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The Good Lie by [Bailey, D. F.]
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The Good Lie Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Length: 318 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


The Reviews are in!

Add The Good Lie to Bailey's series of Disturbing, Psychological Thrillers and Suspense Novels

"Bailey's masterstroke is in creating a situation for his protagonist that is so believable the reader cannot help but feel complicit in the guilt and anguish of it all. With compelling, measured prose, he stakes out precious territory in a genre -- located somewhere between thriller and psychodrama -- that he makes completely his own."
 -- Quill & Quire Magazine

"A great move on Bailey's part to have such consequence arise from something so believable. Bailey has crafted a tale that not only looks at a universal theme but places it in a very West Coast context, making this one story that local readers are going to love." 
 -- Boulevard Magazine 

"Bailey knows how to employ atmosphere, characters and mood to steadily build a story. And the story he so carefully constructs is a good one." 
 -- What's on Winnipeg

"Bailey had both characters and readers twisting on the spit of morality: What is good? What is bad? Bailey's vision is absolutely compelling."
-- Marilyn Bowering, author of Green

"Better than most, Bailey understands human nature. The characters leap to life."
-- Grant Kerr, Times-Colonist

The Good Lie "raises serious questions, a story which unfolds darkly under the peaceful surface of the Oak Bay we thought we knew."
-- Barbara Julian, Oak Bay Connector

From the Author

~ Author Profile ~
D. F. Bailey talks about The Good Lie

Fallow Period Ends with a Literary Rush

D.F. Bailey stands atop Anderson Hill Park and breathes in the coolish winter air. As many times as he has been up here, the Victoria-based writer is still awe-struck by the panoramic view of the harbour from these rocks overlooking Oak Bay.

Bailey once lived in this neighbourhood and came here for walks to clear his head. So too does the main character in his new novel, The Good Lie (Turnstone Press, 2007, $19.95), his third. There are other similarities between the writer and Paul Wakefield, Bailey's conflicted protagonist. Both drive a Volvo, knew and admired the late artist Jack Wise, have a love of jazz -- particularly Miles Davis -- and are prone to philosophical utterances that would seem trite if they weren't so sincere.

Bailey uses his own experiences as the skeleton of the novel, too. As an eight-year-old growing up in Montreal, he nearly drowned on summer vacation and can still recall the experience vividly. Decades later, he watched in horror as his own son nearly perished in the icy waters of Oak Bay during a sailing lesson. And, like his character, Bailey once took paddling lessons and kayaked out to Discovery Island, which the writer points out with a sweep of an arm.

These experiences hovered in the back of Bailey's consciousness for years, emerging only after he junked what was to be his third novel, what he had hoped would be his breakthrough hit.

This was the late 1990s. His first two books, Fire Eyes (1987) and Healing the Dead (1992) had received some critical praise, the former shortlisted for a literary prize, the latter translated into German.

"I thought, I have two novels out, one went into translation and I wanted to make a bestseller. I had a manuscript and it wasn't going anywhere and I thought, 'What the hell am I doing?'" Bailey gave up writing for an entire year. He hardly looked at his computer, didn't read a book. Around 2000, he got his mojo back and started sketching out a scene for a new work, to see what would happen.

An amiable chap with a full head of iron-grey hair and wire-rimmed glasses, Bailey talks now of how his new novel practically fell from his finger-tips. But he acknowledges there were days when he had to give a mighty tug to get the words out.

"It was hard, I was out of the groove, out of writing. I had got out of the discipline.... [But] that's one of the beauties of this novel is that I had no plan. "It was a gift. I delivered it." While finishing a kayaking course for novices, The Good Lie's central character and a 13-year-old girl get separated from their paddling party in the fog. A passing yacht swamps them and the girl panics, nearly drowning Wakefield as he tries to scramble back into his craft. To save himself, he hits her with his paddle, rendering her comatose.

With no witnesses, Wakefield concocts "the good lie" of the book's title in order to save his family, his career and, he tells himself, so the girl's family can maximize the insurance payout that it will surely collect. But he has to live with the lie, good as it is, and the guilt.

Bailey, unlike Wakefield, has never hammered anyone into a coma, nor has he faced the kind of moral or legal dilemma in which his character gets entangled.

And better than most, Bailey understands human nature. He's a former school teacher and clinical psychologist who runs the professional writing co-op program at the University of Victoria.

Of his time as a psychologist/ teacher at the Eric Martin institute in the late 1970s, he says, "I learned more about the human condition in those three years than at any time in my life."

With his new novel, Bailey feels as if he has had a re-birth of sorts. And with the story set in Victoria in such familiar surroundings, the characters leap to life, even for their creator.

"I feel strange talking about these characters as if they're real. But after spending so much time with them, they become your friends," Bailey says as we walk down Anderson Hill's rocks toward his car.

Published with permission from Grant Kerr, originally published by the Victoria Times-Colonist. Grant Kerr is a journalist and writer who recently moved to Victoria from the Atlantic Coast.

