I’m always looking for book recommendations and when the same book is mentioned by several different people, I take note. One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline is one of those books that everyone seems to be raving about.
Synopsis: 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.
I’m not going to lie—I had higher hopes for this book. The set-up for the story gives the impression of dark and twisty things to come, but then it goes in the opposite direction. At first glance, you think Chris Brennan is planning a terrorist attack in Pennsylvania, gaining the trust of one of his students to involve him in the planned events.
The reader is introduced to the mother’s of three of his students: the single mother struggling, the stay at home with a drinking problem, and the career woman who recently lost her husband and is trying to keep her family together. Details of the women are shared, but I didn’t feel like they necessarily added anything to the plot.
I can’t help but feel like the author changed course around chapter 21—a terrorist plot carried out by the main character would have been much more interesting to read than an undercover agent. The “bad” guys were introduced way too late, and the explanation of why they had set out for vengeance was kind of thrown together and generic. Hey, the government ruined our family business so let’s get even by blowing up a major building in the middle of town on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing! Yeah, it didn’t quite work for me. Especially the Mission Impossible-inspired rescue carried out by Brennan.
Check it out from the library or listen to it on Audible, which is narrated by George Newbern, which is highly enjoyable.
This book would be ideal for a creative writing class assignment in which the story is carried out from the viewpoint of someone who is carrying out a terrorist attack.