ONE PERFECT LIE (standalone) Written by Lisa Scottoline
April 11, 2017; 384 Pages (St. Martin’s Press)
Genre: suspense, thriller, fiction, mystery
(I received an ARC from the PUBLISHER via NETGALLEY)
I still remember my first Lisa Scottoline novel, The Vendetta Defense, which is the sixth book in the Rosato and Associates series. I loved the main character, Judy Carrier in the legal drama as much as I enjoyed the story and the quirky secondary characters. While the novels in the series are serious for the most part, there is a slight bit of humour that makes it endearing and realistic. As soon as I finished The Vendetta Defense I decided I needed to read whatever else Scottoline had written. I found out that The Vendetta Defense was actually a part of a series so I found the first book, Everywhere that Mary Went. Now I loved Mary DiNunzio and her wacky family and friends. As of today I have read every book by Scottoline, except the nonfiction books she writes with her daughter, and four of her standalone suspense novel (also marketed as “emotional thrillers”). I plan to read those four books but kind of don’t want to be caught up with Scottoline. I like the sense of having some books to turn to when I need a Scottoline fix. I generally rate her novels 3-4 stars so was really upset when I read her last standalone suspense, The Most Wanted, and rated it only two stars. Yet, I really enjoyed her latest Rosato & DiNunzio series. So…I was a bit scared going into One Perfect Night but as I started the first chapter I was hooked.
Chris Brennan has been hired as a teacher and coach for a high school, based on his amazing resume and charisma. The only thing is…it is all a lie. Everything Chris says is a lie. He is here looking for one student to help him, and he will pit three friends against each other to get what he wants. One of the three boys is the popular rich and handsome Evan Kostis. He has everything at his fingertips, so would he accept a challenge? His mother, Mindy is busy trying to find out if her husband is cheating on her, so doesn’t uncover her son’s secrets till it is too late. Second, is the bad boy spiraling out of control, Raz Sematov. After the death of his beloved father his family, older brother and mother, are falling apart. Susan doesn’t know how to hold it all together as that was what her husband did. Can she pry out the truth from her boys before they get themselves further in trouble? Lastly, is the good and hardworking Jordan Larkin. His mother, Heather is a single mother trying to earn enough money to make sure her son can go to college. Jordan is getting better at sport and school which threatens his friendship with Raz. Quitting her job, Heather is now around to see what is going on in her son’s life and is starting to realize he may be in danger. Secrets and lies will collide as Chris begins his plan…
I apologize if my review is a bit vague. It seems like everything I had an issue with or liked could be a possible spoiler. I am going to try and be careful. I was really engaged in this novel until the first twist. As soon as the first part ended so did the story for me. While the twist wasn’t a shock, it also felt too easy. It took the story to another place where I didn’t want to see it go. If how everything portrayed in the first part stayed that way it would have gone down a really interesting path, I do understand why the author felt it needed to be this way. I continued reading even though the subject matter was no longer a story line I liked, because I was a bit curious to see how the mystery would end. Scottline is great at revealing things a bit at a time in this book, so you are not wondering where these things were coming from, and how things unfolded. There is also a bit of a romance, but I didn’t like the chemistry between these characters and it seemed to be too quick in some ways. I found the novel to be entertaining as the action was quick and would recommend this as a beach read. Or as my dad would say, “it’s an action movie…you never question why.”