Tuesday, April 17, 2018
All The Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson (thoughts)
"Harry Ackerson has always considered his step-mother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an “other worldly” 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, he returns to his father’s home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help one another 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."
I went into this book knowing next to nothing about it other than I had enjoyed another book by this author previously. This book is completely different than The Girl With a Clock for a Heart (which is the 1st book that I read by this author) but just as good. I actually got a vibe similar to My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier when I was reading this one although yet again two completely different books. Maybe it was the haunting way that Alice is portrayed that reminded me of Rachel - that unreachable quality about both of them which had me as the reader questioning their intentions the entire time. The main difference though is that in this book the story switches back and forth from the present day to when Alice was a young girl. We may not know Alice's intentions in the current day but we do get the chance to learn more about her through reading about her experiences while growing up. Trigger warning that some of those experiences are disturbing and may not be for all readers. I felt like learning more about Alice explained so much but yet gave me so many questions as well. What I kept trying to figure out was how everything from Alice's past tied into Harry's father's death. I was so strangely compelled by this book even when I wasn't sure how I felt about the characters. I liked Harry well enough but some of his choices had me wanting to pull my hair out. This isn't your typical mystery or thriller - I felt like the focus was more on the characters and their intentions rather than on the actual mystery itself. What I really enjoyed though was the ending which was completely unexpected but yet felt so right. I won't say any more than that but if you've read this book - let me know so we can discuss!
Overall after enjoying both of the books that I've read by this author so much I plan on catching up with the other books of his that I haven't yet read. I feel like this is a book that will stay with me for awhile just because it is so different from the other books that I've been reading. I'm eager to see what other readers think of this one because I just feel like some of it begs to be discussed. Like the ending for one! I appreciated that with this book I was so immersed in it even when I wasn't as focused on the mystery portion. Just the why's behind the characters and their actions had me hooked which is why I couldn't stop reading. I would recommend this one to readers who enjoy suspenseful reads and mysteries. A solid four out of five stars!
Bottom Line: A book that lingered with me after I finished it!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss. Honest thoughts are my own.