Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango

From Goodreads: On the surface, Henry Hayden seems like someone you could like, or even admire. A famous bestselling author who appears a modest everyman. A loving, devoted husband even though he could have any woman he desires. A generous friend and coworker. But Henry Hayden is a construction, a mask. His past is a secret, his methods more so. No one besides him and his wife know that she is the actual writer of the novels that made him famous.

For most of Henry’s life, it hasn’t been a problem. But when his hidden-in-plain-sight mistress becomes pregnant and his carefully constructed facade is about to crumble, he tries to find a permanent solution, only to make a terrible mistake.

Now not only are the police after Henry, but his past—which he has painstakingly kept hidden—threatens to catch up with him as well. Henry is an ingenious man and he works out an ingenious plan. He weaves lies, truths, and half-truths into a story that might help him survive. But bit by bit the noose still tightens.

The Truth and Other Lies has me confused. It's one of those books that I'm not sure I either a.) liked or b.) understood. The book opens and you are thrown right into the plot, which I liked. It was so easy to get sucked into this story and into Henry's mind. I disagree about Henry being someone you could like, because I absolutely did not like him. He was manipulative, conniving, and sociopathic. I liked the ride through his mind, though, because his way of thinking is so different than my own (non-sociopathic, that is!). While I didn't like him, I did find him a bit fascinating. He may not have been an author himself, but he could definitely wind together a good story!

I can't say much about the plot without spoiling anything, so I'll just say that it's a little complicated. This is a fairly short book, so you really have to be paying attention because things happen quickly. I did not like a single character in this book as everyone seems shady. Whether they were or not, you can decide for yourself, but I felt like they were. It seemed like nobody truly knew anyone in this book, but I guess that's true life. Can we ever really know someone? Know what they're capable of?

I just finished this book, so I'm still sorting out my feelings. It left a little to be desired, especially the unsatisfying ending. I have questions that I want answers to. I didn't dislike the book, as it did leave me thinking and questioning, which is always a good thing in my mind. I will say, though, that it is pretty literary and descriptive and some of the situations are a bit gory and hard to read.

This has the potential to be a big summer hit, and I think it's the perfect book to read on a dark, rainy night, preferably at an old cabin, to really ramp up the atmosphere.

Overall, it was not my favourite book, but it was still a really interesting story that had me questioning Henry and everyone else the whole time. I rated it 3 out of 5 stars based on Goodreads rating system. It's on sale now, so check it out if you're into unreliable, twisty stories.

*I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, so thank you so much!*

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