The Better Liar

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Mar 2020

Member Reviews

This book was provided by NegGalley for an honest review.

The book does a good job of making everyone guess what is happening even though we are provided with a lot of clues., twists and hints. The plot is definitely will keep you on edge. You will not be able to put it down and will read it through the night. I would like to suggest this book for anyone who likes psychological thrillers and unreliable characters.
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WOW...to be honest, it took me a minute (or two) to connect with the characters.  I’ve been having a sort of reading slump! I started reading this book at about 11:30 pm and I COULD NOT put it down until 3:00 am!!! This book follows Leslie, who is looking for her estranged sister, Robin. As I mentioned, I went into the book thinking that this would be a typical love/hate relationship between sisters.  Man was I TOTALLY wrong about that!?!  Something just seemed off with Leslie from the start!  I just intuitively felt that something was hidden and as a reader you are not privy to all the information.  What the author does so well, is tease you and make you want to know more

I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars.  The pace of the story was good and I was dumbfounded until the end!  Those two elements being met were the deciding factor in my enjoyment of this book.  I do, recommend giving this book a read!!!
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I truly wasn't sure what to expect. The cover was great and grabbed my attention immediately. Thoroughly Enjoyed this!!! Had to buy a copy!! I recommend this book to anyone who asks!
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Random House, via Netgalley, provided an advanced copy and so I feel lacking in my responsibility to provide a review, because I am now 5 weeks after publication. Is it any excuse that I was interviewing for and then accepting and then starting a new job? No? 

I'll make up for it a bit by choosing to err on the side of four stars instead of three, since I am legitimately torn between the two. I don't have much justification for the three, other than it just didn't feel like it'll be a top favourite book of the year for me, and choosing four reflects how pleased I was by the somewhat-departure from the norm for the sort of thriller I enjoy. 

When Leslie goes to find her sister, in order to drag her home so that they can both be present (by requirement) to receive their inheritances from their father, she instead find her sister dead from a drug overdose. Shortly thereafter, she stumbles across a young woman, Mary, who looks remarkably like her sister and convinces her to pretend to be her sister, promising that Mary can then just walk away with her sister's half of the inheritance. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, what went wrong for me, somewhat, is that this setup, while being novel and intriguing for me, requires quite a lot of suspension of disbelief. And because of this requirement, I kept doubting and guessing, and... thus, figured out much of the ending very early on.

I enjoyed the setup and appreciated how much of the novel was a guessing game as to the characters' motives and psychological games, both for the reader and the characters. There were other elements here that I liked for their originality in the genre, but to mention them could constitute a spoiler. When I requested this one from Netgalley nearly six months ago, it was hyped as one of the big thrillers of 2020. While I'm guessing it's not going to be that, as I haven't heard it mentioned all that much in my regular bookish worlds, I do find that lack of attention to be surprising and disappointing. I enjoyed the read quite a lot - certainly enough to keep an eye out for Jones' next book!
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The Better Liar by Tanen Jones- I just couldn't get into this book right from the start. Didn't like the tone of the writing, and couldn't follow the story, gave up about one third of the way in.
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Leslie Voigt Flores is looking for her sister Robin, who left their home as a teenager and has not really been back since.  Ten years have passed since Robin left.  She has contacted the family a few times to ask for money and has made a few drunken phone calls, but other than that, Robin and Leslie are estranged.  Leslie has been taking care of their ill father in New Mexico.  When their father dies, Leslie finds out that she is required to locate Robin in order for both of them to inherit $50,000 each.  It should be easy to convince Robin to come home for that amount of money, but the problem is finding her.  She's been using an assumed name to dodge her creditors, but Leslie tracks her down to the Vegas area.  But Robin is a heroin user and she OD's just before Leslie's arrival.  

Leslie wants her share of the money, but she doesn't really have a plan once she finds out Robin is dead.  But then she meets Mary, a waitress who bears a bit of a resemblance to Robin.  Leslie convinces Mary to leave town with her and pretend to be Robin, only long enough to obtain their inheritance.  Mary gets to keep Robin's share of the money on the condition that she help Leslie get her share.  

This book took some twists and turns that I wasn't expecting.  It's a great read!
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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of The Better Liar by Tanen Jones.

After a long search, Leslie finally found her sister Robin, but she found her too late, Robin is dead.  Of course she is, Robin was never going to make life for Leslie easy, and now how is Leslie going to get her money from her.  Enter Mary, a young waitress who looks a lot like late Robin.  Together they hatch a plan for Mary to pose as Robin so that they can split the profits.  What could possibly go wrong.