Product Details

  • File Size: 811 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Publisher: (December 14, 2013)
  • Publication Date: December 14, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #812,307 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amazon Customer on September 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book started out good for about the first 5 to 7%, then got pretty slow (and boring) till about 25%. I actually thought about stopping the book, but I am ever so glad I didn’t. Cause at about 25% the book started picking up steam, and more and more became like a runaway locomotive, with me almost on the edge of my seat, and often holding my breath with my heart pounding in my chest. OMG for intense!

Even with the intensity, this book and the scenes in it were written in a pretty delicate, yet still very descriptive manner. I would clarify the writing as having style and class, while absolutely drawing you into the scenes to the point you almost feel like you’re there.

The slow part in the early part of the book did really ‘set the scenes’ for the rest of the book, so it was necessary to cover the material that initially seems immaterial.

I feel that most books have a ‘slow’ part of the book. I prefer when that ‘slow’ part is way into the book, and that the book ‘starts out with a bang’. Instead this book start off slow, the steam builds, draws back for a bit, builds in greater intensity, draws back for a bit, and ends explosively. Each time the book draws back on the steam a bit I felt like I just couldn’t stand it (not in a bad way, but the sitting on the edge of my seat way… like I just wanted to get to what else happened so that I could BREATHE!). Then the steam in the book built to a final shocking explosion. Wow! Breathe… Wipe that tear from my eye… Put myself back into the real world (cause I have spent a few hours feeling like I was in his…).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If only one person who can tell knows what really happened and if the truth only affects the life and well-being of that one person and his family, is it such a bad thing to lie? What if that lie brings the liar to the edge of insanity? This book tells about a kayaking accident which leaves a young teen in a coma and the other survivor is left to tell what happened. He tells what HE calls a "good lie" to "help" the grief-stricken parents. The combination of the meds given him to treat the aftermath along with the knowledge he alone possesses as to what actually did happen along with the harassment from the girl's father bringds him to the brink of mental illness.

I really felt compassion for Paul and when he confessed - not once, but twice - I was concerned he had "sunk himself"! There were parts which slowed the pace considerably, but in the end were necessary. I am glad I persevered through them. Some of the philosophical passages perhaps could have been condensed somewhat, but were important.

The prose was almost poetic in parts and beautifully written. The book ended with an unexpected bang. We knew thre girl's father was barely keeping it together, but while I expected SOMEthing, I didn't expect him to do what he did.

All in all a worthwhile read, especially for those of us who enjoy psychological thrillers.
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While the plot was good--a man who not only feels guilty about his behavior during a kayaking mishap but is also being harassed by the father of a young girl who was left comatose in the same mishap--it too often stopped dead so that the main character could go on for page after page about philosophy or recollections of the early days of his relationship with his wife. While the philosophical matters and the relationship with his wife were germane to the plot, the author devoted too much attention to them. It's as if he wanted to write three different books: a psychological novel about guilt feelings and a stalker, a treatise on Buddhist and Stoic philosophy, and a portrait of a marriage. In the afterword, the author said that he based the philosopher/artist in the novel on a real person, so perhaps he should have written a separate biography of that person and stuck to less verbose descriptions of the Stoics and put in less material about the trip that the main character and his wife took before they were married. The digressions felt like irritating TV commercials. I know you need some details for characterization and atmosphere, but this was excessive.
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This book started out ok, as others have mentioned, and I had a lot of hope for it. However, it is extremely predictable - with the introduction of the dog next door, it was immediately obvious what fate the dog we meet - and often muddled. The author makes leaps from the plot to a bizarre philosophical rambling rhetoric that makes no sense within the story line at all, and then back again to the story. Not a single one of the characters is likable, and I just did not care what happened to any of them (except the dog!).

I am glad the book was free. It was difficult to force myself to keep reading, but I do hate to give up on any book. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
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"I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review."
An ordinary man in an extraordinary situation tells (what he calls a good lie) to help the grief stricken but it was just to help himself and that lie along with a bigger and much darker one carries him away. At first I expected a long slide into oblivion for a man who apparently was innocent, instead we get insight into that man's life and find, as it always is life is complicated.

Then his own guilty conscience and the new medication he is taking causes him to blurt out a confession.

Maybe this guy isn't the innocent person we believe he is at the beginning. And he is sliding into mental illness, as we watch. And his lie drags him down farther and farther down the rabbit hole and this wasn't the Good lie. He makes mistakes, way too many mistakes.

He realizes that this lie will destroy him. And now he is looking into the abyss and as Neichitze said would happen, the abyss is looking into him.

Lots of scary thing happen as he delves into the world of Philosophy and Philosophers, while trying to control his world. He doesn't see the correlation between what he is reading, his memories, and what he is experiencing. And he thinks he is in control. I noticed the end of the book was close and I wondered how it'd all be resolved and the oddest thing happened, it just ended, I was somewhat disappointed by the ending with such a huge build-up
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