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All the Beautiful Lies

All the Beautiful Lies 1

by Peter Swanson
Publication Date: 20/04/2018
4/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $29.99 $27.95

From the acclaimed author of Her Every Fear, The Kind Worth Killing and The Girl With a Clock for a Heart, comes a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder a sly and brilliant guessing game of a thriller.

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?

Crime & Mystery
Publication Date:
Faber & Faber
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson's debut novel, The Girl With a Clock for a Heart (2014), was described by Dennis Lehane as 'a twisty, sexy, electric thrill ride' and was nominated for the LA Times book award.

His follow up The Kind Worth Killing (2015), a Richard and Judy pick, was shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Silver Dagger, was named the iBook stores Thriller of the Year and was a top ten paperback bestseller.

He lives with his wife and cat in Somerville, Massachusetts. 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • Compelling crime fiction.

    by on

    4.5 stars
    All The Beautiful Lies is the fourth novel by American author, Peter Swanson. Twenty-two-year-old Harry Ackerson is about to graduate from college when his step-mother, Alice rings to tell him his father has unexpectedly died. He heads straight to Maine, overcome with grief. But an autopsy finds that Bill Ackerson was murdered. The bookshop owner had no enemies: who would have wanted him dead?

    The widow, though, is acting a little strangely. Perhaps it’s her reaction to grief. Or perhaps his own grief is altering his perception. Then Harry meets Grace, a young lady who attended his father’s service, and the story she tells just doesn’t ring true.

    Swanson uses four narrative strands and two time periods to set up this clever thriller. It spans some twenty years, features a few red herrings, a great twist, an exciting climax and a surprise ending, by which time seven characters have met their death due to drowning, choking or being hit on the head with a cosh. The callous behaviour of some of those characters will surely leave the reader gasping.

    Swanson makes his characters all the more believable by allowing them to lead normal lives for many years and only commit evil when the situation warrants it. Alice demonstrates the best way to get away with lying: keep telling yourself the preferred version of events until you actually believe it, after which it’s easy to be convincing. Sometimes this will require a fair bit of rationalising, something at which Jake is also an expert, to eliminate any feelings of guilt.

    Swanson’s fourth novel is certainly a page-turner and just a few inconsistencies and some odd sentence structure, which should have been picked up by a good editor, prevent this from being a five-star read. Compelling crime fiction.
    With thanks to Allen and Unwin for this uncorrected proof copy to read and review