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A Cidade das Mentiras by R. J. Ellory

A Cidade das Mentiras (original 2006; edition 2009)

by R. J. Ellory

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141385,024 (3.89)5
Title:A Cidade das Mentiras
Authors:R. J. Ellory
Info:Editorial Presença, 2009.
Collections:Your library

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City of Lies by R.J. Ellory (2006)


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John Harper has always been alone. His mother died when he was just seven years old and he was raised in New York by an aunt he barely knew. He never even made his father's acquaintance - a man who died shortly after he was born. After leaving the Big Apple as soon as he was old enough, his life consisted of one moderately successful book, a collection affectionately received newspaper columns and a comfortable existence in Miami. But then all that changed. One liquor store heist that goes wrong turns John's existence on its head. It seems that his father didn't die all those years ago - in fact, he has thrived in the New York underworld. But now the man himself lies critically injured in a Manhattan hospital and it's time for father and son to meet at last. But this is just the start. For it seems that John's father was working on something when he got caught in the heist - something very big indeed. And powerful people all over the city want in on it. The only problem is that the only person with the key to it is John

If I was going to recommend a R J Ellory novel to someone who hadn’t read any of his before it wouldn’t be this one. It is not one of his best. I felt that this book wasn’t as pacy as his other books and the plot did nothing really to keep my interest. The story got a little repetitive at times and there was that many ‘lies’ going about I felt in a muddle myself. The main character John I felt was a bit dim. He was told by several characters including his father to leave New York other wise he would wind up in with the mob. They spelled it out for him with big clues and he didn’t get it. Cathy Hollander we was lead to believe was in that deep she couldn’t get out, but wait for the twist. For her to do what she did, it must have been a very long process, a rather long case ! If I were going to recommend one of his novels it would have to be a Quiet Belief in Angels, or Ghostheart, not this one. ( )
  tina1969 | Nov 11, 2010 |
There is no doubt that this novel is right outside of my comfort zone,. However as with the three other novels I have read by this author, I was hooked right from the start, and would have finished it much faster had it not been for a very busy week. I am now glad I didn't finish it too quickly as it was a real pleasure to have it keep me company this week. It also seemed very appropriate to be reading it just before Christmas as the story takes place in the days leading up to Christmas Eve in New York. City of Lies is also so well written, the sense of place is wonderful, the constant hum of the city and it's underlying threat a character in itself, brilliantly done.

The world created here by R J Ellory is a tough, urban underworld, where violence come easily to men for whom it is a way of life. Into this world comes John Harper, who has spent the majority of his adulthood in Miami leading a pretty unremarkable life, and totally unaware of this other world. He spends the next week with people like Walt Freiberg a man who has known his father for many years and was a shadowy figure in John's own childhood, Cathy Hollander "the eye candy" who it seems has gone by several different names, his Aunt Evelyn, who is responsible for the lies John grew up with, and knows more than she is telling him, and Frank Duchaunak a crazy cop with a Marilyn Monroe obsession. The characterisation is fantastic, the dialogue is fast paced and authentic, and reminiscent of all the episodes of Hill Street Blues I watched with my Dad in the 1980'. ( )
  Heaven-Ali | Dec 13, 2009 |
Until a week before Christmas John Harper living in Miami had thought he was an orphan. That was when he got a phone call from his Aunt Evelyn stressing that it was important he get to New York city as soon as he could. It has been 17 years since he left New York and now he learns that Lenny Bernstein, the father he had thought dead for 30 years, is lying in a Manhattan hospital critically wounded in a liquor store hold up. At the hospital Harper meets up with an old family friend whom he had always thought of as Uncle Walt.
A little faster than John, the reader learns that things are not what they seem. There is a vortex of evil that slowly begins to suck John Harper in as he struggles to understand who his father actually is, and the events rush towards a climax that will mean death for many. I liked the pace at which this book moved, but I did have a problem in seeing John Harper as a real person. In my opinion too there were a couple of improbabilities, and a couple of loose ends- but I am not going to spoil your reading by talking about them here ( )
2 vote smik |
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John Harper has just made a discovery. The father he believed to be dead for more than thirty years is alive, though lying in a coma in a Manhattan hospital. Returning home to New York brings with it memories of childhood, many of them painful, and yet Harper could never have prepared himself for the truth.… (more)

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