In the mood for something different? Something witty, suspenseful, and with a protagonist who is absolutely despicable?
Do I have the book for you!
Sascha Arango’s “The Truth and Other Lies” is a cleverly written book that proved to be impossible to put down. Henry Hayden is a famous author who lives a rather unassuming life with his quiet wife – only, the only tales that Henry is actually responsible for are the lies and half-truths that come out of his mouth when he tries to save himself from a disaster of his own making. His wife mind-bogglingly churns out one book after another, and is perfectly content to let Henry lay claim to them.
While on the surface Henry seems likable, he is vain and well, not such a nice guy (read: he’s evil and unrepentant). When an affair with his editor results in a pregnancy, his carefully built world stands to crumble. An effort to remedy the situation results in a giant “oops moment”, and the more he works to hold the pieces together, the more lies are told and the more precarious a position he finds himself in.
This story has twists and turns that will remind you of a Hitchcock film, and has cast of characters that add to the chaos – a drunken fish monger, a grudge-holding former classmate, a good-intentioned detective – and his wife’s last manuscript. Told by several different narrators, you will try to unravel which are Henry’s truths and which are his lies and, although shocked by his audacity you may even find yourself rooting for him at times (wondering if he will be able work his way out of the hole he has dug himself.)
This is a clever gem of a book with flowing prose and dark humor. It may not be for everyone, but it sure was a page-turner for me.
The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango will be released by Atria Books in print on June 4 and in eBook format on June 23, 2015.
I have been provided an Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley from Atria Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. This review also contains affiliate links.