Work's troubled sister, her combative girlfriend, his gold digging socialite wife, and an unrequited lifelong love join a cast of small town characters that create no shortage of drama in this extraordinary, fast-paced suspense novel.
Hart's mastery of prose and plot belie his newcomer status as he explores the true heart of a man. An illuminating anatomy of a murder and the ripple effect it produces within a family and a community, The King of Lies is a stunning debut.
©2006 John Hart; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC
"[A] stunning debut, an exceptionally deep and complex mystery thriller....Few readers will be able to resist." (Publishers Weekly)
"This is a first novel that lunges off the page, just grabs the reader by the throat and won't let go....Hart is a fine stylist, turning phrases with a panache that recalls Raymond Chandler." (Booklist)
I think you have to give this book a good long start to enjoy it. It was losing me until about 1 1/2 hours in, then snap it got me and I ended up enjoying it. Give it a chance it was a rewarding listen.
Being a heavy equipment operator with long night shifts, good books are essential to me.
This book was outstanding, you will not be let down. I have been hooked on audiobooks for a some time and I loved this book.
I bought the book to listen to during a long drive. It made the trip interminable -- plodding, repetitive, dreary in all respects.
Don't you just love a great story well told?
I don't understand how anyone can say the characters are flat, especially the protagonist whose life is layers of lies. He is a tortured soul, like his sister, who is trying to do his best to come to grips with who he is, both he and his sisters being victims of the family patriarch. Just how deeply damaged everyone is could be is the crux of the story because so many people have a motive for murder including one of the many people the father cheated during his life as a lawyer. It all has to do with class, money, greed, love, what makes a marriage, and finding out who one really is. Oh yes, and "the system" that demands fast action in a high profile murder which often railroads the innocent and turns people into machines.
At times you get mad at the protagonist for his failings and the stupid things he does. But you also root for his cleverness. Is he brave? Is he a wimp? What is he made of? The story keeps you guessing. (I thought for sure I had the "shocking ending" guessed but the writer is far too clever for that.) "Work", the protagonist's nickname, is a lawyer, a hard profession to feel sympathy towards. Since every clever person knows to suspect the character you should least suspect, you can't ever be sure the protagonist is innoncent despite his seemingly heroic actions. This is a terrific book, hard to take, at times, because, as noted above, the guy you are supposed to root for, can be a jerk/idiot/fool at times. Obviously, "Who done it?" is another to keep reading but this book is far more complex than just another potboiler murder mystery. This book is a character study. It's about the painful layers of lies that "Work" must dig through to find out who he really is that makes this book very compelling.
The story is good and not entirely predictable. I would have given this book a score of 4 stars for the story line, but the narrator was a bit annoying. At the start of each chapter you will hear him take a deep breath.
I listened to every word even though the protagonist was hopelessly inept, insensitive, and impotent. You'll know who the murderer is long before our hero and yet, like me, you might hang in there just to spend a little time down south and root for one of the far more interesting women to tell this guy to take a hike. The title is certainly apt.
Very mild spoiler alert ...
I was encouraged to listen to this after all the positive reviews, and perhaps having such high expectations was the problem. I think that the basic storyline is good, and the characters are well developed, but I will reiterate what another listener said and say that the similes and metaphors and attempts at being creative in his prose were corny and melodramatic and got to be ... annoying. The only real problem that I had with the story was the incessant emphasis on who "Work" thought was the perp, and once it changed he obsessed over the next alleged perp.
The narrator was totally unconvincing and unpleasant to listen to. I guess I am not used to listening to swallows and inhalations and almost no differentiation between characters voices, except for Max, who I am disappointed was not more developed. In addition, his voice had no sublety or nuance - he always sounded like he was speaking to someone hard of hearing.
Good enough to want to hear what happens at the end, but not recommended.
This book is dreadful, I'm unsure if it is the writer, most likely, or the narrator but it reads like freshman fiction at an open enrollment liberal arts college in the midwest. After 30 minutes I had an unpleasant physiological reaction - good thing I wasn't driving. If you're looking for Grisham or really want to kill 10 hours I recommend Don Delillo or Michael Connelley. Don't say I didn't warn you
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