BOOK REVIEW: The Better Liar by Tanen Jones

Title: The Better Liar
Author: Tanen Jones
Publication: January 14, 2020
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Pages: 307

SYNOPSIS (From Goodreads)

When a woman conceals her sister’s death to claim their joint inheritance, her deception exposes a web of dangerous secrets in this addictive new thriller for fans of Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins.

“Like most of the dead, I want to be remembered.”

Robin Voigt is dead. If Leslie had arrived at her sister’s cramped Las Vegas apartment just hours earlier, this would have been their first reunion in a decade. In the years since Robin ran away from home as a teenager, Leslie has stayed in New Mexico, taking care of their dying father even as she began building a family of her own. But when their father passed away, Leslie received a rude awakening: She and Robin would receive the inheritance he left them together—or not at all. Now her half of the money may be beyond her grasp. And unbeknownst to anyone, even her husband, Leslie needs it desperately.

When she meets a charismatic young woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Robin—and has every reason to leave her past behind—the two make a reckless bargain: Mary will impersonate Robin for a week in exchange for Robin’s half of the cash. But neither realizes how high the stakes will become when Mary takes a dead woman’s name. Even as Mary begins to suspect Leslie is hiding something, and Leslie realizes the stranger living in her house, babysitting her newborn son, and charming her husband has secrets of her own, Robin’s wild, troubled legacy threatens to eclipse them both.

An electric, twisted portrait of sisterhood and the ties that bind, The Better Liar is a stunning debut with a heart-stopping, twist-after-twist finale that will beg the question: How far would you go to get what’s yours?


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

The Better Liar by Tanen Jones came to my attention because it was listed as one of the most anticipated books of 2020 on a list I was reading. As a lover of mystery and thriller novels, this one definitely peaked my interest. I had to check it out. A debut novel by Jones, The Better Liar did not disappointed.

The story follows Leslie and Mary as they work together to deceive those around them in more ways than you are originally aware. From the start there was a ton of suspense and mystery. I knew there was something off with Leslie but I couldn’t figure out what it was throughout the entire book. Mary also had me questioning her true intentions throughout and again, Jones kept me in suspense with me unable to figure out what was going on. I loved the characters and how different they all were. Jones wrote each one with a clearly distinct personality and quirks that made each character interesting and pertinent to the story.

Jones writing style was smooth. I wasn’t completely loving the back and forth from character to character. I more prefer books from one person’s point of view, but I have found a few books lately where I think the back and forth brought a lot to the story. In this instance, while it wasn’t my favorite aspect, I think it kept the mystery alive through because I found myself dissecting their behavior and actions to see what I thought they were hiding.

With that said, The Better Liar is jam packed full of mystery and suspense. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for that other shoe to drop. The ending was absolutely not what I was expecting and made it all the more enjoyable for me. I am adding Tanen Jones to my list of favorite mystery/thriller writers and I cannot wait to see what she has up her sleeve next. A must read for the lovers of good, intense mystery/thrillers with a touch of a psychological twist.


Pick up your copy of The Better Liar by Tanen Jones on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more about author Tanen Jones on her website HERE.

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