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One Perfect Lie
     

One Perfect Lie

4.1 35
by Lisa Scottoline
 

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A handsome stranger moves to the small Pennsylvania town of Central Valley, and his name is Chris Brennan. He’s applying for a job as a teacher and varsity baseball coach at the local high school, and he looks perfect, on paper. But his name is an alias, his resume is false, and everything about him is a lie. And he has a secret plan - for which he needs a

Overview

A handsome stranger moves to the small Pennsylvania town of Central Valley, and his name is Chris Brennan. He’s applying for a job as a teacher and varsity baseball coach at the local high school, and he looks perfect, on paper. But his name is an alias, his resume is false, and everything about him is a lie. And he has a secret plan - for which he needs a pawn on the baseball team.

Susan Sematov loves her younger son Raz, the quirky and free-spirited pitcher of the team. But Raz’s adored father died only a few months ago, and the family is grief-stricken. Secretly, Raz is looking to fill the Daddy-shaped hole in his heart.

Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who’s dedicated to her only son Justin, the quiet rookie on the team. But Justin’s shy and reserved nature renders him vulnerable to attention, including that of a new father-figure.

Mindy Kostis is the wife of a busy surgeon and the queen bee of the baseball boosters, where her super-popular son Evan is the star catcher. But she doesn’t realize that Evan’s sense of entitlement is becoming a full-blown case of affluenza, and after he gets his new BMW, it’s impossible to know where he’s going – or whom he’s spending time with.

The lives of these families revolve around the baseball team – and Chris Brennan. What does he really want? How far will he go to get it? Who among them will survive the lethal jeopardy threatening them, from the shadows?

Enthralling and suspenseful, One Perfect Lie is an emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will keep readers riveted to the shocking end, with killer twists and characters you won’t soon forget.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/06/2017
ATF agent Curt Abbott goes undercover as high school baseball coach Chris Brennan in this entertaining thriller from bestseller Scottoline (Most Wanted). He targets three teenage boys in his investigation of a domestic terrorism plot: wealthy, spoiled Evan Kostis; troubled Raz Sematov, struggling to cope with his father’s recent death; and thoughtful, diligent Jordan Larkin, raised by a single mother. As his supervisors threaten to derail the case, loner Curt wonders whether he could have a future with Jordan’s mom, Heather, for whom he has unexpectedly developed feelings, if she knew his true identity. Scottoline shifts focus among Curt and each of the boys’ mothers, who represent a cross-section of suburban Central Valley, Pa. This fast-paced read culminates in a daring chase that would play well on the big screen, and readers may anticipate the outcome of Curt’s budding romance with Heather as eagerly as they do the resolution of the terror plot. 400,000-copy announced first printing; author tour. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Lisa Scottoline

"In novel after novel, Lisa Scottoline has proven herself a master of stories that combine familial love — especially that of mothers for their children — with nail-biting stories of spirited everywomen bent on finding the truth. Her new novel, Most Wanted, demonstrates again her skill with this kind of domestic suspense tale." – The Washington Post

"This is a potboiler of a book, crammed full of agonizing choices confronting appealing, relatable characters. Scottoline has penned more hardboiled tales, but never one as heartfelt and emotionally raw, raising her craft to the level of Judith Guest and Alice Hoffman. Most Wanted is a great thriller and a gut-wrenching foray into visceral angst that is not to be missed." – The Providence Journal

A suburban crime tale told with Scottoline’s penchant for humor and soul-baring characterization."
– Booklist on Most Wanted

"A page-turner that will satisfy." – Library Journal on Most Wanted

"A Connecticut teacher’s long-sought and hard-fought pregnancy turns into a nightmare when Scottoline unleashes one of her irresistible hooks on her." – Kirkus Reviews on Most Wanted

“Scottoline knows how to keep readers in her grip.” –The New York Times Book Review

"A virtuoso of suspense, fast action, and intricate plot." —The Washington Post

“Scottoline writes with genuine snap, producing smartly structured mystery thrillers.” –Entertainment Weekly

“Scottoline rocks!” –Nora Roberts

“Scottoline is a powerhouse.” –David Baldacci

"Scottoline has plenty of tricks up her sleeve." —Booklist

"Scottoline grabs her readers by the jugular and won't let go." —Library Journal

“Scottoline writes riveting thrillers that keep me up all night, with plots that twist and turn.” –Harlan Coben

