Once a Liar By A. F. Brady Publisher: Park Row (Harlequin) Release Date: January 29, 2019 Reviewed by PJ
In this electrifying psychological thriller, a high-powered sociopath meets his reckoning when he’s accused of the brutal murder of his mistress.
Did he kill Charlie Doyle? And if he didn’t…who did?
Peter Caine, a cutthroat Manhattan defense attorney, worked ruthlessly to become the best at his job. On the surface, he is charming and handsome, but inside he is cold and heartless. He fights without remorse to acquit murderers, pedophiles and rapists.
When Charlie Doyle, the daughter of the Manhattan DA—and Peter’s former lover—is murdered, Peter’s world is quickly sent into a tailspin. He becomes the prime suspect as the DA, a professional enemy of Peter’s, embarks on a witch hunt to avenge his daughter’s death, stopping at nothing to ensure Peter is found guilty of the murder.
In the challenge of his career and his life, Peter races against the clock to prove his innocence. As the evidence mounts against him, he’s forced to begin unraveling his own dark web of lies and confront the sins of his past. But the truth of who killed Charlie Doyle is more twisted and sinister than anyone could have imagined… My thoughts: At first glance, Once a Liar has everything I typically enjoy in a psychological thriller. It starts out well and doesn't take long to figure out that Peter Caine is one sick puppy. I anticipated a story that would have me eagerly flipping pages to find out what happens next. Unfortunately, that's not what happened. The pace quickly slows to a crawl and I began to lose interest, several times having to force myself to continue. It does pick up toward the end of the book though and includes some twists that may surprise many readers. The characterization of Peter is very good. It's clear the author knows a lot about sociopaths and has created a character that should produce a visceral reaction in most readers. He certainly did with me. She's also created an interesting cast of secondary characters, many with their own share of psychological issues. These are not happy people. I wasn't able to find a single one I'd like to meet in real life. They are expertly depicted though and their actions generated strong emotional reactions in me. Kudos to the author for accomplishing that.
I like my stories told at a faster pace but if you enjoy a slow-moving character study with some twists and turns along the way, you may want to give this one a try. Are you a fan of psychological thrillers? Do you prefer a fast-paced story with lots of action or a slower story with the focus on character evolution? One person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM, February 1, 2019 will receive a print copy of Once a Liar. (U.S. only)