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All the Beautiful Lies

by Peter Swanson

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3202174,697 (3.45)6
Fiction. Literature. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

From the acclaimed author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth Killing comes a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder‚??a sly and brilliant guessing game of a novel in the vein of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Patricia Highsmith.

Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an "otherworldly" 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, Harry returns to his father's home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other 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 tr… (more)

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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Great fun. Nice twist. If you enjoyed The Kind Worth Killing you'll most likely enjoy this one. ( )
  theBookDevourer211 | Jan 27, 2023 |
Sick, twisted, and ridiculous... the only reason I am allotting two stars is because the novel was surprisingly addictive (but not worth my time) ( )
1 vote SallyElizabethMurphy | Nov 1, 2022 |
It was OK, I was getting lost in the characters a bit but got through it ( )
  daaft | Aug 13, 2022 |
In All The Beautiful Lies, bookseller and general mystery lover Bill Ackerman recommends The Secret History as one of his top five campus crime novels, before tragically dying by accidentally slipping from a nature path. Definitely suspicious, right?

When the story opens, new grad Harry returns to the coastal Maine town for his father's funeral, and to help his his stepmother, Alice. At first, Harry's just grieving for the terrible accident that cause his father's death on one of his regular evening walks. But soon things start to get darker, with an unknown young woman who shows up at the funeral and then at the bookstore. Then there are signs that his father's death wasn't an accident. And Harry's stepmother, halfway between himself and his father in age, has always seemed unsettlingly attractive to Harry.

There is a creepy Lolita style relationship at the heart of this book, which is actually revealed as just one link in a chain of adults having relationships with teenagers, who grow up to be adults interested in teenagers. Because the story reveals these semi-consensual, predatory relationships, it almost makes the murders less shocking in comparison. And there are quite a few suspicious deaths, creating a surprisingly high body count for such a small town.

There's very little gross in this book, really just some blood. Instead, the tension comes from the twisted motivations and the cold-blooded actions.

This was a dark and suspenseful story, with nods to Agatha Christie and other famous mysteries. ( )
  TheFictionAddiction | May 8, 2022 |
What a fabulous read!
The book has two timelines. NOW and THEN. now was Harry's story - college grad/stepson and then was Alice's story line - young Alice/The stepmom. It took me a few chapters to get the hang of it then it took off and was impossible to put down.

I love how the characters are so well written. After reading some books with so many characters thrown in there to confused readers to guess whodunit, this was so refreshing. Yes, even the bad ones. A good twist but not sure if I'm completely satisfied with the ending.

Well worth the wait for sure. I think this is rated R thriller, not for all readers. ( )
  xKayx | Dec 14, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Fiction. Literature. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

From the acclaimed author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth Killing comes a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder‚??a sly and brilliant guessing game of a novel in the vein of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Patricia Highsmith.

Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an "otherworldly" 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, Harry returns to his father's home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other 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 tr

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