We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The King of Lies Audiobook

The King of Lies

Regular Price:$27.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

John Hart creates a literary thriller that is as suspenseful as it is poignant, a riveting murder mystery layered beneath the southern drawl of a humble North Carolina lawyer. When Work Pickens finds his father murdered, the investigation pushes a repressed family history to the surface and he sees his own carefully constructed facade begin to crack.

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

What the Critics Say

  • Mystery Writers of America 2007 Edgar Nominee, Best First Novel by an American Author

"[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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (2129 )
5 star
 (704)
4 star
 (805)
3 star
 (415)
2 star
 (116)
1 star
 (89)
Overall
4.0 (1546 )
5 star
 (592)
4 star
 (576)
3 star
 (241)
2 star
 (81)
1 star
 (56)
Story
4.0 (1549 )
5 star
 (590)
4 star
 (552)
3 star
 (271)
2 star
 (86)
1 star
 (50)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Deborah shallotte, NC, United States 06-21-06
    Deborah shallotte, NC, United States 06-21-06 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    484
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    149
    35
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    0
    Overall
    "For the Eyes Only"

    This is a beautifully-written book. I live in North Carolina about four hours from Salisbury (Sols-berry) where this story takes place. John Hart has pinned small town society right to the mat. He writes in a metaphor-rich southern cadence and really puts the reader in the moment. The reader can literally "watch" the story because it is written so completely well.

    The real gripe I have is that the company in charge of hiring a reader for this book must need a new talentscout. They made a terrible, terrible choice. Not only does the reader not have a Carolina accent, he doesn't have any kind of Southern accent at all. He reads aggressively, like a hard-nosed detective rather than a gentile southern lawyer with a near-broken spirit. I just can't believe the recorded reader missed the heart of the book so very completely.

    I would highly recommend this book as a "must read" book, in both senses of the term.

    It's a great mystery/thriller, wonderfully and achingly written, and for those readers who have lived in the south and are aware of the carved in white pillars class distinction, it is bang on the head of what that class separation is all about.

    It's a very satisfying book and one I will definitely "read" with my own eyes next time.

    I can't imagine what Recorded Books was thinking...Mickey Spillane reads Harper Lee. Sheesh.

    106 of 110 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Byron Tallahassee, FL, United States 06-22-13
    Byron Tallahassee, FL, United States 06-22-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    87
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    113
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Did you read John Hart's Debut Novel? You Should!"

    I was first introduced to Hart about three years ago with his book The Last Child, and having already read his third and fourth books, I finally got around to reading this debut book. And we are now 4 for 4.

    This novel about a lawyer and his family is much more about dysfunctional family relationships than it is about anything having to do with the law, so it is more of a murder mystery than a legal genre. But there is a fair amount of insight into both the process that law enforcement uses to focus on suspects and on the strategy that one might use if they wanted to present themselves as an alternative suspect, diverting attention from a family member who may be the one who is truly guilty.

    What I enjoyed most about this book was the author's method of back-filling the story. You meet the characters and then, through one device or another, you eventually get to find out the story about that character. The entire book is told from the perspective of the main character, "Work" Pickens, who could best be described as a pompous, arrogant, and only marginally sympathetic, jerk. My negative reaction to him was heightened by his self-absorbed perspective in the story. In his eyes, almost everyone in the story is a villain, and I would have to assume, that had I been in the story, he would not have liked me either.

    Enough about the book... go ahead and read it. But I want to further compliment Hart. In his first 4 books, he has written four very different books. The common element: they all end well. The highest praise I can give Hart is that I am satisfied with his endings. Not saying I necessarily "liked" the endings, but that I feel like he finishes the book by resolving the issues he has created through the course of the book. I can enjoy a book that does not finish well, but it sure is more satisfying to feel like the author has successfully taken you on a journey that arrived at the intended destination. I can't wait for book #5.

    30 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorrie H 11-16-12
    Lorrie H 11-16-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    138
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    414
    53
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a great book!"

    Mr. Hart definitely knows how to write a good story! Hooray for all us mystery lovers. Terrific plot, fully defined characters (some to like, some to love, and some to hate) and enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. When I find myself exclaiming "Oh, no!" or some such during the narration, I am really hooked. The main character, while flawed, was engaging and very likeable. I found myself smiling with him, dismayed when he stumbled and in the end, hated to say goodbye.

    My narration standards are high. There are many books I would love to get, but I refuse to listen to what I consider a bad narrator more than once. David Chandler definitely goes on my "approved" list. I am from NC and appreciate David Chandler for not having a southern accent. The temptation for many narrators is to go over the top with the drawl, and it truly grates on my southern born and bred ears. The reading speed was excellent, and his voice is pleasant to hear. The narration never interfered with the story which, in my opinion, is the point. No regrets in using this credit!

    27 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 07-15-06
    Joseph 07-15-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Impressive, But Too Disturbing for Me"

    At the risk of sounding like a Philistine or a cultural lightweight, I must tell you that I could not get into this book. It is probably a great book, but it did not suit my mood. It was so dark and disturbing that I just did not want to live in that world for 12+ hours of audio. I had to abandon the book about 1.5 hours into the program. I thought this book would be a Grisham-type southern lawyer mystery with just a bit more depth. But this book was very different. The author probes the depths of disturbed souls, more like Dostoyevsky. It was not what I wanted for light summer reading.

