All the Beautiful Lies3.5 Stars

My Review: All the Beautiful Lies is a suspenseful read, but take it at face value. If you try to analyze the characters and the story, it may cause you to enjoy it less. I am glad I read this before reading all the reviews because I might not have read it after. I enjoyed the story and read it quite quickly to find out what would happen next. There were a lot of twists in the story, some that were quite surprising.

When Harry Ackerson gets a phone call from his step-mother, Alice, telling him his father had died, he heads to Maine to help with the funeral and the book store. What he finds out when he gets there, changes the way he thinks about his father. At first it was thought to be a suicide, but later it is determined that it was murder. Even though beautiful, cold Alice appears to be grieving for Bill, Harry thinks there’s something not quite right about her. The narrative is told in two time periods referred to as then and now. We find out about Alice’s past and how she ended up as a real estate agent married to Bill Ackerson. In then, the narrator is Harry and we find out about his father and what he is going through.

My main issue with All the Beautiful Lies is that it felt a bit hollow. We find out about the past of the characters, but they still feel like shells to me. Even though the character development was not what I would have liked, I still enjoyed the book. I liked the idea of the book store and how books were so important in both Harry’s and his father’s life. It was nice to see that Harry used plots of mysteries he remembered that helped him to figure out what was really going on in the story. I will also say that the ending was not what I expected but it was karma. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Edelweiss.

Synopsis: 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.

Published April 3rd 2018 by William Morrow
Hardcover, 287 pages
Kindle Edition, 309 pages
Paperback, 304 pages
Peter  SwansonAbout the Author: Peter Swanson is the author of four novels: The Girl With a Clock For a Heart, an LA Times Book Award finalist; The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, All the Beautiful Lies. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionThe Atlantic MonthlyMeasureThe GuardianThe Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.

A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.