The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle Book Review

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle (available on Amazon US and UK) is making its way into paperback format this month 
(August 2016).

As I read through, I am enthused to see in Searle a scribe who can pen a (somewhat) memoir-like piece of long, (recent) historical fiction, with the panache of an old gentleman such as Graham Greene.

UHQ-literary style is a rarity in thriller fiction today; Banville could be cited as an example, but his novels – if thrillers at all, and some involve murder and conspiracy – are finely wrought outliers. 

There is action in The Good Liar – not frenetically paced, much of it well timed to be surprising – and certainly more than enough violence to punctuate the humorous or cogent discussions of and meditations on infirmity, duping, history and politics.
I found the Grumpy Old Man at the novel’s core to be somewhat endearing; he has much of the same shtick as a typical moaner.

Searle’s work matches style with great plotting. Dickensian-Gothic elements permeate a prewar Nazi Germany rife with Trumplike hate, and a catfishing scam artist many decades later as the protagonist who claims no interest in history, as what’s past is past. 

But elderly Roy has played a greater part in post-war Europe’s reconstruction than he cares to admit. Beyond a superb plot, the book is a rivetting character analysis of how Roy – through his history – comes to be the grumpy old manipulator we are presented with at the novel’s opening. 

A reader might ask: “Are some people born nasty?” It’s a determination that is difficult to figure out.

You can buy the book in all good bookshops. It’s available at  Amazon US and UK.

Follow Nicholas Searle on Twitter.

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