The Good Liar: Book summary and reviews of The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle

The Good Liar

by Nicholas Searle

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle X
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2016
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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 gut-clenching cat-and-mouse game… This debut novel is a well-crafted, complex tale that will appeal to fans of psychological thrillers." - Booklist

"The truth is interesting and unexpected, but it takes too long to unravel." - Kirkus

"[A] fantastically assured debut…. The Good Liar makes you want to experience Nicholas Searle's next trick." - The Guardian (UK)

"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 (UK)

"One of 2016's most intriguing debut novels." - The Independent (UK)

"[A] compelling premise.... Elegant writing." - The Times(UK)

"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

"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

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FictionZeal

from FictionZeal.com re: The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle
Roy has a history of duping people out of their money. He’s now in his eighties, and has set himself up with Betty, a rather gullible but affluent elderly woman. He just wants to be taken care of. But inwardly, he wants one more big fling; one more big con. Betty’s grandson, Stephen, doesn’t like Roy and suspects he’s up to no good.

The author methodically creates a man who is able to give readers the creeps. Searle peels back the layers of this man piece by piece, going from his most recent past to his early past. Yet he never lets us forget the present time – what is Roy planning now that he has successfully weaved his way into Betty’s life?

Present tense was used for some of the scenes which had existed in the past. If this was purposefully done, I thought it a bit odd. The characters were fascinating and well crafted, but I had a difficult time relating to any of them. The mood of the storyline was dark and foreboding. Yet, curiosity carries the reader forth to a rather satisfying ending. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Author Information

Nicholas Searle

Nicholas Searle grew up in the southwest of England and studied languages at the University of Bath. He spent more years than he cares to remember in public service before deciding in 2011 to leave and begin writing fiction. The Good Liar is his first novel. Nicholas lives in the north of England.

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