Book Review – The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle

It was the title of the book that caught my attention. I enjoy stories where the characters harbor a secret, even better if it’s a devastating one that could threaten to demolish a certain proverbial pillar built upon that premise. It draws you into part of the secret audience, hacking into their brains. Or maybe gives you a God-like complex, where you can read everyone’s minds? I’m not sure. Maybe a little bit of both.

Scanning through the back page, I picked up a few key words “conman, fleecing, willing victim, why”. Interesting.

Writing style is slightly difficult to read for two reasons.

Perhaps as an attempt to create mystery, much of the book is written in a way where the subject of the sentence is unclear and key components of the sentence such as pronouns are deliberately left out. Short, incomplete sentences join some sequences together – making for difficult in comprehension.

The narrative style is non-linear flashback. However, instead of going forwards and flashing back, the story flashes back and goes backward with sporadic sub-plots, and then right at the end, forward. Confused yet? I’m not even sure I’m being coherent in my attempt to illustrate my point.. see what I mean? – I can’t even explain it well. You know what to expect after reading this! I nearly wanted to stop reading one-third of the way through. Still, I soldiered on, driven by weary stubbornness which I like to disguise as fierce determination.

The plot becomes clearer about midway, and you get a better idea of what is going on. So, I urge you to be steadfast and read to 55%, before you decide to give up. Did I mention having a general knowledge of history helps too? Specifically, WWI/WWII/East German SS aka Gestapo. 

In a nutshell, we find out about a con-man’s possibly final con job and his victim, his history, victim’s history, and WHY the victim was willing. Did she have similar interests? Does she know something he doesn’t? Shit. I may have said too much already.

Rating: 5.5/10 (difficult to read, interesting twist towards the end, didn’t give me a endorphin/dopamine [whatever chemical it’s supposed to be] rush, very put-down-able before midway)

 

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