Peter Swanson is well known in the thriller/suspense field and his latest book, All the Beautiful Lies, only adds to his credibility as a master story-teller.
Harry Ackerson has just completed his university studies when he receives a call from his step-mother informing him that his father has died in an apparent suicide. Harry rushes home, not even attending graduation, in grief and disbelief. His step-mother, Alice, appears to be in a state of shock. Harry believes it is his duty to comfort Alice and help sort out the bookstore that his fathered owned. As he is doing so, he sees a young woman who continually appears – at the book store, his father’s funeral, wherever Harry is there she is too. Who is she and what does she have to do with Harry’s father? When the news breaks that Harry’s fathers has been murdered rather than dying from a accident, more questions arise surrounding all those who knew and supposedly loved his father.
While this is told primarily from Harry’s point of view in the present, there are flashbacks to the past from Alice. We learn how she came to marry Harry’s father, her childhood, etc. The more we, as readers, learn about all of the characters, the more we realize there are lies, beautiful lies, but lies never-the-less swirling all around Harry. These lies lead to grave danger for Harry.
I admit that I adore Swanson, especially his writing style. His books never are quite what they seem. You think you are reading Harry’s story, when in fact, this is all about Alice. You think you have the “whodunit” figured out, when it is just the tip of the iceberg. Swanson is clever, toying and, ultimately, masterful in the art of suspense and I loved each and every page of All of the Beautiful Lies.