On paper, Chris Brennan looks perfect. He’s applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he’s ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his references are impeccable.
But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.
Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a high school pitcher so athletically talented. Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Justin’s baseball games. Mindy Kostis succumbs to the pressure of being a surgeon’s wife by filling her days with social events and too many gin and tonics.
At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he there? What does he want? And what is he willing to do to get it?
When I first decided to read One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline, I thought it would be a psychological thriller. The blurb spoke about secrets and lies which are two things that I like in my thrillers. The story begins with Chris at the new school. He has impeccable references although from the start, we are told that everything about him is a lie. Hints are dropped throughout the first chapters that indicate that Chris is hiding a secret about his identity and why he has moved to the town and in particular, the new school. I was immediately hooked to the story and couldn’t wait to find out the truth about his secrets. Why was he there? What was he hiding? And most importantly, who is Chris?
However, the storyline shifted after a few chapters. I can’t say more about this because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet and honestly, I think it is better if you read the book with minimal prior knowledge about the plot. The shift that I am alluding to was one of the main twists in the book. I was able to predict the rest of the twists from then on although this didn’t affect my reading experience.
Although lies and deceit seem to be the main themes in this story, there are other themes that emerge through the sub-plots. There is loss and mourning, infidelity, family and peer pressure. I liked the background stories for the three mothers the most. Each woman had a different personal struggle that they were trying to sort out as they also tried to do the best for their teenage sons and deal with all the other drama going on in the town.
Writing this review was a bit difficult for me. I can’t say much about the plotline because as I mentioned, that would ruin the experience for those who haven’t read the book. My main issue with the story occurred after the first twist. The story until the twist was my kind of book. The turn it took was something else; it’s a direction that I don’t really like in thrillers. Nevertheless, the book was well-written that I found myself hooked to the story until the last page. So did I like the book? Well, I liked it but I would have loved it if it had taken that different direction.
If you are looking for a suburban crime/domestic thriller then I think that you will enjoy this book. If you like books about lies, deceit and some hint of romance then this will be perfect for you. The less you know about the plotline, the better your reading experience will be. If you can avoid reading the blurb on goodreads(I edited it for this review, leaving out the clues) then I would advise that you do that. I was actually able to guess one of the twists in the book just by reading the blurb. I have heard great things about Lisa Scottoline and I did like her writing so I can’t wait to read her other books.