I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. The plot, with its miriad twists and turns, kept my attention. However, beyond having an excellent plot, this book also provided an excellent depiction of Southern living and mores. Indeed, the entire experience was reminiscent of Greg Iles, who is one of my favorite authors.
Badly written, replete with phrases that a schoolboy would be ashamed of, cliches galore, no noun goes without 1 or 2 adjectives. It goes nowhere and ever so slowly; I heard it in 35 minute spells (my journey to work) and it was insufferable - Elmore Leonard would have covered the same territory in 3 minutes. It was unbearable waiting for it to get moving. I can't believe this won an Edgar award for best first novel, it's terrible and needs a team of editors to reduce it to about 3 hours, not 12. Over-written, insubstantial, dull, the hero is not a hero, he's a whiner. Booklist said "Hart is a fine stylist, turning phrases with a panache that recalls Raymond Chandler." Rubbish, Chandler would have had Philip Marlowe kill the hero and the writer for murdering the English language!
I'm so glad this wasn't the first John Hart book that I listened to because it was painful. I've thoroughly enjoyed other books by Hart, but this one was horrible. The plot was predictable, the suspense was non-existent and the narrator was horrific. I rarely say that about any reading, but David Chandler should probably look for alternate employment. In the hundreds of hours I've spent listening to Audible, I've never heard such audible swallowing and breathing by a reader. It was awkward, annoying and,
at times, disgusting to hear. John, please take a drink of water for God's sake! We can hear the heaviness of you dry tongue in every chapter :( John Hart is truly a good author. Check out some of his other books and don't judge him on this disaster.
Give me a good mystery and I am happy!
A love story, a mystery, a legal thriller and some life lessons thrown in for good measure.
I enjoyed this book very much and hope to get more from this author. Well worth the credit and the time.
This is my second John Hart. I read "Down River", got all excited, and rushed to download this work. It's good, but pretty far short of the other. Since this was Hart's first book I suppose it stands to reason that he would have improved, started hitting his stride in "Down River".
The premise of the mystery is pretty clever, and Hart gives us a couple of likely suspects to focus on throughout the story. The action marches right along, not many digressions from the unraveling of the mystery. It seemed to me that the book was written as a series of scenes, like in a play. When one encounter of the characters gave up all the information they had, curtain down, curtain up, new scene, more information.
Some of the dialog is a bit dramatic sounding, not like people talk at all. As if it were typed in Aerial Font, for soaring rhetoric. From time-to-time I pictured some old Shakespearean actors called out of retirement to act out these scenes, with flourishes and grand sounding words.
Most of the characters were believable and well painted. I was a little curious as to the function of the old Viet Nam vet who'd suffered five years in a POW cage. He was far more interesting than his minor role in this book would indicate. He offers a little advice, then turns out to have witnessed something important, but he doesn't offer anything that a stock bartender character from central casting couldn't have.
I was sort of disappointed in the choice of narrator. David Chandler has absolutely no southern accent, in fact, not much of any accent at all. This is supposed to be North Carolina, after all. Even the Publisher's Summary mentions something about a southern drawl. But, as a lot of the action takes place in courtrooms and lawyers' offices, there's nothing about the book that requires it do be identified with North Carolina, aside from references to Charlotte. Nothing down on the farm or out on the plantation, not much small-town stuff. So maybe Scott Sower would have been an overkill.
Anyway, it's a pretty solid mystery, just not Hart's best.
In this outstanding suspense novel, John Hart captures the audience with a multitude of diverse characters and a twist and turn of events on nearly every page. From beginning to end, narrator David Chandler commands a magnificent performance in his presentation of Hart's brilliantly charming whodunit. Hart's literary style in creating fictional characters to resemble people any reader could easily know gives the plot an added dash of relish. Coupled with a slew of mysterious events, dramatic sequences and a touch of romance,The King of Lies is a recipe in perfect fiction.
I had just read Redemption Road and thought I'd start at the beginning of John Hart's books and read The King of Lies next. Well, let me just say that he has greatly improved in the last ten years. Redemption Road is MUCH better. In fact, I am shocked by the number of good reviews for The King of Lies. I found the main character ridiculous and cliche. The fact that it's a first person narrative makes him even more unbearable. He is full of self-pity when, quite frankly, he does not have it so bad (in fact, one wonders how he has not managed to do more for his sister in the last ten years....even if she did not like him). And his lack of character (so to speak) is incredibly irritating. Why is he blaming his father for the decisions he decided to take? He fails to see the obvious time and time again, digging himself into a ridiculous hole. SO glad Mr. Hart has improved so much since this book. Will download from the later books next. The narrator does an OK job.
John Hart deserves the awards he has received . This is a top rated introspective mystery. It follows the weaving story of a man trying to figure out his feelings about his family while attempting to solve his fathers murder. At times he blunders badly but all in a sincere effort to undo the perceived wrongs he believes he caused as a brother, husband and son. The characters are very real and as they are unmasked he constantly reevaluates the lies that have become his hollow life. The mystery itself wanders in many directions keeping the readers attention acute. Worthy of five stars all around. If one wants a book that is a joy to follow, than this is an excellent choice. Mike Dunn
This is my 3rd John Hart book. I enjoyed it. Only slight problem is there really is no likeable character in the book. The main guy borders on stupid with some of his decisions he makes . In spite of that I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended