15 Feb 2017



BACK COVER BLURB: This is a life told back to front.

This is a man who has lied all his life.

Roy is a conman living in a leafy English suburb, about to pull off the final coup of his career. He is going to meet and woo a beautiful woman and slip away with her life savings.

But who is the man behind the con and what has he had to do to survive this life of lies?

And why is this beautiful woman so willing to be his next victim?

FIRST SENTENCE {CHAPTER ONE: NOM DE GUERRE}: It is, Roy thinks, perfect.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {PAGE 127}: Eventually Bob came free with a sickening squish and Roy laid him on the blanket, taking care to not too look closely. The blanket had just enough play for Roy to use the corner to wipe away the girder end of the chassis on which Bob had been impaled.

SOURCE: A Reading Group read.

READ FOR: Not applicable.

MY THOUGHTS: There seems to have been quite a glut (mostly Nordic as far as I'm aware) of 'elderly folks behaving badly' novels recently. Not that the Roy of The Good Liar is always portrayed as elderly for as the story progresses we get to meet him at various stages of his life. And certainly, unlike as with all of the other characters in the 'Elderly Folks Behaving Badly' novels I've read, there isn't one thing about him that I found humorous, let alone, likeable.

For the most part, totally confused by this novel, the first by the author. A plot I found myself unable to follow, convinced as I was that at the turn of every page I thought I'd turned several, the whole story only coming together in the last few chapters.

As for characters?

I've long since come to the realisation that it isn't important for me to actually like the characters, as long as I feel something, anything, for at least one of them ... even if it is only a vague sense of interest or intrigue. Alas, I found myself thinking (much less feeling) nothing for Roy, very much the linchpin of the story, or indeed any of the others.

A book that will doubtlessly divide opinion. Initial reports from some of my fellow reading group members find ... 

  • One of them commenting this is the worst book we as a group have ever read 
  • One of them finding the basis for the story good but overall too convoluted a plot
  • Two of them (one of them totally unexpectedly) enjoying it.


Natasha Hill said...

Oh no, sorry to hear it wasn't a good read - it did sound quite interesting from the blurb, but I have to agree, like you, if I don't feel anything for the characters or the story it can be hard to stay glued to it and enjoy it. One I think I'll give a miss! - Tasha

Kelly said...

Based on your review, I think I'll give this one a miss, too. At least everything came together in the very end. If that happens, then I can feel like my time reading the book was not a total waste.

That's quite a memorable moment you shared!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I agree. There doesn't have to be like with a character but some sort of human connection. Sounds like a good reading group you have there. I don't think this book would be for me either.

Suko said...

Tracy, thank you for your honest review. It doesn't sound like my cup of tea, either.

On a different note, my blogroll is slow to update, for some reason. I wish Blogger would fix this issue.

Brian Joseph said...

It seems impossible to get much absolutely confusing book. A certain level of enigma would take away any level of appreciation for characters, plot, writing, etc.

One needs to get something out of the portrayal of a character to have an effective story. I agree that they do not have to be likable.

frayed at the edge said...

I think I'll give this one a miss - I have enough books to read, without adding one that doesn't particularly appeal.

Anonymous said...

From what you said in your
honest review, I will definitely
not add this book to my list. And
I agree that a reader should be
able to relate in some way to
the characters (and the story).

Melliane said...

complicated... Well I need to like the chaaracters myself

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

This one did actually sound quite interesting, but I trust your judgment enough not to ignore your comments, so won't be adding it to my list.

You were quite right when you observed that this book may well divide opinion though, as many of my Goodreads friends did actually enjoy the book enough for several 4 star ratings. On the other hand, the overall average book rating is quite low.

I know that I should probably read the book and make up my own mind, however "too many books, too little time" is beating a tattoo in my mind.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and better luck with whatever is on the agenda next :)


DMS said...

This doesn't sound like the book for me- but I enjoyed hearing your opinion and the thoughts from your group too. Book clubs are always fascinating because opinions on the same book can vary so much. Thanks for sharing!

Gina R said...

Oh dear... and the synopsis sounded promising. Isn't it funny though that several can a the same book at the same time and yet their opinions vary greatly? Great share just the same!

So many books, so little time said...

Hmmm not sure this one would be for me, I think I would read it if I came across it but certainly won't be seeking it out.

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Literary Feline said...

There does seem to be a lot of "elderly folks behaving badly" as you called it. I have had my eye on this one, but haven't yet read it.

Like you, I came to the realization long ago that I didn't necessarily have to like the characters (although there are books where it does matter to me--it depends on the type of book it is).

Sounds like this one made for a good book club read.

Thanks for sharing, Tracy!