The Last Lie

The Last Lie

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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New York Times bestselling author Stephen White returns to his beloved Alan Gregory series with a taut, ripped-from-the-headlines crime story.

Stephen White's most recent bestseller, The Siege , featured his series character Sam Purdy in a relentlessly paced stand-alone thriller that critics hailed as "brilliantly conceived and executed" ( Publishers Weekly ) and "the best and most interesting terrorism thriller I've seen." ( The Washington Post ) Now, in The Last Lie , White returns to his Alan Gregory series roots with the popular characters and Boulder setting that first launched him onto the bestseller lists and attracted legions of fiercely loyal fans.

Shortly after Alan and Lauren welcome their affluent new neighbors-a legal legend in women's rights law and his beautiful wife-the couple hosts a housewarming party that ends in quiet disaster. One of their guests, a young widow, elects to spend the night after indulging in too much wine, only to wake the next morning with no memory beyond getting ready for bed. Was she drugged? Raped? Lauren, a deputy district attorney, and detective Sam Purdy are both privy to facts they can't share with Alan, but Alan soon discovers that he has a most unusual perspective into what truly happened after the housewarming party. Before Alan can discover all the pieces to the puzzle, an important witness to the events is murdered. Alan fears that other witnesses-people he loves-will be next. Smart, topical, and deftly plotted, The Last Lie delivers the pulse-pounding return of one of contemporary fiction's most enduring heroes.
Publisher: New York : Dutton, 2010
ISBN: 9780525951773
9780451234285
Branch Call Number: WHITE
Characteristics: 400 p

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b
booksphinx
Feb 17, 2015

White is the bestselling author of 'The Seige' - a book I've never read but have heard about. In his past, he apparently practised full time as "two of only about a dozen psychologists in the country working in pediatric oncology" (from his site bibliography, here). This background in psychology explains the heavy focus on it in his book and also may explain why reading his writing felt a little like watching Frasier, if Frasier was only a one person show without any other characters for comedy releif.

Many of the chapters feature the two main characters (whose names I can't even be bothered to remember, so we shall just call them Dr. Doodad and Ms. Long Skirt. Ms. Long Skirt is a psychiatrist with a client who has suffered a traumatic rape and who doubts her recollections of the event. Dr. Doodad is 'supervising' Ms. Long Skirt (i.e. providing counselling for her as a counsellor) with her current client load. Over three hundred and fifty or so pages, Dr. Doodad and Ms. Long Skirt have long and overly detailed conversations about the rape case. There is a mystery. People are hiding things. Dr. Doodad tries to do his own snooping around.

Meanwhile, stuff is happening with the characters. There is something about the protagonists dog that the neighbours don't like. The protagonist's wife has MS. The villain is kind of bland. The villain's wife is equally bland.White gives me a lot of detail, but somehow I just can't get to caring about any of the characters.

My main bugbear with this book was that there was too much inner dialogue from the main character. I felt like the guy was too clever for his own good, a little pompous and just dull - like the narrative.

Yes, there's a mystery and - yes, the protagonist helps solve it - so if that's all you're looking for in a novel, you'll probably like this one. For me, this was a hard read. It dragged and dragged and the ending was a disappointment too (it was a releif to get there, at least). I'm not sure if White's other novels are better, but I don't think I'll be seeking them out anytime soon.

hbs135 Jun 11, 2012

had to keep renewing it - still at the middle of the book and wondering if it will get to the point.

r
rahmmie
Jun 19, 2011

I thought this was an OK book but nothing special

dougswa May 01, 2011

did not read but it might be worthwhile to test out author

c
caraanne
Nov 08, 2010

White is a favorite of mine. Great to catch up with Alan and the Boulderites. Having spent time there, I relate.

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