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Monday, December 31, 2018

Twisty Psychological Thriller Is Thoroughly Engaging

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

One year ago, a 15-story office building in downtown Chicago exploded killing 513 people and injuring more than 2000.  Among all of the lives changed that day are those of three very different women:
  • A newspaper photo of Cecily Grayson, whose husband died in the explosion, became almost instantly the iconic image marking the day's horror.  The subsequent scrutiny changed her life, thrusting every detail about her and her family into a spotlight she doesn't want.  What if Teo Jackson, a filmographer who's making a documentary about the event, uncovers the guilty secrets Cecily keeps about that day?
  • Kate Lynch used the explosion to escape her restrictive life as a wife and mother.  Now a nanny in Montreal, she lives in fear of being recognized.  What if someone discovers her true identity?  Kate can't go back, but neither is she really moving forward ...
  • 24-year-old Franny Maycombe was adopted as a baby and is obsessed with finding her birth mother.  As she watched news coverage of the explosion she knew that her last chance to know her bio mom was going down in flames.  Now she's an activist who's passionate about making sure the victims get their due compensation, but does she really have a right to the position?   
As the one-year anniversary events commence in Chicago, the three women guard their individual secrets closely.  But, as Teo interviews Cecily and Franny for his film and as the trio's lives become more intertwined, new revelations will come forth.  Who is "the good liar"?  And what will happen when their secrets are finally out in the open?

The Good Liar, the newest psychological thriller by Canadian author Catherine McKenzie, is a taut, twisty novel that's as engrossing as it is thought-provoking.  Not all of its story people are likable, but they're all complex and interesting.  Although I saw a lot of the novel's plot "surprises" coming, I still flew through its pages anxious to see what would happen next.  While I didn't end up loving this addictive page turner, it still kept me thoroughly engaged.  The Good Liar is the first book I've read by Catherine McKenzie, but I'll definitely be reading more in future.  

(Readalikes:  Hm, nothing is coming to mind.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language, violence, disturbing subject matter, and references to underage drinking and illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. Why do so many twisty thrillers have such unlikeable characters? What's up with that?

  2. I'm usually not big on psychological thrillers, but I bookmarked this so I can read it at some point. One of the most famous postcards sent in to PostSecret contained the line, ‘Everyone who knew me before 9/11 believes I’m dead’, and I'm wondering if that's what jump-started the author's imagination; that particular postcard and the idea of disappearing after something so huge has always intrigued me. Great review!


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