UGH, DNF.  Sorry, the premise alone, I can't.  I did try, but when "Robin" (Mary) reconnects with an old love interest, and this love interest doesn't even bat an eye at the differences in her, I said "nope."  Even after thirty years, I think we're smart enough to be able to see recognizable characteristics in a loved one, especially after being intimate with them.  It's a fatal enough flaw to keep me from continuing.
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I went into this novel completely blank (I only knew that the cover completely drew me in) and did not regret it, I enjoyed the twisted ride all the way to the end.  The Better Liar by Tanen Jones kept me at the edge of my seat and home all weekend until I finished it. 
If you enjoy a story that is cleverly written, full of dark twists with unreliable characters with hidden agendas and secrets, then this is the story for you.
Thank You to NetGalley for allowing me to read read this ARC for an honest review
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"The Better Liar" is an excellent mystery/thriller novel by Tanen Jones. This novel kept me guessing all throughout the book, and had a good twist at the end. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries and thrillers!

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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I received a free e-copy of The Better Liar by Tanen Jones from NetGalley for my honest review.

One heck on a twisted book!  Leslie's father dies and she is due to inherit $50,000 from his will.  Money that will help save her from loosing her home because she lost her job.  There is one problem though.  She and her sister, Robin are supposed to sign the estate paperwork together with the lawyer.   Ten years ago, Robin ran away from home and Leslie hasn't seen her since. 

Things get even worse when she finds Robin dead in her Las Vegas apartment.   Desperate, Leslie discovers an aspiring actress named Mary, who resembles her sister, Robin and comes up with a plan.   She hires Mary to pretend to be Robin and accompany her back to Albuquerque to sign the papers.  They will each inherit $50,000 each.  Sounds like a well thought out plan that can help both Leslie and Mary.  So simple, yet so complicated.  So many twists, turns and lies that will make your head spin.
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My rating 2.5 stars. Slow burning mystery.
I have some mixed feelings about this book and how to rate it. 
The beginning started out pretty good... we have Leslie, one of the main characters, finding the dead body of her sister Robin, which she hasn't seen in ten years. The story takes off from there. There are three main characters: Leslie, Robin (her dead sister) and Mary. You get snippets of information about the characters throughout the story here and there, but you really never get to know too much about them.
I kept reading thinking the story would get better, (a good build up of story or something) and we would find out more history about the characters but I just didn't feel that... just a lot of dialogue of what was happening now, mixed with a little of the past and a whole lot of assumptions. The ending is what I really didn't like about this book. I kept wishing the book would get better as I read and there would be some real meat and substance. Then at 93% into the book the author threw in a twist, and I sure didn't see that twist coming. After that the book really went down hill from there. It was the ending that really disappointed me. I invested my time waiting for something to happen that lead me down to that ending… and that ending really let me down. I was irritated by it actually. Like really, that’s it? I think I'm in the minority here on my rating, because others really enjoyed this book.
It really wasn't a bad debut book, but it just fell short for me. I would like to thank Ballantine-Random House Publishing Group via NetGalley for the advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This is one of the worst mysteries I have read in a long time.  The only interesting part came in the last 20 pages.  The dynamics between the two psychologically impaired sisters was ridiculous.  I made myself finish it but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
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This is easily one of my favorite thrillers. Mind you, I have not read many and have even DNFed some as well.

I put up walls around me and become suspicious of the characters, the author did a great job at destroying those walls and I ended up rooting for about everyone here. I put my trust in Mary and Leslie and if you ask me if I regret it, I can't give an honest answer. 

What I loved the most was definitely the delivery of the major plot twist. The plot itself was something I had figured out, but the moment it was revealed I was screaming. I appreciate it when an author can impact me with a scene even if I know it's coming.
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3 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lots of great reviews for this one, but unfortunately, this one was kinda dull. I enjoyed the first half and then it went downhill. 

I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I can’t do slow burn thrillers. I like fast paced with some jaw drops. This book had neither for me. 

The story is told from 3 POV’s:  Leslie, Mary and Robin. Leslie and Robin are sisters. Their father dies and leaves them a chunk of cash. In order to claim it, they both must be present. Unfortunately for Leslie, Robin has died. She meets Mary - who can definitely pass as Robin in order to claim this money. This book could have been so much better. The plot had so much potential, but it just fell flat.  

As I said, some people loved it. If you like slow burns with mostly unlikeable characters, give it a whirl! 

Thank you to NetGalley, Ballantine Books and Tanen Jones for my advanced copy to read and review.
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While not 100% believable cross the board, the plot moves quick and the twists were enjoyable. To give anymore detail about this thriller would be to give away important parts, and I don't want to do that. Check this one out!

