All the beautiful lies A novel

Peter Swanson, 1968-

Book - 2018

"From one of the new masters of psychological suspense comes another twisty tale of blind passion, mistaken identities, and murder"--

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Subjects
Genres
Suspense fiction
Thrillers (Fiction)
Published
New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2018]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
285 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780062427052
0062427059
Main Author
Peter Swanson, 1968- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Harry Ackerson rushes to his childhood home in Kennewick, Maine, after learning that his father has died from a fall off of his favorite cliff walk. In Kennewick, Harry becomes the crutch for his femme-fatale stepmother, Alice, whose grief takes the uncomfortable form of sexual attraction toward Harry. When Bill Ackerson's autopsy reveals the death was a homicide, Alice insists that Bill was killed by a woman she's certain was Bill's mistress. But Harry questions her story after meeting Grace, a mysterious young woman from New York who reveals that she and Bill were in love. When Harry finds Grace's body and realizes that she and his father were killed in the same manner, he becomes convinced that a killer is stalking people connected to his father. But why? An alternating narrative in Alice's voice provides fruit for suspicion, but Swanson guards the killer's identity and motives until the bitter end. Swanson's fourth psychological thriller is a gripping exploration of delusion and deceit; sure to please readers of Laura Lippman's stand-alones. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

When graduating college student Harry Ackerson learns that his father has apparently committed suicide, he returns home to help settle his affairs. Harry quickly suspects foul play and initiates an inquiry into his father's death. His search uncovers a chain of secrets, leading him to doubt all that he believes about his father. The nearer Harry gets to his attractive stepmother, Alice, who is much closer to Harry's age than his father's, the more he questions her motives. The novel alternates between two stories that ultimately intersect: one in the present with Harry, and one that follows Alice's life since young adulthood. Both stories reveal how quickly lies can escalate and wreak havoc as innocent people become collateral in a reckless game of immorality and deception. In his fourth novel (after Her Every Fear), Swanson successfully constructs a teetering house of cards precariously stacked with lies, which threatens to topple at any moment. VERDICT Suspense lovers will devour this deliciously duplicitous read, which is chock-full of twists, turns, lust, greed, and dishonesty. [See Prepub Alert, 10/22/17.]—Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Just before his college graduation, Harry Ackerson, the hero of this uneven psychological thriller from Swanson (Her Every Fear), learns from his stepmother, Alice, that his father, Bill, has apparently committed suicide. When the aimless and grief-stricken Harry visits Kennewick, Maine, where his father ran a bookstore, he is overwhelmed by the attentions of his sensual stepmother, who comes to believe Bill was murdered and suggests possible suspects to the police. Meanwhile, Grace McGowan, a young woman who knew Bill in New York City, where he had another bookstore, arrives in town and begins questioning Alice's role in Bill's death. As Harry's doubts about Alice grow, he finds himself caught between the two women. Only Alice seems to know the answers, but she would prefer the past to stay buried. This tale of seduction, obsession, and murder will resonate with fans of Patricia Highsmith, but the characters' fragmented backstories weigh it down. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Associates. (Apr.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Devastated when his father commits suicide days before his college graduation, Harry returns to his home in Maine, where he is baffled by the increasingly sensual attentions of a mysterious woman and his own alluring stepmother, who he comes to realize are hiding dangerous secrets. By the award-winning author of The Girl With a Clock for A Heart. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"From one of the new masters of psychological suspense comes another twisty tale of blind passion, mistaken identities, and murder"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Devastated when his father commits suicide, Harry returns to his home in Maine, where he is baffled by the attentions of a mysterious woman and his own stepmother, who he comes to realize are hiding dangerous secrets.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

From the acclaimed author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth Killing comes a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder—a sly and brilliant guessing game of a novel in the vein of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Patricia Highsmith.Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an "otherworldly" way. She has always been kind and attentive, if a little aloof in the last few years. Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Devastated, Harry returns to his father’s home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other pick up of the pieces of their lives and uncover what happened to his father.Shortly after he arrives, Harry meets a mysterious young woman named Grace McGowan. Though she claims to be new to the area, Harry begins to suspect that Grace may not be a complete stranger to his family. But she isn’t the only attractive woman taking an interest in Harry. The sensual Alice is also growing closer, coming on to him in an enticing, clearly sexual way.Mesmerized by these two women, Harry finds himself falling deeper under their spell. Yet the closer he gets to them, the more isolated he feels, disoriented by a growing fear that both women are hiding dangerous—even deadly—secrets . . . and that neither one is telling the truth.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

From the acclaimed author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth Killing comes a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder'a sly and brilliant guessing game of a novel in the vein of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Patricia Highsmith.Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an "otherworldly" way. She has always been kind and attentive, if a little aloof in the last few years. Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead and the police think it's suicide. Devastated, Harry returns to his father's home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other pick up of the pieces of their lives and uncover what happened to his father.Shortly after he arrives, Harry meets a mysterious young woman named Grace McGowan. Though she claims to be new to the area, Harry begins to suspect that Grace may not be a complete stranger to his family. But she isn't the only attractive woman taking an interest in Harry. The sensual Alice is also growing closer, coming on to him in an enticing, clearly sexual way.Mesmerized by these two women, Harry finds himself falling deeper under their spell. Yet the closer he gets to them, the more isolated he feels, disoriented by a growing fear that both women are hiding dangerous'even deadly'secrets . . . and that neither one is telling the truth.