St Martin's Press
April 11, 2017
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On paper, Chris Brennan looks perfect. He's applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he's ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his references are impeccable.
But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.
Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a high school pitcher so athletically talented that he's being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball. But Raz’s father died only a few months ago, leaving her son in a vulnerable place where any new father figure might influence him for good, or evil.
Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Jordan's baseball games. But Jordan is shy, and Heather fears he is being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man from an affluent family whose fun-loving manner might possibly conceal his violent plans.
Mindy Kostis succumbs to the pressure of being a surgeon's wife by filling her days with social events and too many gin and tonics. But she doesn’t know that her husband and her son, Evan, are keeping secrets from her – secrets that might destroy all of them.
At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he there? What does he want? And what is he willing to do to get it?
Enthralling and suspenseful, One Perfect Lie is an emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will have readers riveted up to the shocking end, with killer twists and characters you won’t soon forget.
I love that One Perfect Lie does not let readers know all of what it's about prior to actually starting reading it. Based on the description, there will be a lot you don't know ahead of reading. I makes each discovery all the more shocking and confusing.
You do know, from almost the very beginning, that Chris Brennan is not being honest with everyone (or anyone, really) in Central Valley, Pennsylvania. He's hired as the new government teach and assistant baseball coach but you know he's not qualified to be either of those and that he's doing it only for an ulterior motive. It is understanding what that motive is - and if he'll be successful that make the story so startling and compelling.
The teenage boys that seem to maybe, be a part of Chris's plan and their families add some interesting side stories and where each of them is (in their families, with their friends, personally, etc) impacts what Chris is trying to do. I did like that the actual story was not as cozy as the description made it sound. Raz, Jordan and Evan all have something about their family life and their relationship with their fathers (or their lack of a father, for whatever the reason) that make them potentially perfect for Chris's plan.
It was seeing things from Chris's perspective but also the boys' and their mothers' that really made things compelling. The main characters were well written and you felt for them even as you found them frustrating. They are characters you can understand even if you don't always like them.
There were some real surprises in this story yet they all fit with the characters and what we already knew. I loved that things could be taken in a whole new, surprising direction, but still work so well. One Perfect Lie is a story that pulls you in from the beginning, leaves you wondering if that is really what's going to happen . . . no, really?! and the characters and ending are great.
digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley