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One Perfect Lie
     

One Perfect Lie

4.1 38
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:
1,221
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.30(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

One Perfect Lie


By Lisa Scottoline

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2017 Smart Blonde, LLC
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-09956-3


CHAPTER 1

Chris Brennan was applying for a teaching job at Central Valley High School, but he was a fraud. His resume was fake, and his identity completely phony. So far he'd fooled the personnel director, the assistant principal, and the chairperson of the Social Studies Department. This morning was his final interview, with the principal, Dr. Wendy McElroy. It was make-or-break.

Chris waited in her office, shifting in his chair, though he wasn't nervous. He'd already passed the state and federal criminal-background checks and filed a clear Sexual Misconduct/Abuse Disclosure Form, Child Abuse Clearance Form, and Arrest/Conviction Report & Certification Form. He knew what he was doing. He was perfect, on paper.

He'd scoped out the school and observed the male teachers, so he knew what to wear for the interview — a white oxford shirt, no tie, khaki Dockers, and Bass loafers bought from the outlets in town. He was six-foot-two, 216 pounds, and his wide-set blue eyes, broad cheekbones, and friendly smile qualified him as handsome in a suburban way. His hair was sandy brown, and he'd just gotten it cut at the local Supercuts. Everyone liked a clean-cut guy, and they tended to forget that appearances were deceiving.

His gaze took in Dr. McElroy's office. Sunlight spilled from a panel of windows behind the desk, which was shaped like an L of dark wood, its return stacked with forms, files, and binders labeled Keystone Exams, Lit & Alg 1. Stuffed bookshelves and black file cabinets lined the near wall, and on the far one hung framed diplomas from Penn State and West Chester University, a greaseboard calendar, and a poster that read DREAM MORE, COMPLAIN LESS. The desk held family photographs, pump bottles of Jergen's and Purell, and unopened correspondence next to a letter opener.

Chris's gaze lingered on the letter opener, its pointed blade gleaming in the sunlight. Out of nowhere, he flashed to a memory. No! the man had cried, his last word. Chris had stabbed the man in the throat, then yanked out the knife. Instantly a fan of blood had sprayed onto Chris, from residual pressure in the carotid. The knife must have served as a tamponade until he'd pulled it out, breaking the seal. It had been a rookie mistake, but he was young back then.

"Sorry I'm late," said a voice at the doorway, and Chris rose as Dr. McElroy entered the office on a knee scooter, which held up one of her legs bent at the knee, with a black orthopedic boot on her right foot.

"Hello, Dr. McElroy, I'm Chris Brennan. Need a hand?" Chris rose to help her but she scooted forward, waving him off. She looked like what he'd expected: a middle-aged professional with hooded blue eyes behind wire-rimmed bifocals and with a lean face framed by clipped gray hair and dangling silver earrings. She even had on a dress with a gray-and-pink print. Chris got why women with gray hair dressed in gray things. It looked good.

"Call me Wendy. I know this looks ridiculous. I had bunion surgery, and this is the way I have to get around."

"Does it hurt?"

"Only my dignity. Please sit down." Dr. McElroy rolled the scooter toward her desk with difficulty. The basket in front of the scooter held a tote bag stuffed with a laptop, files, and a quilted floral purse.

Chris sat back down, watching her struggle. He sensed she was proving a point, that she didn't need help, when she clearly did. People were funny. He had researched Dr. McElroy on social media and her faculty webpage, which had a bio and some photos. She'd taught Algebra for twelve years at CVHS and lived in nearby Vandenberg with her husband, David, and their Pembroke Welsh corgi, Bobo. Dr. McElroy's photo on her teacher webpage was from her younger days, like a permanent Throwback Thursday. Bobo's photo was current.

"Now you know why I'm late. It takes forever to get anywhere. I was home recuperating during your other interviews, that's why we're doing this now. Apologies about the inconvenience." Dr. McElroy parked the scooter next to her chair, picked up her purse and tote bag from the basket, and set them noisily on her desk.

"That's okay, it's not a problem."

Dr. McElroy left the scooter, hopped to her chair on one foot, then flopped into the seat. "Well done, me!"

