusion.
Veteran con artist Roy spots an obvious easy mark when he meets Betty, a wealthy widow, online. In no time at all, he’s moved into Betty’s lovely cottage and is preparing to accompany her on a romantic trip to Europe. Betty’s grandson disapproves of their blossoming relationship, but Roy is sure this scheme will be a success. He knows what he’s doing.
As this remarkable feat of storytelling weaves together Roy’s and Betty’s futures, it also unwinds their pasts. Dancing across almost a century, decades that encompass unthinkable cruelty, extraordinary resilience, and remarkable kindness, The Good Liar is an epic narrative of sin, salvation, and survival—and for Roy and Betty, there is a reckoning to be made when the endgame of Roy’s crooked plot plays out.
“I was engrossed…. As deceiver and deceived move towards each other with hypnotic predestination, the plot unfolds to a payoff as inevitable as it is shocking. A superb thriller and a truly engrossing read.” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood)
“Engrossing. . . . An elegantly structured long con. The pace is almost maddeningly deliberate, with details about the characters and their schemes doled out like a controlled substance, but patient readers will be rewarded with devastating third-act twists and a satisfying denouement.” (Publishers Weekly)
“[A] fantastically assured debut…. The Good Liar makes you want to experience Nicholas Searle’s next trick.” (The Guardian)
“A gut-clenching cat-and-mouse game…. This debut novel is a wellcrafted, complex tale that will appeal to fans of psychological thrillers.” (Booklist)
“The Good Liar is a taut, compulsive thriller with a dark, intriguing heart. A Mr Ripley for our time.” (Jonathan Freedland, author of The 3rd Woman)
“What a clever and menacing novel The Good Liar is. I was gripped and horrified in equal measure and the ending knocked me sideways! I can’t wait for everyone to read the book so I can talk about it.” (Nina Stibbe, author of Love, Nina)
“As the tension mounts, the reader is kept guessing….The final denouement is a real cracker… Added to the fiendishly clever plot, Searle’s writing is both drily amusing and elegantly crafted.” (Daily Mail)
“An incredibly dark, taut thriller…. Think of Ruth Rendell morphing into John Le Carré.” (Daily Express (London))
“One of 2016’s most intriguing debut novels.” (The Independent (London))
“Searle paces the twists and turns of the plot admirably well…. Increasingly engaging and poised.” (The Independent (London))
“[A] compelling premise.... Elegant writing.” (The Times (London))
About the Author
Nicholas Searle grew up in Cornwall and studied languages at the universities of Bath and Göttingen. After teaching for four years he moved to London to join the Civil Service. He had a hugely enjoyable twenty-three years in a variety of jobs dealing with security matters before going to work in a similar capacity for the New Zealand government in Wellington. In 2011 he returned to the UK, left the Civil Service and began writing in earnest. Nicholas and his wife live in Yorkshire. Twitter