Category Archives: One Perfect Lie

Review: One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline

Title: One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

On paper, Chris Brennan looks perfect. He’s applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he’s ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his references are impeccable.

But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.

Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a high school pitcher so athletically talented that he’s being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball. But Raz’s father died only a few months ago, leaving her son in a vulnerable place where any new father figure might influence him for good, or evil.

Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Justin’s baseball games. But Justin is shy, and Heather fears he is being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man from an affluent family whose fun-loving manner might possibly conceal his violent plans.

Mindy Kostis succumbs to the pressure of being a surgeon’s wife by filling her days with social events and too many gin and tonics. But she doesn’t know that her husband and her son, Evan, are keeping secrets from her – secrets that might destroy all of them.

At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he there? What does he want? And what is he willing to do to get it?

Enthralling and suspenseful, One Perfect Lie is an emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will have readers riveted up to the shocking end, with killer twists and characters you won’t soon forget.

Review:

One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline is a suspenseful, adrenaline laced thriller that is fast-paced and compelling.

Chris Brennan is a newly hired teacher and assistant baseball coach at Central Valley High School. The staff eagerly welcomes him with open arms and he is a big hit with his student. What no one knows is Chris Brennan is not his real name and he has a nefarious agenda that includes befriending one of his students.  After careful consideration, Chris has narrowed his list down to three possible teenagers and he wastes no time trying to gain the boys’ trust. Chris is cold and calculating as he begins putting in motion what appears to be a very ominous plan.

Raz Sematov is one of the boys on Chris’s list to befriend. He, along with his mother Susan and older brother Ryan, are still mourning the sudden death of his father months earlier.  With the family dynamic completely changed, Susan has failed to step up and take control of the family and she is hard to like considering her self-absorbed attitude.  With the small family floundering, Raz is incredibly vulnerable to Chris’s manipulation, but is the grief-stricken teenager the right person for his plan?

Evan Kostis is rich, entitled and quite popular with his fellow students. His father, Paul, is a doctor whose busy practice keeps him away from home for long hours. Hi mom Mindy is a stay at home mother who uses alcohol to cope with the problems in her marriage and she is hardly the most observant parent. Armed with plenty of suspicions about the possible reasons for  Paul’s frequent late nights at work, she is looking for evidence to back up her theories.  With so much turmoil surrounding the family, will Chris chose Evan to aid him with whatever he is planning to do?

Jordan Larkin is the son of a hardworking single mom who is counting on a baseball scholarship so he can attend college.  His mother, Heather, works as a waitress at the local country club and she is quite proud of her kind-hearted, thoughtful son.  Despite their financial struggles and lack of a male role model, Jordan is well-adjusted and never gives Heather any reason to worry about him. Chris quickly zeros in vulnerabilities that could make Jordan very useful during his preparations for his (worrying) project.

Chris has carefully laid the ground work for whatever he is planning to do and it is rather scary how easily everyone accepts him at face value. However, his inner thoughts provide a much more menacing picture and although he has not given name to his project, it is obviously something quite horrific. The only person who might inadvertently blow his cover is teacher Abe Yomes and Chris makes every effort to stay of his way.  But Abe proves to be incredibly tenacious and he quickly becomes a thorn in Chris’s side.  How far will Chris go to ensure nothing (and no one) prevents him from carrying out his disturbing plot?

One Perfect Lie has an ingenious and very unique storyline and Lisa Scottoline brilliantly keeps readers guessing what Chris is planning to do for a good part of the novel. Chris is rather chilling as he meticulously puts the three boys at odds while he decides which teenager will be the most helpful in carrying out what appears to be a very chilling and deadly plot.  Once the truth about Chris is revealed, the riveting story hurtles at breakneck speed to an exciting, pulse-pounding conclusion.  An absolutely breathtaking rollercoaster of ride that mystery/thriller/suspense lovers are going to LOVE!

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Filed under Contemporary, Lisa Scottoline, Mystery, One Perfect Lie, Rated B+, Review, St Martin's Press, Suspense, Thriller