Title: One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline
Genre: Crime/ Mystery
Publisher: St. Martins Press
On paper, Chris Brennan looks perfect. He’s applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he’s ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his references are impeccable.
But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.
Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a high school pitcher so athletically talented that he’s being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball. But Raz’s father died only a few months ago, leaving her son in a vulnerable place where any new father figure might influence him for good, or evil.
Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Justin’s baseball games. But Justin is shy, and Heather fears he is being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man from an affluent family whose fun-loving manner might possibly conceal his violent plans.
Mindy Kostis succumbs to the pressure of being a surgeon’s wife by filling her days with social events and too many gin and tonics. But she doesn’t know that her husband and her son, Evan, are keeping secrets from her – secrets that might destroy all of them.
At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he there? What does he want? And what is he willing to do to get it?
One Perfect Lie was my first experience with Lisa Scottoline as an author. I was approached by St.Martins Press who asked if they could send me a copy to review and after reading the blurb I couldn’t refuse. I was intrigued by the Suburban Crime Story and how the numerous stories would work together and I’m pleasantly surprised by the reading experience I had!
Firstly I have to mention how much I love the cover of this book. I like the smashed glass in front of an image of a suburban street it really alludes to the idea of suburbia being broken and lies plaguing it.
This book has been described as being “provocative, gripping, an intense and breathless ride” by the likes of Emily Griffin and Jodi Picoult. After finishing One Perfect Lie, I have to agree. One Perfect Lie was truly an emotional thriller split into two parts, at the beginning of the book I had so many questions. I questioned Chris Brennan – our lead character the most, who he was, what was going to happen and why nobody knew his true identity. Then Part 2 revealed something I didn’t expect to happen and everything fell into place. I won’t reveal what happens and ruin the story but during the beginning of Part 2 your whole thought processes change.
I’m very new to the crime genre, previously I have only read books such as The Girl on the Train and The Cuckoo’s calling. This was my first suburban crime story and it’s left me wanting more, I love the idea of the small town which everybody believes is safe and then bad things start to happen and the secrets spill out. I love how at every corner this book had a twist which made me think and right up until the end I was left guessing who was the villain going to be.
One Perfect Lie holds a suspense filled fast paced plot throughout. Whilst most of the technical lingo was lost on me, it was clear how much research was put into the book and the suburban crime story felt real and relevant.
One thing which was a little too far-fetched for me was during the ending, I don’t want to ruin any major plot points so I won’t name characters but one character dangles from his legs from a ladder to save another. For me this was just a little too far fetched, I couldn’t picture it, however this little moment didn’t take away much of the impact from the ending.
One thing I really liked about Lisa Scottolines writing is her high characterization and deep depth, you find out so much information regarding the characters as well as side characters which helps paint the picture of this town. It was especially great for me being from England and having little knowledge about America.
Another thing which I really liked about this book was the multiple POV which switched from Chris to Heather, Susan and Mindy all of which represented a different type of family. Heather is a single mum, Susan is a widow and Mindy is in a relationship with her husband who has once cheated on her. Each represent different familial issues and I really liked the difference and the contrasts in each, I also liked how each story added further depth and lead to further questions regarding the boys.
Overall I would give One Perfect Lie 4 stars, I loved my reading experience and really enjoyed the writing style of Lisa Scottoline. For me the part of the ending which featured a character dangling from his legs to rescue another whilst being on a ladder was just a little too far-fetched. If you read the book you will see the context in which this moment is and find the true extent of what I mean but as previously stated whilst I found it too far-fetched it was just one moment and it didn’t take away the impact of the ending. I definitely would consider picking up more of Lisa’s work as I particularly love her attention to detail from characters to her research which is evident in her writing.
Let me know in the comments if you have ever read any of Lisa Scottolines work yourself. I would love to find out about any more of her books you think I should consider reading!