Review: All The Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson

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Release: 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

I’ve been a fan of Peter Swanson’s writing ever since I read The Kind Worth Killing back in 2015. His novels are like modern noir stories, quite psychological and with a Hitchcock/Highsmith touch. Last year, I really enjoyed Her Every Fear, although it was kind of different from I was expecting. However, this time, the characters in All The Beautiful Lies did remind me of The Kind Worth Killing.

This is a slow-burning type of novel, so don’t expect many exciting things to happen during the first half. I really like Swanson’s writing and so it doesn’t bother me that he takes his time to develop the story, but this was probably my least favorite of his books. I still enjoyed it, but I don’t think I will remember this one like I remember the first one I read.

What is this book about? All The Beautiful Lies tells the story of Harry, a young man who has just found out that his father died. He returns to his home in Maine to do the funeral arrangements, but the police seem to think there’s something suspicious about the death. Was it an accident or something more sinister? And is it possible that her father’s new wife had something to do about it? And why does he feel so attracted to her?

During the first half of the book, there were two different perspectives: Harry’s, in the present, and Alice’s in the past. I must say I found Alice’s perspective deeply fascinating (in a totally disturbing way), so she was my favorite character to read about. Harry was a good guy, but he was too boring to be a thriller’s MC, and the mystery, as I said before, took its time to find its rhythm. The second part of the book featured a small surprise but it wasn’t a big twist or something that I found particularly shocking.

If you’ve loved this book but you haven’t read his previous novels, I’d recommend that you give The Kind Worth Killing a chance. If you love the author, please read All The Beautiful Lies anyway, because you might love it even if I didn’t. This is a profoundly psychological novel dealing with several polemic topics. It’s well-written and atmospheric, but, unfortunately, it’s not as memorable as I expected it to be.

Many thanks to the publishers and Edelweiss for providing me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review

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22 thoughts on “Review: All The Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson

  1. I’ll have to read The Kind Worth Killing! I’ve been intrigued by this book but I haven’t decided if I want to read it or not. Fantastic review though, I’m still on the fence!

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  2. I agree this one is not as memorable as TKWK, and also agree that if you’re a fan of Swanson’s writing, you should definitely read this one. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of plot he writes next 😊

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  3. Great review! I enjoyed this a lot – it was my first introduction to Swanson’s writing, and I want to read more! Alice was definitely the most interesting character … even if in a disturbing way, hah.

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  4. I’ve read two of his books and absolutely loved them both. I’m curious about this new release, but I’ve read a few reviews with not-so-good ratings, so I’m kind of skeptical about it 😅

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