I received an advance copy. All thoughts are my own.
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Talk about your unreliable narrator. The Better Liar excels at this trick. Leslie has come into an inheritance but first must find her sister, Robin, per instructions of the will. Leslie hasn't seen Robin in 10 years since she ran away from home. She deduces her sister is in Vegas and off she goes. What she finds is a corpse. While Leslie is  having a meal before leaving Vegas to return to her home in Albuquerque, enter Mary a would-be actress and possible stand-in for Robin. 
Robin is on the run from a boyfriend, and Leslie seems to be in the perfect marriage but utterly unhappy. Both are lost. Both need the money offered in the will. What ensues is each woman trying to figure out what the other is hiding and if they can trust one another. Can a relationship develop between such strangers.. 
Woven into the story is the detached parenting that Leslie is experiencing toward her baby.. While Mary is beautiful to a fault, her desire is to be simply loved thoroughly and without artifice.  
A solid read with a twist on the psychological thriller theme.
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I loved this book.
Not so much because it was a solid mystery and psychological thriller- which it certainly was - but mainly because of the very important spotlight it shines on postpartum depression and how it affects the entire family's dynamics.

Robin and Leslie are sisters who grew up with a depressed and often times institutionalized mother and a pretty disengaged father. When the father dies, he leaves a significant amount of money to the two daughters. The catch is, both of them have to be there together to claim their share, and the problem is Robin has been missing for a long time now.

When Leslie finally discovers her whereabouts, she is too late. Robin is dead. She had an overdose and Lesie is the one who finds her body in her dirty little apartment in Vegas. 

On her way out of the apartment, she meets a woman who introduces herself as Mary. For whatever reason they click. Together, they come up with a plan to bring Mary back to Albuquerque and have her pretend to be Robin long enough for the two of them to claim the money. 

The problem is, Leslie isn't the only one who is lying and they're both lying about more than just Mary's identity. 

This book really hit me hard in unexpected places and I took my time savoring the slower parts (the psychological insights, if you will) for they felt real and profound and so very important. I have two kids, I'm no stranger to the struggles of a parent and I have had those desperate moments of questioning my own ability to be a good mother, too. So i know how hard it can get, and this story depicted all of that right. 

Additionally, I remember when one of the popular YA authors gave birth to a baby and she was so brave to share her struggle with postpartum depression on social media. I remember those posts because they were full of pain and desperation and uncertainty. I got this same riveting feeling from reading about Leslie's mom and Leslie herself. Those parts, to me, were even more brilliant and more compelling than the mystery itself.

Speaking of which, the plotline was really well thought out and tightly woven. I enjoyed the slow burn mystery and the rising tension. And even though I kind of figured where the story was going, I still really appreciated the *getting there* part. 

For me, this is a solid 5 star read. And I feel that, even though some people might not have first-hand experience with postpartum struggles, this book provides a great deal of insight and is a good conversation starter. Because its important to talk about these things.
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Leslie seeks out her estranged sister Robin in order to claim the inheritance that both sisters must be present for in order to inherit. When Leslie finds Robin dead, she seeks the help of Mary, a random stranger who she meets in a parking lot, to play the part of Robin in order to get the money. But both women are keeping secrets that could potentially threaten more than just the inheritance.

This was an excellent debut, full of deep, dark secrets and lots of twists and turns. Chapters alternated with the viewpoints of Leslie,  Mary and Robin, creating taut tension from start to finish. I figured out the main twist fairly early on, but the author added many additional surprises, keeping me entertained from start to finish. I applaud Tanen Jones for a job well done and look forward to her next book.

Many thanks to Netgalley, Ballantine and Tanen Jones for my complimentary e-copy ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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PROS:  It had some delicious surprises that almost made it worth reading! Also, I really liked what the author had to say at the end about post-partum depression and the research she had, apparently, done on it.  I suffered from post-partum psychosis after my third child was born; in fact, it was SO bad that my doctors ordered me not to have any more children, but to try and adopt.  I was hospitalized off and on for two years for it.  It's a medical condition no one can really fathom unless she has experienced it.

CONS: I loved the book until it got into detailed lesbian sex activities.  I try to have an open mind where that's concerned, but it was a little nauseating to read how and what they did!  Also, that was about the point in the story where the language turned just as disgusting.  If you can get past these, you will enjoy the book.
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This book was one of the most intriguing books I have ever read. Usually about halfway through the book I can figure things out pretty accurately. While I was able to with small stuff, the story in this book kept evolving to the point where I wasn't sure what was truth and what was a lie. 

Leslie is in need of her inheritance. It's out of her grasp until she can find her sister due to the conditions her father set up. She has searched for her tirelessly and just when hope is in sight everything comes crashing down again. 

While she thinks she's found a solution to the problem the solution may actually be the next problem that she has to deal with. While things keep spinning out of control Leslie can't help but hope that the answer to her prayers will soon be in hand.
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