NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
A literary crime thriller with “a clever plot that always surprises, told with dark humor and dry wit” (The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice), this brilliant debut follows a famous author whose wife—the brains behind his success—meets an untimely death, leaving him to deal with the consequences.
Henry Hayden seems like someone you might admire, or even come to think of as a friend. A famous bestselling author. A loving and devoted husband. A generous and considerate neighbor. But Henry Hayden is a construction, a mask. His past is a secret, his methods more so. Only he and his wife know that she is the actual writer of the novels that made him famous.
When his hidden-in-plain-sight mistress becomes pregnant, it seems his carefully conceived façade is about to crumble. And on a rain-soaked night at the edge of a dangerous cliff, his permanent solution becomes his most terrible mistake.
Now not only are the police after Henry but his past—which he has painstakingly kept hidden—threatens to catch up with him as well. Henry is an ingenious man, and he works out an ingenious plan, weaving lies, truths, and half-truths into a story that might help him survive. Still, the noose tightens.
Smart, sardonic, and compulsively readable, this is the story of a man whose cunning allows him to evade the consequences of his every action, even when he’s standing on the edge of the abyss.
German scriptwriter Arango's exceptional first novel, a highly entertaining thriller, focuses on Henry Hayden, a successful author who lives in a "nondescript coastal town." Wealthy beyond imagination, he appears to be a loving husband to his wife, Martha, and is so humble that people automatically like him. In truth, the vain and selfish Henry is seeing a mistress, Betty Hansen, who's also his editor, and a few other women besides. As for those bestsellers, Henry never wrote one word Martha did, allowing him to take credit as long as her authorial role remained a secret. Henry's carefully constructed world is in danger when Betty becomes pregnant. His decision to take drastic action results in an accidental death. Dodging the police inquiry and an old acquaintance determined to expose his erratic past, Henry takes charge of his own fate. Wry humor punctuates this insightful look at a soulless man.
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Truth and Other Lies
The story has one theme and multiple plots. Keeps the reader guessing, how will the killer be found. Good ending.