I REALLY enjoyed this. It has much more depth, deeper themes and more solid writing than the typical commercial thriller. And the twist towards the end made me go back and reread the beginning. It’s always fun when a book forces me to do that!!
When a woman conceals her sister’s death to claim their joint inheritance, her deception exposes a web of dangerous secrets in this addictive new thriller for fans of Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins.
Robin Voigt is dead. If Leslie had arrived at her sister’s cramped Las Vegas apartment just hours earlier, this would have been their first reunion in a decade. In the years since Robin ran away from home as a teenager, Leslie has stayed in New Mexico, taking care of their dying father even as she began building a family of her own. But when their father passed away, Leslie received a rude awakening: She and Robin would receive the inheritance he left them together—or not at all. Now her half of the money may be beyond her grasp. And unbeknownst to anyone, even her husband, Leslie needs it desperately.
When she meets a charismatic young woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Robin—and has every reason to leave her past behind—the two make a reckless bargain: Mary will impersonate Robin for a week in exchange for Robin’s half of the cash. But neither realizes how high the stakes will become when Mary takes a dead woman’s name. Even as Mary begins to suspect Leslie is hiding something, and Leslie realizes the stranger living in her house, babysitting her newborn son, and charming her husband has secrets of her own, Robin’s wild, troubled legacy threatens to eclipse them both.
An electric, twisted portrait of sisterhood and the ties that bind, The Better Liar is a stunning debut with a heart-stopping, twist-after-twist finale that will beg the question: How far would you go to get what’s yours?
I loved the two main characters, who were flawed yet likable, larger than life yet believable. The shifting and at times explosive dynamic between the two of them is fascinating. And every character seems to have a secret, so you are never really sure what they might do to one another at any moment. This makes for a number of shocking twists, most of which I did NOT see coming.
There are several interesting themes at play in this story, although mentioning them may prove to be too much of a spoiler for those who have yet to read it. The one I believe I can mention is the concept that we all contain different personalities and identities, which we perform - and shift into and out of - in order to be accepted or get our needs met.
From Chapter 40:
“The more you know someone, the more someones you know. They kaleidoscope outward before your eyes. If you feel you’re finally getting a handle on someone’s true self, you haven’t got a clue. Once you’ve met forty versions of them, then you can comfort yourself you’re getting closer.”
I won’t mention the most prevalent issue that the book addresses, but I WILL say that it’s something that should be addressed much more in our culture. And it would be, I might add, if we weren’t living in a patriarchy.
I applaud Jones for exploring her own fears around this issue. As they say, “The more personal you make it, the more universal it becomes,” and I think this is true here.
I highly recommend this read!
Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC!