- File Size: 465 KB
- Print Length: 354 pages
- Publication Date: December 30, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00RN52YEK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #551,612 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$3.99|
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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One Last Lie Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
There is much to like about this novel, which I would classify as psychological suspense. The plot is tight, the pace is quick, and the protagonists Philip and Jonathan are sympathetic characters who are easy to root for. The story pulled me in quickly and held my interest throughout. I think the storyline is very clever and the ending surprised me.
I do have some issues with the book. Firstly, though there is certainly some character development, I would have liked the characters to be more fleshed out. I do not feel I learned that much about Philip and Jonathan. Emphasis is placed primarily on how they feel about each other rather than how they evolved to become who they are. I also do not have a good understanding of how the “she-devil” Angela came to be. Another criticism regarding Angela is that I feel her persona as written is a touch over the top; she is truly reprehensible. There is another character that to me is not terribly believable, but I will not expound further in order to prevent spoilers. Finally, and I think this may just be me, but it becomes clear very early in the book that something really terrible is going to happen, which lit a fire of inner dread within me that I carried throughout the entire book. I did not care for that feeling, but I am sure other readers might consider that experience an enhancer of suspense.
Overall, One Last Lie has very “good bones”. Mr. Kaufman is a new author, having published only two novels so far. I believe he has the potential to become outstanding with more experience. I would prefer to award this book 3.5 stars. I will round up to 4 stars rather than downgrade to 3 because it made me cry, not only once but twice, at 84% and at the end. Only two other books have made me tear up in the last year and a half, so kudos to Mr. Kaufman for that.
I recommend One Last Lie to all fans of psychological suspense. I will definitely go back and read Mr. Kaufman’s first book, In the Shadow of Stone, and if he writes a third novel I will purchase that as well. I look forward to watching the growth of this author.
But once the novel kicks into high gear via Kaufman's flashback storytelling, the trappings of Westport's "A-list" gay life--designer showcase homes, couturier fashion and fragrance, celebrity restaurants (Tim Gunn couldn't have done a better job at name dropping)--take a back seat to the novel's unrelenting march toward a carefully plotted, suspenseful climax.
There is something simultaneously unsettling and thrilling (at least to this reader) about foreknowledge--something that keeps us turning pages in the same way that we continue perversely toward the scene of a roadside accident even when the flashing emergency lights are visible from miles away. Those lights begin to flash in One Last Lie the moment Kaufman introduces Angela, his fascinating villainess.
Perhaps the novel's most compelling character, Angela, a friend from Philip's college days, charms her way around Jonathan's neuroses-fueled mistrust (a condition described by his therapist as an "irritated state of being") to become part of the couples' lives. But as with many a great villainess, Angela's charm serves a sinister agenda--one she sets about achieving by convincing the men to have a child with her via artificial insemination.
For sheer deviousness and evil intent, Kaufman's Angela approaches the likes of the Marquise de Merteuil in Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Lady De Winter in The Three Musketeers. Almost as soon as the ink is dry on the co-parenting legal contract prepared by Jonathan's and Philip's attorney, Angela leads the increasingly anxious fathers-to-be (Jonathan is ostensibly the sperm donor) on a relentless, and at times, excruciatingly tense journey toward tragedy and the revelatory denouement foreshadowed in the novel's title.
Speaking of denouement, it is difficult for this reader to imagine that any reader who has experienced a lasting, deeply committed loving relationship could fail to be moved by the conclusion that Kaufman offers in One Last Lie. Tenderhearted readers should have their hankies at the ready.
The novel has a few flaws, some of which seem related to Amazon's troubled HTML conversion technology for e-books. In a few instances, the reader is jarred abruptly backward or forward in time--literally from one paragraph to the next--without benefit of a section break; however, these imperfections may also be related to Amazon's conversion technology and its tendency to obliterate the author's formatting choices. Future iterations of the e-book (this reader purchased an early version) may well have eliminated these problems--snags that are hopefully altogether absent in the novel's soft-bound version.
Ultimately a story of undefeated love couched in a tense drama of deception, betrayal, and violence, Kaufman's novel puts the lie to the genre labels often attached to works that place gay protagonists center stage. Indeed, One Last Lie transcends tags such as `gay fiction,' `gay romance,' or even `gay suspense/thriller' by offering a satisfying mainstream reading experience (from the nail-biting to the hankie producing) that is suitable for a broad cross-section of discerning readers.
Jack Urquhart is the author of several works of fiction, including So They Say Collected Stories.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book held my interest and is very well written. I recommend it highly.