Library Journal
03/15/2017
Having stabbed a man to death, a seemingly damaged, deranged Chris Brennan plans to attack a small Pennsylvania town. Or will he? This loner certainly is a liar: he lies about his name, his background, and his experience to gain a teaching and coaching position at a high school where he urgently pursues a teenage boy to assist him with his scheme. Chris succeeds in finding a ten-foot box truck that can hold 50 bags of fertilizer, enough to cause deadly destruction. After putting readers on edge with the development of this unlikable character as a would-be domestic terrorist, Scottoline (Most Wanted; Every Fifteen Minutes) slams the plot into reverse at midpoint and accelerates at full speed. Throw in sexting, cheating, drinking, and grieving to draw in the other protagonists, including teachers, three mothers, and their teenage sons. VERDICT This stand-alone suspense novel is not to be missed by Scottoline's fans as well as other readers who relish fast-paced thrillers by Linda Fairstein and John Grisham. [See Prepub Alert, 10/24/16.]—Wendy W. Paige, Shelby Cty. P.L., Morristown, IN
Kirkus Reviews
2017-01-23
The chronicler of Philadelphia law firm Rosato & DiNunzio (Damaged, 2016, etc.) heads out to the suburbs to insert a fraudulent teacher into the staff of Central Valley High School.If you were looking for a midyear replacement for a departing government teacher, you could hardly do better than Chris Brennan. He's clearly prepared to cover the courses in government and criminal justice; he's bright, attractive, and personable; he bonds instantly and effectively with students; and he can even serve as assistant coach of the school's faltering baseball team. Chris is clearly too good to be true, an observation it never occurs to his new colleagues to take seriously. Only Abe Yomes, the gay African-American language-arts teacher, poses any threat, not because he sees through Chris but because he actually grew up in Wyoming, where Chris is pretending to be from. Soon enough, however, Mr. Y is dead, an apparent suicide, and Chris is ready to go ahead with his plan, which requires him to befriend a lonely, vulnerable boy—preferably somebody both in his class and on the baseball team—separate him from his cohort, and turn him into a patsy for a scheme that involves a rented truck and a mountain of ammonium chloride fertilizer. To say more would undermine several whopping surprises Scottoline has in store, but readers can be assured that the author nails the high school milieu, from athletic rivalries to sexting, and that even if they spot every twist coming from a mile away, they're still in for one thrilling ride on the roller coaster. A bonus is some strategic leavening via Scottoline's journalistic aphorisms, as when one of the students' mothers imagines a romance with the imposter hero: "She knew that it was an inappropriate fantasy, but no fantasy worth having was appropriate."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250099563
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
04/11/2017
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
681
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.30(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


LISA SCOTTOLINE is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of twenty-five novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the U.S., and she has been published in thirty-five countries. She has served as the president of Mystery Writers of America. She writes a column with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and those stories have been adapted into a series of memoirs. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of pets.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Birth:
July 1, 1955
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education:
B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981
Website:
http://www.scottoline.com

