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Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth Killing comes a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder - a sly and brilliant guessing game of a novel in the vein of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Patricia Highsmith. 

Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother, Alice, to be sexy and beautiful in an "otherworldly" way. She has always been kind and attentive, if a little aloof in the last few years. 

Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead, and the police think it's suicide. Devastated, Harry returns to his father's home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other pick up the pieces of their lives and uncover what happened to his father. 

Shortly after he arrives, Harry meets a mysterious young woman named Grace McGowan. Though she claims to be new to the area, Harry begins to suspect that Grace may not be a complete stranger to his family. But she isn't the only attractive woman taking an interest in Harry. The sensual Alice is also growing closer, coming on to him in an enticing, clearly sexual way. 

Mesmerized by these two women, Harry finds himself falling deeper under their spell. Yet the closer he gets to them, the more isolated he feels, disoriented by a growing fear that both women are hiding dangerous - even deadly - secrets...and that neither one is telling the truth. 

©2018 Peter Swanson (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lolita Gone Bad

This is a far cry from the well-written and interesting, The Kind Worth Killing. The plot was implausible and predictable. I felt like I was listening to a Lifetime movie. None of the characters were likable and all were cliche. Save your time and money on this one.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

LISTENERS BEWARE!


This is a VERY DARK novel.
It crosses the lines of adults having sexual relationships that border on incestuous between step parents and the teenage children of their spouses. Though technically not incest, the perspective ages of teenagers being seduced by 40ish something adults may make this book unappealing to some.
The story unfolds in two time periods -then and now. There's Alice growing up with an alcoholic mother and her step father (Jake). Her mother's death (murder?) and Alice alone with Jake. Then there's Alice as the step mother with her deceased (murder or suicide?) husband's son, Harry.
Abuse perpetuates abuse.
When a young woman shows up in town who claims she was Harry's father's lover, she is murdered. Then her sister shows up. There's danger around every corner for her.
The characters are cold take matters into their own hands to survive in their own idealistic world. Though it never comes to fruition.
Except for Harry and the murdered woman's sister, I could not muster up a warm feeling for any of the other characters.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

54 of 65 people found this review helpful

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

Pretty Good for a Peter Swanson Book

Potential spoilers: If you liked The Kind Worth Killing, you will probably like this one. It’s better than his book from last year, Her Every Fear, but still filled with similar cliched literary tropes and far fetched all-too-convenient plot points. The main female protagonist/antagonist Alice is a thinly-veiled reimagining of Lily from The Kind Worth Killing. In classic Swanson style, the characters are all emotionless and unlikable, the writing is plodding and methodical, the story is absolutely packed with plot twist and unforeseen connections until the very last page and people getting away with murder for decades and underage girls being sexually assaulted and EXTREMELY banal dialogue. If you like his formulaic writing style and dark topics this is for you!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Intelligent and complex

What did you love best about All the Beautiful Lies?

Finally, a book that maintains a mystery story while addressing the complexity of human emotion and the depths people will go to in order to obtain what they desire. Perhaps a bit wordy at times, but the story development and revelation of the characters' pasts which make the listener understand why each character behaves as they do is intriguing and captivating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Twisted and awesome

Loved it! Underneath the plot lies the sad truth about pedophilia, and how it can be passed on - once a victim, later the perpetrator. However, the plot is so juicy and the characters so vivid, I just enjoyed the bit of mystery and the last perfect slice of revenge.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good twist but becomes repetitive

The twist were amazing and you won’t see them coming... at least I didn’t. Swanson also plays each chapter as “then” vs “now” setting up the characters but after part two of the book it becomes unnecessary. The narrator did a great job nothing to make you leave the story. I actually finished it with in a few days because it was constantly setting up or revealing another aspect. If you’re a fan of The Kind Worth Killing then you may be split on this read. It’s not as good but for sure worth a read.

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  • J. R.
  • Pennsylvania
  • 07-16-18

Must enter a headline even though it's optional?

A gripping story, easy to listen to in a few marathon sessions. The narrator was a pleasure for the ears and did a fantastic job with the characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Finally a surprise!

Finally audible handed me a story with a real surprise instead of "unexpected twists" that are all too predictable.
I was into this book from the start and it kept me interested all the way through.

I don't think you'll love or even especially like any of the characters, but the story is unique and wild enough that you'll want to tell people about it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Really Good

I honestly don't take the time to review books unless they are really good or just completely awful, so I made a point to review this book by Peter Swanson because I couldn't get enough of it. I really liked the story, the characters and the plot. It was different and compelling. I truly enjoyed this one and I don't say that about many books.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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unedemptive

I didn't find any characters in this book to relate to, or anything in particular that I could hold on to or take away. Just uncomfortable and a bit queasy.