"Agree," Chris said pleasantly.

"Bear with me another moment, please." Dr. McElroy pulled a smartphone from her purse and put it on her desk, then reached inside her tote bag and slid out a manila folder. She looked up at him with a flustered smile. "So. Chris. Welcome back to Central Valley. I hear you wowed them at your interviews. You have fans here, already."

"Great, it's mutual." Chris flashed a grin. The other teachers liked him, though everything they knew about him was a lie. They didn't even know his real name, which was Curt Abbott. In a week, when it was all over and he was gone, they'd wonder how he'd duped them. There would be shock and resentment. Some would want closure, others would want blood.

"Chris, let's not be formal, let's just talk, since you've done so well at your previous interviews, and as you know, we have to get this position filled, ASAP. Mary Merriman is the teacher you'd be replacing, and of course, we all understood her need to take care of her ailing father." Dr. McElroy sighed. "She's already up in Maine, but reachable by email or phone. She would be happy to help you in any way she can."

Whatever, Chris thought but didn't say. "That's great to know. How nice of her."

"Oh, she's a peach, Mary is. Even at her darkest hour, she's thinking of her students." Dr. McElroy brightened. "If I expedite your paperwork, I can get you in class this Thursday, when the sub leaves. Can you start that soon?"

"Yes, the sooner the better," Chris said, meaning it. He had a lot to do by next Tuesday, which was only a week away, and he couldn't start until he was in place at the school. It gave new meaning to the word deadline.

"I must warn you, you have big shoes to fill, in Mary. She's one of our most beloved teachers."

"I'm sure, but I'm up to the task." Chris tried to sound gung ho.

"Still it won't be easy for you, with the spring semester already well under way."

"Again, I can handle it. I spoke with the others about it and I'm up to speed on her syllabus and lesson plans."

"Okay, then." Dr. McElroy opened the manila folder, which contained a printout of Chris's job application, his fake resume, and his other bogus papers. "Chris, for starters, tell me about yourself. Where are you from?" "Mostly the Midwest, Indiana, but we moved around a lot. My dad was a sales rep for a plumbing-supply company, and his territory kept changing." Chris lied, excellently. In truth, he didn't remember his father or mother. He had grown up in the foster-care system outside of Dayton, Ohio.

Dr. McElroy glanced at the fake resume. "I see you went to Northwest College in Wyoming."

"Yes."

"Got your certification there, too?"

"Yes."

"Hmmm." Dr. McElroy paused. "Most of us went to local Pennsylvania schools. West Chester, Widener, Penn State."

"I understand." Chris had expected as much, which was why he'd picked Northwest College as his fraudulent alma mater. The odds of running into anyone here who had gone to college in Cody, Wyoming, were slim to none.

Dr. McElroy hesitated. "So, do you think you could fit in here?"

"Yes, of course. I fit in anywhere." Chris kept the irony from his tone. He'd already established his false identity with his neighbors, the local Dunkin' Donuts, Friendly's, and Wegman's, his persona as smoothly manufactured as the corporate brands with their bright logos, plastic key tags, and rewards programs.

"Where are you living?"

"I'm renting in a new development nearby. Valley Oaks, do you know it?"

"Yes, it's a nice one," Dr. McElroy answered, as he'd anticipated. Chris had picked Valley Oaks because it was close to the school, though there weren't many other decent choices. Central Valley was a small town in south-central Pennsylvania, known primarily for its outlet shopping. The factory store of every American manufacturer filled strip mall after strip mall, and the bargain-priced sprawl was bisected by the main drag, Central Valley Road. Also on Central Valley Road was Central Valley Dry Cleaners, Central Valley Lockshop, and Central Valley High School, evidence that the town had no imagination, which Chris took as a good sign. Because nobody here could ever imagine what he was up to.

Dr. McElroy lifted a graying eyebrow. "What brings you to Central Valley?"

"I wanted a change of scenery. My parents passed away five years ago, in a crash. A drunk driver hit their car head-on." Chris kept self-pity from his tone. He had taught himself that the key to evoking the sympathy was to not act sorry for yourself.