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One Perfect Lie 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Anonymous 29 days ago
Het best book evet. Couldnt stop turning the pages.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Can't wait for her next book
Anonymous 3 months ago
Love it
Anonymous 3 months ago
Another home run!
Anonymous 17 days ago
You can always count on Lisa Scottoline to deliver a great story with wonderful characters and lots of twists and turns. Great book!
Anonymous 26 days ago
She dialed this one in. Great promise in rhe beginning but then went south. Whole action sequence ridiculosly unbeluevable lackluster character development. And do not understand some of the killings. Waste of money. Had tforce myself to finish it.
pet1210 7 days ago
My perseverance has finally paid off. Until One Perfect Lie, my experience of books by Lisa Scottoline hadn't been too positive. I read Most Wanted and Every Fifteen Minutes and was disappointed. I REALLY enjoyed One Perfect Lie though. When the protagonist, Chris Brennan, an expert liar, charmed his way into Central Valley High School becoming its new Baseball coach and AP Government teacher and started befriending some of the boys, I was hooked immediately. I loved that sinister perspective. I was pretty much convinced I had the story all figured out. That was until the twist that had me thinking "oh, here we go again, it's going downhill from here." But once I recovered from the complete surprise, I was actually on board with it all. The story was different from what I had expected, but I tend to like a good high-school, small-town saga with a lot of family drama and this fit the bill. Much of the story is from Chris' perspective, but there are also the point of views of three of the mothers whose sons Chris is coaching. Each family is struggling with their own set of problems and secrets. The characters drew me in and all the secrets and mysterious happenings kept this interesting all the way. Crime, suspense, action, family drama and even a bit of romance, this had a good mix of everything. I felt it went a little over the top towards the end but still remained entertaining throughout. A very creatively plotted and unique story. So, third time lucky, I can now see why this author has such a following, and I will continue reading her books hoping to pick up a few more like this one.
cupid92 8 days ago
Loved it-read it in a day!
Anonymous 9 days ago
is this what we are going to with her novels?? fast food fiction very disappointed
Anonymous 9 days ago
is this what we are going to with her novels?? fast food fiction very disappointed
Anonymous 10 days ago
Fun and exciting
Anonymous 15 days ago
SheTreadsSoftly 20 days ago
One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline is a highly recommended thriller. When Chris Brennan moves to Central Valley, a small town in Pennsylvania, he lets us know right from the start that he's not who he says he is. His name is not really "Chris Brennan." His impressive credentials as he applies to teach at the high school are fake. He's an assistant coach in baseball, although he's never coached before, so he can find the perfect teenage boy. Chris has some kind of secret plan that involves a making a bomb with ammonium chloride fertilizer and it looks like he wants to find a teenage boy to help him pull his plans together. He's only planning to be in Central Valley for a week and he is looking at a boy from the baseball team to assist him. There are three boys Chris is looking at, and Scottoline follows the point of view of the mothers of these boys and Chris in their alternating narratives. Susan Sematov's son, Raz, is a member of the team. Her whole family is suffering because their father died a few months ago. Is Raz vulnerable enough to be the one Chris is looking for? Heather Larkin is a single mother raising her only son Jordan, who is a rookie on the team. Jordan is reserved, but growing up without a father might make him susceptible for Chris's plan. Mindy Kostis's son Evan is the star catcher of the team. They are a wealthy family. Her husband is a surgeon, Mindy leads the baseball boosters. Evan has grown up without need, was recently given a new BMW, and has a sense of entitlement. Could boredom lead him to look for something more dangerous? The opening chapters of One Perfect Lie are pretty grim and there is an ominous, dire feeling as you read them wondering what are Chris's real plans and what boy is he going to pick to use to accomplish what must be some nefarious activity. Meeting the mothers of the boys adds to the tension and the backstory of the boys and their home life. Just before the half way point of the novel, the narrative does a huge double flip twist that will shock and surprise you. After the twist, things take off at a break-neck pace to the exciting conclusion. The characters are all well-developed and finely drawn with a depth of emotion and reality that is nice to see in a thriller. We know Chris's inner thoughts and those of the three mothers. The family life of the boys is explored and depicted in a realistic manner. Scottoline captures the difficulties of raising teenagers today and the realistic struggles many families go through. The writing is excellent. Scottoline will really throw readers for a loop in this one, especially with one of the twists. Some of the others were easier to predict. This is a thoroughly enjoyable thriller and is a perfect stuck-overnight-at -the-airport book which will keep you entertained for hours. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of St. Martin's Press.
Dianne57 20 days ago
I have not read much by this author and it was so long ago that I did, that I can't tell if this is her usual style of writing or not. If it is then I am afraid that I won’t be reading anything else by Ms. Scottoline. It took 40% of this book for any action to really happen, and when the ‘twist’/truth finally came out I was already to the pint of wanting to skim the rest of the book. The interaction between Chris our main character and his bosses are, in my opinion unbelievable, and bland. In fact, bland is how the entire book felt to me. I admit that my heart broke for those boys who had lost their fathers, but the relationships between the boys felt forced, the relationship between Mindy and her husband was predictable (and annoyed me) and the sexting and how that worked out was a bit too over the top - although yes I have heard of this happening in real life. I just felt that it added an unnecessary diversion from the main part of the book.
