Wednesday 29 June 2022

Book ~ "All the Beautiful Lies" (2018) Peter Swanson

From Goodreads ~ On the eve of his college graduation, Harry is called home by his step-mother Alice, to their house on the Maine coast, following the unexpected death of his father. 

But who really is Alice, his father's much younger second wife? In a brilliant split narrative, Peter Swanson teases out the stories and damage that lie in her past. And as her story entwines with Harry's in the present, things grow increasingly dark and threatening - will Harry be able to see any of it clearly through his own confused feelings?

Harry is just about to graduate from college when Alice, his stepmother, calls him to tell him that his father has passed away.  He was out on a walk and must have slipped or something.  Harry heads home for the summer to be with his stepmother and help run his father's used bookstore.  Then the police determine his father had been murdered.  A mysterious young woman shows up around town and though he is drawn to her, Harry wonders how she knew her father and whether she was involved in his murder.

I thought this story was okay.  It bounced back and forth from the past to the present.  We get to know Alice, who grew up with an alcoholic mother who passed away when she was a teenager, and she was then raised by her stepfather, Jake.  It is written in third person perspective, depending on where the action was.  As a head's up, there is swearing, pedophilia and violence.

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