    Now I must say that it was very well written. The language of each sentence was exceptional. The author has a way of turning phrases with piercing originality-- the kind of phrases that say so much in so few words-- something like Joseph Conrad does. It is almost worth listening to this book just to hear some of the stunningly poigniant sentences that the author has written.

    However, it is a dark world that he writes about and the characters are deeply troubled people. The heaviness of this was exacerbated by the reader's voice and inflection which to me seemed to over-dramatize every sentence. He reads every sentence as if it is the profound last sentence of an epic novel, and this I found to be exhausting.

    With all that being said, I will definitely try this author again on his next book which I hope is just a bit lighter and less troubling.

    46 of 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelley Wilmington, NC, United States 04-03-10
    Kelley Wilmington, NC, United States 04-03-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    111
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    Overall
    "Negitive Reviews Almost Kept Me From Buying!"

    I recently stumbled on Hart's latest book Last Child. LOVED IT TO DISTRACTION. So I went straight to Down River and though it was also fantastic, it didn't trump Last Child. This author is just getting better and better and I can't wait until his next offering.

    Despite my need for more Hart, I almost didn't buy his first book: King of Lies because of the reviews whining about the narrator.
    I was worried about all the purported lip smacking and swallowing by David Chandler.

    I am glad I took the chance. Chandler is an excellent narrator. I think the problem lies with the production company. I guarantee you that Scott Sowers and, my personal favorite, Scott Brick, smacks occasionally in the audio booth too, but state-of-the-art editing software renders such distractions a thing of the past.

    Bottom line, Chandler was pretty damn good and quite frankly, his purported "smacking" is not that bad. Ignore the negitive reviews and get this book. Just FYI. Recorded Books produced the King of Lies. Last Child was produced by McMillan Audio and Down River was offered up by Audio Renaissance . Critique the production company,not the narrator.

    63 of 69 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book and Movie Lover Austin 07-25-06
    Book and Movie Lover Austin 07-25-06 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    701
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    570
    101
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    55
    5
    Overall
    "Loved it - Kept me riveted"

    I don't give many books five stars. Four stars maybe but this was a great listen. I really hope to be able to listen to many more books by this author. I read some of the other reviews (after listening, fortunately) and don't really get the complaints about the narrator who I thought was very good. I'm a big fan of whodunnits and love it when the author can keep you guessing up until the end. I have to admit I had a hunch who had done it toward the end but had not figured out all of the details and the unraveling at the end was very enjoyable after listening to such a long book. Not complaining about the length though. When a book is good you want it to be nice and long. And this one had enough plot twists and turns to keep it moving and keep my interest. Great listen!!!

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Charlotte, NC, USA 06-28-06
    Scott Charlotte, NC, USA 06-28-06 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Better than a Grisham novel"

    This book is one of the best books that I've listened to in my two+ years of membership with Audible. The plot is well developed, the reader is excellent, and the story draws you in to the point that you can't put the book down. Excellent book. Highly recommended.

    35 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PA Law 07-03-06
    PA Law 07-03-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    156
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    152
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    17
    0
    Overall
    "An outstanding debut"

    As a former book reviewer I have read many books, but there are some that are really special. This is one of them. The plot is so carefully crafted, the characters so believable, and the writing so lucid that I found it hard to stop listening to this audiobook. A true thriller with an artistic touch. The dialogue, descriptions, and introspection of the central character just absorb you along the way until the shocking and unexpected ending. The narrator also does an excellent job of conveying the story. I can't wait for his next book to come out--maybe it'll be even better!

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Ellsworth, ME, United States 06-27-15
    Matt Ellsworth, ME, United States 06-27-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Depressing!!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I just thought the main character was depressing. Not sure what you could have done on this one.


    What was most disappointing about John Hart’s story?

    The main character was just sad. I am not sure if it was the writing or the narrator most likely both but 5hrs in I was just depressed and sick of his sad pathetic life. The murder mystery was way to drawn out. This was a book about the main character not a mystery at least as I like a mystery. 7hrs into it I had had enough and was unable to even finish it.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Find a faster paced narrator for a slower paced story.


    What character would you cut from The King of Lies?

    Alex was annoying and I really just wanted to punch her in the mouth the whole time and couldn't wait for her parts to move on


    Any additional comments?

    This is my opinion only. I realize others may love this I just couldn't get into it try as I might. Glad to pick it up on the Editors favorites specials so just a few bucks. Onto the next book!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S.C. Providence, RI United States 02-15-07
    S.C. Providence, RI United States 02-15-07 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Write more books, please!"

    I absolutely loved this book. It was so well written and suspenseful. The end was a complete surprise and the epilogue pulled together everything I wanted to know about the characters.

    I hope this author writes another book soon. I'll be first in line to purchase it!

    Oh, and the reader was excellent, too.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.