MissMOLY 24 days ago
One Perfect Lie... Is there such a thing as a perfect lie - especially when we know what happens in the dark always come to light. Ok! I'm going too far dissecting the title of this book. The cover caught my attention right away - the synopsis was short and sweet. I already knew starting this book someone was lying, and I was ready to find why. Chris Brennan knows how to finesse his way out of every situation he encounters. So it's no surprise when he charms the whole staff at Central Valley High School to secure a job as a teacher. Being a teacher is the furthest thing from his mind, but he needs to be in that position to pull off his plan. What are his plans? What does it have to do with the students of Central Valley High? Those are the questions I had at the beginning of the book. Why was Chris focusing on particular students? Author Lisa Scottoline is known for keeping readers on their toes with her novels, and she has the twists and turns coming in this book. The beginning of the book I was cheering so hard because I knew Chris was going to take me down a dark road. Then came the twist - Chris... Curt... did a complete 360 and now the story was taking me down another road. After certain things were revealed - it became a different read for me. I was no longer on pins and needles - some of the excitement I had earlier in the read did dissolve just a bit. I just wish certain things wasn't revealed to the readers so soon. Overall, One Perfect Lie is an entertaining read. (Orsayor)
MissMOLY 24 days ago
One Perfect Lie... Is there such a thing as a perfect lie - especially when we know what happens in the dark always come to light. Ok! I'm going too far dissecting the title of this book. The cover caught my attention right away - the synopsis was short and sweet. I already knew starting this book someone was lying, and I was ready to find why. Chris Brennan knows how to finesse his way out of every situation he encounters. So it's no surprise when he charms the whole staff at Central Valley High School to secure a job as a teacher. Being a teacher is the furthest thing from his mind, but he needs to be in that position to pull off his plan. What are his plans? What does it have to do with the students of Central Valley High? Those are the questions I had at the beginning of the book. Why was Chris focusing on particular students? Author Lisa Scottoline is known for keeping readers on their toes with her novels, and she has the twists and turns coming in this book. The beginning of the book I was cheering so hard because I knew Chris was going to take me down a dark road. Then came the twist - Chris... Curt... did a complete 360 and now the story was taking me down another road. After certain things were revealed - it became a different read for me. I was no longer on pins and needles - some of the excitement I had earlier in the read did dissolve just a bit. I just wish certain things wasn't revealed to the readers so soon. Overall, One Perfect Lie is an entertaining read. (Orsayor)
Mkgrammy 25 days ago
I have read several Lisa Scottolini books. I've always liked her character development and story line. This book was a huge disappointment. I had to finish the last 100 pages basically skimming the text. THis book is all over the place. It seemed more like someone's first book and not a very good one at that
CCinME 27 days ago
Always look forward to another Lisa Scottoline book and this one did not disappoint. She grabs you right out of the gate and then there is a major twist almost half way through that changes everything. Very clever. Thoroughly enjoyed it! When is the next book coming out?
Storytellermary 28 days ago
I just finished, Lisa Scottoline's ONE PERFECT LIE, so good that I HAD to put aside other interests in order to finish it right away, but now am sorry it's over. Such a twisty plot, highlighting the care shown for others, especially by mothers and teachers . . . Satisfying book!
lindyLW 29 days ago
I loved the book, I got it in auto and hated to stop listening. An other great book of hers
Qnofdnile 3 months ago
This is one of those page turners, you just had to find out who was the bad guy. The way the beginning was written I thought Chris the main character was the bad guy but the more you keep on reading things are not as they appear. In this day and age this is about something that could really happen but you hope never will. Lisa Scottoline is a very versatile writer and I enjoy the funny as well as the suspense.
SherreyM 3 months ago
“But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.” Eight words in one short sentence in the synopsis. That’s all it took to tell me this was going to be one of Lisa Scottoline’s best books. From the moment I began reading, I knew I would be turning pages well into the evenings. As is her style, Scottoline gives few hints as she writes a story. The same is true in One Perfect Lie. The twists and turns are well placed and crafted catching you unaware and off guard. Her character development is real and practical. It is easy to relate to her characters, and in One Perfect Lie she has done an excellent job with four high school boys. I felt transported back about 30 years when I still had a high school son at home. Scottoline has their personalities and quirks accurately detailed. As momentum gathers in the story (it is hard not to tell you everything), the tension is palpable. I caught myself shaking one foot at one point trying to make someone hurry. And there were other such instances. One Perfect Lie is another success for Lisa Scottoline and her readers. The plot is intricate, the characters real, and yes, there is a little romance. All ingredients that make a book great reading. If you follow me regularly, you know I rarely grant starred reviews but in the case of certain books, I feel it only fair to let the world know my opinion when a book is, in my opinion, a stellar work. Lisa Scottoline, welcome to my 5-star group.