"Oh no! How horrible." Dr. McElroy's expression softened. "My condolences. I'm so sorry for your loss."

"Thank you." Chris paused for dramatic effect.

"How about the rest of your family? Any brothers or sisters?"

"No, I was an only child. The silver lining is that I'm free to go anywhere I want. I came east because there are more teaching jobs and they're better-paying. Teachers here are rolling in dough, correct?" Dr. McElroy chuckled, as Chris knew she would. His starting salary would be $55,282. Of course it was unfair that teachers earned less than crooks, but life wasn't fair. If it were, Chris wouldn't be here, pretending to be somebody else.

"Why did you become a teacher, Chris?"

"I know it sounds corny but I love kids. You can really see the influence you have on them. My teachers shaped who I am, and I give them so much credit."

"I feel the same way." Dr. McElroy smiled briefly, then consulted the fake resume again. "You've taught Government before?"

"Yes." Chris was applying to fill the opening in AP Government, as well as the non-AP course Government & Economics and an elective, Criminal Justice, which was ironic. He had fabricated his experience teaching AP Government, familiarized himself with an AP Government textbook, and copied a syllabus from online, since the AP curriculum was nationally standardized. If they wanted to turn the public schools into chain stores, it worked for him.

"So, you enjoy teaching at the secondary level. Why?"

"The kids are so able, so communicative, and you see their personalities begin to form. Their identities, really, are shaping. They become adults." Chris heard the ring of truth in his own words, which helped his believability. He actually was interested in identity and the human psyche. Lately he'd been wondering who he was, when he wasn't impersonating someone.

"And why AP Government? What's interesting about AP Government to you?"

"Politics is fascinating, especially these days. It's something that kids see on TV and media, and they want to talk about it. The real issues engage them." Chris knew that engagement was a teacher buzzword, like grit. He'd picked up terms online, where there were so many teacher blogs, Facebook groups, and Twitter accounts that it seemed like the Internet was what engaged teachers.

"You know, Chris, I grew up in Central Valley. Ten years ago, this county was dairyland, but then the outlets came in and took over. They brought jobs, but we still have a mix of old and new, and you see that in town. There's been an Agway and a John Deere dealership for decades, but they're being squeezed out by a Starbucks."

"I see." Chris acted sad, but that worked for him too. He was relying on the fact that people here would be friendly, open-hearted, and above all, trusting.

"There's an unfortunate line between the haves and the have-nots, and it becomes obvious in junior year, which you will be teaching." Dr. McElroy paused. "The kids from the well-to-do families take the SATs and apply to college. The farm kids stay behind unless they get an athletic scholarship."

"Good to know," Chris said, trying to look interested.

"Tell me, how do you communicate with students, best?"

"Oh, one-on-one, definitely. Eye-to-eye, there's no substitute. I'm a friendly guy. I want to be accessible to them on email, social media, and such, but I believe in personal contact and mutual respect. That's why I coach, too."

"Oh, my, I forgot." Dr. McElroy frowned, then sifted through his file. "You're applying to fill our vacancy for an assistant baseball coach. Varsity."

"Yes." Chris had never coached before, but he was a naturally gifted athlete. He'd been going to indoor batting cages to get back in shape. His right shoulder ached. "I feel strongly that coaching is teaching, and vice versa. In other words, I'm always teaching, whether it's in the classroom or on the ball field. The setting doesn't matter, that's only about location."

"An insightful way to put it." Dr. McElroy pursed her lips. "As assistant baseball coach, you would report to Coach Hardwick. I must tell you, he doesn't keep assistants very long. His last one, well, moved on and wasn't replaced. Coach Hardwick likes to do it all himself, his own way. And he can be a man of few words."

"I look forward to meeting him." Chris had researched Coach Hardwick, evidently a well-known jerk. "I'm sure I can work with Coach Hardwick. He's an institution in regional high-school baseball, and the Central Valley Musketeers have one of the finest programs in the state."

"That's true." Dr. McElroy nodded, brightening. "Last year, several players were recruited for Division I and II."

