Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Review: The Lying House by Rick Mofina

The Lying House
by Rick Mofina
Release Date: November 26th 2019
2019 Mira Books
Kindle Edition; 512 Pages
ISBN: 978-0778308881
Genre: Fiction / Suspense
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

Lisa Taylor had friends, family and a job she loved back in Cleveland. But when her husband, Jeff, lands the promotion of a lifetime, she gives it all up to stand by him. Their whirlwind move to Miami feels like an adventure, their idyllic new neighborhood the perfect place to start a family. But their dreams are shattered when a stranger breaks into their house, holding a knife to Lisa's throat before Jeff can chase him off.

Suddenly, every sacrifice Lisa made is like a loss she'll never recover from. But Jeff makes it clear there's too much at stake to return to Ohio. Isolated and afraid, Lisa becomes a hostage in her own home. She can't shake the feeling she's being watched. And with the man she married growing increasingly unrecognizable, she's starting to wonder whether their hasty move was to pursue a better life--or escape a chilling past that won't be outrun.

My Thoughts
The Lying House was a light, enjoyable read, but I definitely don't think this was one of his best works.  I love this author and always look forward to his new novels as I love the suspense he creates with his characters and the way he lays out his chapters, usually giving little away to the reader.  For whatever reason, I thought this one was very predictable, even if well-written, and I easily figured out who the culprit was very early on.  This is not the usual case with this author and I was kind of disappointed by this.

The first third of the book moved along quite quickly and I have to admit the first few chapters were quite explosive and interesting, and I had high hopes the story would continue with that sense of suspense and evil hanging over the main characters.  The author always manages to infuse his writing with this sense of foreboding that makes you tense, just waiting for something unexpected to happen.  And while this writing style was definitely evident at the beginning, something...changed.  I can't quite put my finger on what it was as the writing style was still quite good, but that sense of foreboding was simply...gone.  And then I wasn't as invested in the story or the characters.

And while I sort of liked the characters, I didn't find them extraordinary.  Their childhood issues were quite easy to figure out, especially Jeff's, and Lisa's childhood trauma was also easy to figure out if you really thought about what happened.  Unfortunately, if I say more I will gave away some plot points and I don't want to do that here.  To be honest, I couldn't really figure out what importance that had on the present day other than to find some type of conflict between the two characters but that conflict seemed a bit contrived to me.  And my, the neighbour was annoying.  

The Lying House was quite predictable from very early on and did not quite live up to this author's usual standards of suspense.  I was not the biggest fan of the main characters as I thought they were whiny and self-entitled.  The ending was okay, but a bit too pat.  I really think I would have preferred a twist or something to make it a bit more interesting.  Overall, a light, enjoyable read but if you have read his previous works, you may be a bit disappointed by this one. If you have never read a book by this author, I highly recommend the Tom Reed and Walt Sydowski series as well as the Jason Wade books.


  1. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts about this book.

  2. predictable is okay with me, but i too like a good twist or two to shake me up
    sherry @ fundinmental