The King of Lies: Book summary and reviews of The King of Lies by John Hart

The King of Lies

by John Hart

The King of Lies by John Hart
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  • Published in USA  May 2006
    320 pages
    Genre: Noir

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Book Summary

John Hart creates a literary thriller that is as suspenseful as it is poignant, a riveting murder mystery layered beneath the southern drawl of a humble North Carolina lawyer. When Work Pickens finds his father murdered, the investigation pushes a repressed family history to the surface and he sees his own carefully constructed façade begin to crack.

Work’s troubled sister, her combative girlfriend, his gold digging socialite wife, and an unrequited lifelong love join a cast of small town characters that create no shortage of drama in this extraordinary, fast-paced suspense novel.

Hart’s mastery of prose and plot belie his newcomer status as he explores the true heart of a man. An illuminating anatomy of a murder and the ripple effect it produces within a family and a community, The King of Lies is a stunning debut.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Hart's stunning debut, an exceptionally deep and complex mystery thriller, compares favorably to the best of Scott Turow." - Publishers Weekly.

"The King of Lies, John Hart's seething, roiling, boiling North Carolina murder story … crossbreeds enough Grisham-style intrigue and Turow-style brooding to make for a sulfurous mix. Mr. Hart's prose style keeps it bubbling, sometimes spilling over the top." - New York Times, Janet Maslin.

"In a top-notch debut, Hart's prose is like Raymond Chandler's, angular and hard. Grade: A." - Entertainment Weekly.

"A marriage of carefully crafted prose alongside have-to-keep-reading suspense." - The Denver Post.

"Spicy but not exactly nutritious." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Reader Reviews

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Becky H

King of Lies is excellent reading
A master of tightly plotted and well-crafted mysteries has written another winner. John Hart gives us a lawyer accused of his father’s murder, the DA that USED to be his friend, the wife he has never loved, the woman he does love, the cop who would love to see him hang, and, finally, a homeless man and a PI who may be his only friends. Add in a suicidal sister and her lover and the possibility of millions of dollars in inheritance and you have a first class mystery.
I thought I knew who the murderer was by the end of the second chapter. I was wrong. You will be too. But it doesn’t matter because the book is compelling reading.
5 of 5 stars

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Author Information

John Hart Author Biography

Photo: Eddie Bauer

John Hart is the author of the Redemption Road (2016), and of four New York Times bestsellers, The King of Lies, Down River, The Last Child and Iron House. The only author in history to win the best novel Edgar Award for consecutive novels, John has also won the Barry Award, the Southern Independent Bookseller's Award for Fiction, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His novels have been translated into thirty languages and can be found in over seventy countries.

A former defense attorney and stockbroker, John spends his time in North Carolina and Virginia, where he writes full-time.

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Link to John Hart's Website

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