"Yes, I know." Chris had already scouted the team online for his own purposes. He needed to befriend a quiet, insecure boy, most likely a kid with a troubled relationship to his father. Or better yet, a dead father. It was the same profile that a pedophile would use, but Chris was no pervert. His intent was to manipulate the boy, who was only the means to an end.

"So where do you see yourself in five years?"

"Oh, here, in Central Valley," Chris lied.

"Why here, though? Why us?" Dr. McElroy tilted her head, and Chris sensed he had to deliver on his answer.

"I love it here, and the rolling hills of Pennsylvania are a real thing. It's straight-up beautiful. I love the quiet setting and the small-town vibe." Chris leaned over, as if he were about to open his heart, when he wasn't even sure he had one. "But the truth is, I'm hoping to settle down here and raise a family. Central Valley just feels like home."

"Well, that sounds wonderful! I must say, you lived up to all of my expectations." Dr. McElroy smiled warmly and closed the file. "Congratulations, Chris, you've got the job! Let me be the first to welcome you to Central Valley High School."

"Terrific!" Chris extended his hand over the desk, flashing his most sincere grin.

It was time to set his plan in motion, commencing with step one.

CHAPTER 2

Chris pulled into the Central Valley U-Haul dealership and parked his Jeep, a 2010 black Patriot. He slipped on a ball cap, got out of the car, and looked around. There were no other customers, which was why he'd come midmorning on a drizzly Wednesday. He didn't want any witnesses.

The U-Haul office was an orange-and-brown corrugated cube with a glass storefront, and two security cameras on its roofline aimed at the front door and the parking lot, mounted high enough that Chris's face would be hidden by the brim of his ball cap.

The dealership was smaller than the Ryder and Penske dealerships, but it had a storage facility out back, and the units were temperature- and humidity-controlled, making them the perfect place to store ammonium nitrate fertilizer, which was the main component of homemade IEDs, or improvised explosive devices, like an ANFO bomb.

Chris crossed to the lineup of gleaming white-and-orange pickups, cargo vans, and box trucks in several different lengths. The ten-foot box truck would be large enough to hold the fifty bags of fertilizer and the other equipment. If a ten-footer wasn't available, the fifteen-footer would do, though it was slower and its large size could attract attention.

Chris spotted only one ten-footer parked in the lot. According to the website, it was available next week, but he wasn't leaving anything to chance.

"Hello, sir, I'm Rick." A salesclerk came over in a green polo shirt with a logo patch and khaki pants.

"Hi, I'm Mike Jacobs. Nice to meet you." Chris extended a hand, and Rick shook it with a smile.

"How can I help you today?"

"I'm interested in the ten-footer." Chris gestured to the truck. "Is this the only one you have?"

"Yes. When do you need it?"

"Hmph." Chris paused, for show. "Let me think, today is Wednesday the thirteenth. I need it for Monday of next week, the eighteenth. Is it available?"

"I have to check and get you a rate quote. You know, you can check availability and reserve online with a credit card."

"I saw that, but I didn't want to reserve it online and send my nephew over to pick it up, only to find out that it's not available."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline. Copyright © 2017 Smart Blonde, LLC. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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. 38 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Het best book evet. Couldnt stop turning the pages.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Can't wait for her next book
Anonymous 6 months ago
Love it
Anonymous 6 months ago
Another home run!
Anonymous 15 days ago
Outstanding!!!! Highly recommend. Warning: be prepared to lose sleep, because you won't be able to stop turning pages!!
Anonymous 4 months ago
Fun and exciting
Anonymous 4 months 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 13 days ago
Another good read
Anonymous 25 days ago
pet1210 3 months 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 4 months ago
Loved it-read it in a day!
Anonymous 4 months ago
is this what we are going to with her novels?? fast food fiction very disappointed
Anonymous 4 months ago
is this what we are going to with her novels?? fast food fiction very disappointed
Anonymous 4 months ago
SheTreadsSoftly 4 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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
Anonymous 5 months 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.
CCinME 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months ago
I loved the book, I got it in auto and hated to stop listening. An other great book of hers
Qnofdnile 5 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 6 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.