The Good Liar
by Nicholas Searle
Release Date: February 2nd 2016
ARC Edition; 352 Pages
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
Source: Review copy from TLC Book Tours
3.5 / 5 Stars
Roy is a conman living
in a small English town, about to pull off his final con. He is going to
meet and woo a beautiful woman and slip away with her life savings. But
who is the man behind the con?
What has he had to do to survive a life of lies?
And who has had to pay the price?
The Good Liar is a fairly interesting story about an old man conning an older woman, and making off with her savings. But as always, appearances can be deceiving. I liked how the story was told, going backwards in time rather than forwards, and although it was fairly predictable, and easy to figure out what happened, it was still interesting to read the glimpses of Roy's life we were able to get.
First of all, while I thought the plot was fairly predictable, it was pretty interesting. I was curious as to how Roy became the man that he did, and although I didn't like him very much, I did feel sorry for him to a certain extent. Not enough to be completely sympathetic to what happened to him though, as I found him to be somewhat despicable in his disregard for others and the devastation he left behind him. And while I enjoyed the plot, and there were definite moments when I was completely absorbed and the tension would build up nicely, only to be let down by those moments that did tend to drag on a bit and slow down the story. I definitely looked forward to the sections about the past as I found them the most fascinating and wished there had been more story to tell. I don't think I will ever tire when reading about World War II and the impact it had on people's lives. So devastating!!
I thought the author is a very clever writer however, and really enjoyed his writing style. Reading between the lines is definitely my thing and the author insinuates and creates innuendos very well, making you rethink your ideas. Many of the concepts were revealed slowly and carefully, but if you paid attention to the innuendos, it really wasn't hard to figure out what was going on and why Betty was involved in Roy's life. This author has huge potential to create some really suspenseful novels in the future and I really look forward to that. However, in this one, I thought the conclusion was a bit too pat; it also seemed to be a bit of a letdown from the buildup. While it wasn't a horrible ending by any means, I just expected a little bit more. But then again, it is life, and life doesn't always end the way we want it to, does it?
I also wasn't too sure of Betty although I did like her as a character. However, I wondered if I liked her because Roy just wasn't nice which made her seem more likable. Since most of the story was from Roy's viewpoint, I didn't really feel like I got to know Betty, until maybe the end, which was a bit too late for me. I sympathized with her story and her plight as a child, but I didn't really connect with her as an adult.
The Good Liar had a great concept, but I did feel it lacked a little something that would have made it even more interesting. The author's writing style is very appealing however, and I did enjoy the progress through time as it was a bit different than the usual. The last third of the novel was probably the most enjoyable and it showcased the author's talent the best and what this novel really could have been, except for perhaps the ending which was anticlimactic. A very promising debut.