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Publisher's Summary

The only thing more dangerous than a lie...is the truth.

Serial meets Ruth Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a megahit podcast that reopens a murder case - and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim's daughter.

Josie Buhrman has spent the last 10 years trying to escape her family's reputation, and with good reason. After her father's murder 13 years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult, and her twin sister, Lanie, once Josie's closest friend and confidante, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner, Caleb, and that's where she intends to stay.

The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past - starting with her last name.

When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a megahit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie's father's murder, Josie's world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie's long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown, where she must confront the demons from her past - and the lies on which she has staked her future.

©2017 Kathleen Barber (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Michelle
  • san diego, CA, United States
  • 05-01-18

Please don't waste your credit

This isn't even a guilty pleasure. Poor writing, a predictable plot and god awful narration made for a very long listen. I felt compelled to find out who had done it, and of course it was exactly as I had guessed less than 1/4 of the way through the book. Wooden, one-dimensional characters that I couldn't muster enough energy to care about led to a very underwhelming ending. There are too many other good books in this genre.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Bad narrator

Bad bad bad. I dont know if its the narrator, but i didnt enjoy it at all. I had to finish it because i paid for it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Listen

I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy fast listen. I will listen to more of her books.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Why Oprah?

Three strikes? I deeply respect Oprah but this is the 3rd book I pick up from her book list that I end up hating.

To be fair, it contained 2 characteristics that I particularly dislike in any book: 1) incessant inner dialogue (and in this case many times whiny) and 2) a huge lie to a lover/loved one that is beyond recoverable. Add to this cartoonish and predictable characters: the bitchy gold digger, the loveable foreigner, the druggie sibling, the obnoxious journalist, and saintly aunt. To compound matters it's easy to figure out who-done-it, and the use of memory loss to conceal it is old. The matter of how we have become obsessed with reality shows and social media without regard to the impact on lives affected, which may have been the main message, is what saves any part of this book. Sadly, what I enjoyed most were the twitter and reddit parts. Maybe that last comment says more about me than the book, but I failed to see any originality in this novel to classify it as a must read in the suspense/thriller genre.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting story but needs more suspense

Good overall story but I was expecting more mystery and suspense, what I got was a lot of family drama and an annoying podcaster that was everything an investigative journalist should NOT be. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book but mostly just the last chapter.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Seriously?

The ending was obvious from the first few chapters, I made myself finish it just in the hopes that there'd be some unexpected twist or something. Nope. So dull.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Poorly written

According to Stephen King, "the road to hell is paved with adverbs." He argued that anyone who overuses adverbs is afraid that their writing is weak and bland. I counted seven in the first three paragraphs and it goes downhill from there. If this sounds like a minor complaint, I suggest you play a drinking game with this book. Every time you hear a word ending in "ly," take a drink. You'll be drunk in ten minutes and passed out in fifteen. She also seems to have cracked open a thesaurus and found every synonym for the word "said." This creates a situation known as the Tom Swifty. For instance, "'You're ruining our social lives,' we pronounced dramatically." It sets up a sing-song pattern that annoys the reader and worse, the listener. The performance only served to emphasize these flaws, not hide them.
This book seems to have gotten published because of the trendy topics it deals with--cults, true-crime blogs, social media--and not much else. Novels supposed to have editors. Where were they? Perhaps they were playing a drinking game.
If you can overlook the bad writing, you may be carried along by the story and ultimately enjoy the book. I couldn't. It was like talking to someone with a piece of spinach on her teeth. You'll walk away forgetting everything she said and remembering that piece of spinach for years to come.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not bad, and an interesting look into podcasts

My favorite aspect of the novel was the insight into how true crime podcasts have changed the way we interact with victims and the accused. We’ve seen this in real life with fans becoming detectives, strangers postulating on perceived character traits of those involved, and the anonymity of the internet being a place where you can say anything you want.
The story itself was just okay. Josie, the “good” twin, was completely unaware of her own shortcomings, and it felt hard to sympathize with her at times. She did abandon her aunt who helped raise her and lied to her boyfriend for years, after all.
And this may sound petty, but it was extremely annoying that dishes kept getting broken by angry or shocked people (casserole dishes, flower vases, wine glasses, etc). How many times does glass get thrown or dropped in a kitchen in reality? I felt as though the author was stuck on using this imagery, and it irritated me.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Awful narrator, boring writing

The story would have been good but I didn’t care about the characters telling the story. They were shallow. So that is bad writing.
I could have maybe made it through the last half of the book, to find out who done it!!! But the narrators voice was grating on my nerves so I had to stop in the middle. I have no idea why this is on any good reads list!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

solid C

enjoyable enough to listen to, but i saw the plot twist coming halfway through. by the time things finally got going, i had already figured it out and was just waiting for the book to catch up with me. the author wasn’t able to build up the same sense of suspense or mystery as similar writers in this genre. the character development was so-so - the sisters, ellen, and aunt a were all fine, but they could’ve been more! i found it pretty unbelievable that none of them ever put together the same pieces that were so painfully obvious to me.