Caroles_Random_Life 3 months ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. I have to say that there were a few surprises along the way in this story and I really like surprises. Especially in books. I started reading this book thinking that things were going in a certain direction until everything changed and I had no idea where this book would end up. That is exactly the kind of reading experience that I like to have. This was one of those books that kept me guessing. Chris Brennan is seemingly perfect. But everything about him is a lie. He is hired to teach at the local high school and he is also going to be the assistant baseball coach. He has his story worked out and everyone seems to love him right from the start. Now he just needs to figure out which kid is going to be the best choice to fit into his plan. The characters in this book grew on me. I had a hard time connecting with anyone at the beginning of the book but by the time I had reached the end of the story I thought they were great. Most of the characters are just really good people although imperfect. They all have things going on in their lives that impact their behaviors but they seemed to be doing the best that they could under the circumstances. I loved the writing. There was a lot of action in this book that really kept the pace moving. There were a lot more twists and turns than I was expecting which really kept the story interesting. This story felt very real. While it is a fictional story, everything that happened in this story felt like something that could really happen which was actually quite scary. This was a big story and the fact that it felt authentic was a big plus. I would highly recommend this book to others. It was a very fast paced story that could be hard to put down at times. I have been a fan of Lisa Scottoline for a number of years and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.
KrisAnderson_TAR 3 months ago
One Perfect Lie is the newest book by Lisa Scottoline. Chris Brennan has applied to teach AP Government at Central Valley High School. He has also requested to be the assistant varsity baseball coach. Chris has excellent resume and is quickly hired. What no one knows is that his resume and name are untruths. Why did Chris position himself at Central Valley High School? Raz Sematov, Jordan Larkin, and Evan Kostis are three of Chris’ students and they are also on the varsity baseball team. Raz is going through a rough patch. His father, Mike passed away a few months ago and Raz is acting out. Raz has a temper (as well as a hyper personality) and he has yet to learn how to control it. Evan Kostis is the popular rich kid with a doctor for a father and a mother who copes by drinking. Jordan Larkin is a quiet boy with a single mother. Jordan’s mother, Heather works as a waitress at Central Valley Country Club. Chris quickly gains the boys trust, but he has an ulterior motive. There is something going on in Central Valley and Chris (or whoever he is) is aware of it. Is he behind it? One Perfect Lie captured my interest in the beginning. It is clear that Chris is lying (to the reader), but we do not know why. Soon, though, the truth is revealed and the novel is less captivating. I figured out the plot, the twists and the characters involved long before they are revealed. I was hoping for a novel with more suspense, mystery and surprises. I give One Perfect Lie 3 out of 5 stars. I felt that the book was too long and it had a slow pace. The pace slows down considerably in the second half of the book. I just wanted more, and I expected more from this writer. I was disappointed with the romance in the book. It was unnecessary and did not need to be included. I felt that too much of the story (especially in the second half) was devoted to possible relationship between Chris and Heather Larkin (especially the end). There are many characters in this book and the readers get background details on each one of them (I only listed a few of the characters). I did not like the scenes between Chris and his compatriots. I finished the book (finally) and was left with unanswered questions.
GratefulGrandma 3 months ago
This story gripped me right from the first page. We meet Chris Brennan and soon realize that nothing about Chris Brennan, including his name, is real. He’s applying for a job as a teacher and coach in a small town that has not had much crime or excitement. What he is planning to do here is quickly revealed. He wants to befriend a junior boy on the baseball team to help him in his plot. He finds out where he can rent a truck with no questions asked and now he is ready to put his plan into action. There are three boys he focuses on, and two others on the fringe. We learn about the three boys, their families and their relationships with their relatives as well as friends. It doesn't take Chris long to get one of the boys and his mother to trust Chris, but what the reader believes quickly changes. This novel gets more fast-paced and exciting the more you read, with all the twists and turns of a great suspense story. The family dramas also unfold which makes the characters more complex and relatable. The issues of teenage relationships, technology, sexting, class distinction and the ever present mother-son relationships are all expanded on and play an important part in the story. The mother's stories are also a big part of the story. What others think about the haves and the have nots is explored as well. There is a lot of meat in this story that kept me riveted. I stayed up rather late finishing the book as I had to see how it would end. The ending was not what I had expected at all. I do not want to give away the plot so will not share any more details, but suffice it to say that I really enjoyed this newest Lisa Scottoline story. The publisher generously provide me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.