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Lisa Scottoline has written some of my favorite books. I was really looking forward to reading "One Perfect Lie" After reading the book description, I was very intrigued. After reading the first page, I knew I was going to have a hard time putting this book down. If real life hadn't gotten in the way I probably could have read this in one or two sittings.
Chris Brennan is applying for a teaching job at Central Valley high school and is about to have his final interview. He passed the criminal background checks and filled out all appropriate forms. On paper Chris looks perfect. He's also made sure to dress like the other teachers. Appearances are important. But they can also be deceiving. Especially when it comes to Chris Brennan....
Chris Brennan is a fraud.
Everything about him is a lie.
An expert liar, Chris charms the principal. He also applies to be the assistant baseball coach. Chris has already researched the coach and team for his own purposes....especially the team. He needs to befriend a quiet, insecure boy who doesn't have any good father figures. The same profile that a pedophile would have, but Chris is not a pervert. His manipulation of the boy is only means to an end.
Chris is thrilled when the principal tells him he's got the job.
It's now time for him to set his plan in motion.
Only eight pages into this book and I so badly want to know what this Chris Brennan is all about. What are his intentions What does he mean by only the means to an end I needed to know! It may have crossed my mind to skip ahead but I didn't want to ruin the story for myself and I could tell already that there was much more to come.
Chris will be teaching AP Government which will come in quite handy in helping him gain more information. He's researched each student, and has gained a boat load of knowledge just from social media (Kids really do give out way to much information!! ) but he needs to know more.
"Don't volunteer so much to complete strangers. Don't tell them the most personal things. Don't post every detail about your private life. You have no idea who is out there, preying on you, using that information to their advantage. Like me."
He starts his experiments in the very first class. These will help him see how the kids negotiate and who has the most power in the class. It will give him insight into their personalities and who may or may not be easy to manipulate.
There are three boys that Chris is paying extra attention to, and all are on the Musketeers baseball team. Evan Kostis is a popular, rich, and good-looking kid. Jordan Larkin is a nice and quiet kid whose father is not in the picture. Then there is Mike (Raz) Sematov. Raz is goofy and a bit wild. His father passed away from cancer not that long ago. Chris needs to see who is friends with who and use that knowledge to determine the best candidate to help him carry out his plan.
Chris has been given a warm welcome by the other teachers. However, there's one chatty/nosy teacher who keeps asking a lot of questions about his past. This teacher may be a problem for him.
The story is told from multiple points of view. Most of it is from Chris's perspective. However, we are also given parts of the story from Heather Larkin (Jordan's mother), Mindy Kostis (Evan's mother), and Susan Sematov ( Raz's mother).
Heather Larkin is a single mother who is very proud of her son, Jordan. But she does worry that he may be easily led by some of his other teammates.
Susan Sematov is a recent widower and mother to Raz and his brother, Ryan. She's very proud of Raz whose talent may land him in the majors. But the entire family has been struggling since the death of her husband.
Then we have Mindy Kostis. A surgeon's wife who seems to spend a lot of time socializing and is finding more solace in her gin and tonics than anything else. Lately her husband has been staying out later and later and even her son, Evan is keeping secrets from her.
Everyone is keeping secrets. However, some may be deadlier than others. So where does Chris Brennan fit in What does he want with all of these people The answer may surprise you. I know it surprised me. And it was just one of the surprises that Lisa Scottoline had in store. The twists started early and I didn't see them coming. I thought the story was well paced, with quite a few characters, but I had no problem keeping up.
ONE PERFECT LIE is an emotional domestic thriller with the perfect amount of secrets, intrigue, crime, and maybe even a dash of romance I love the author's style of writing and how she develops her characters. I grew to care about and became invested in many of them. This was an exciting, action packed story with intriguing characters, and an enjoyable and original plot. All of the individual stories were interesting and it was exciting the way everything came together in the end.
Thank you, St. Martin's Press for providing me with a finished copy of "The Perfect Lie". All of the opinions expressed in this review are my own, honest and unbiased opinions.
On paper, Chris Brennan looks perfect. He’s applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he’s ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his references are impeccable.
But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.
Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a high school pitcher so athletically talented that he’s being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball. But Raz’s father died only a few months ago, leaving her son in a vulnerable place where any new father figure might influence him for good, or evil.
Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Jordan’s baseball games. But Jordan is shy, and Heather fears he is being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man from an affluent family whose fun-loving manner might possibly conceal his violent plans.
Mindy Kostis succumbs to the pressure of being a surgeon’s wife by filling her days with social events and too many gin and tonics. But she doesn’t know that her husband and her son, Evan, are keeping secrets from her – secrets that might destroy all of them.
At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he there? What does he want? And what is he willing to do to get it?
Enthralling and suspenseful, One Perfect Lie is an emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will have readers riveted up to the shocking end, with killer twists and characters you won’t soon forget.