Social Media Icons

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: Once a Liar by A.F. Brady @harlequinbooks @AFBradyNYC

Once a Liar
by A.F. Brady

Thank you to Harlequin Books/Park Row for these copies!
Another All The Book Reviews - we are just chugging along!

Publisher: Park Row Books
Publish Date: January 29, 2019
384 Pages
Genre: Psychological Suspense

Peter Caine, a cutthroat Manhattan defense attorney, is extremely adept at his job. On the surface, he is charming and handsome, but inside he is cold and heartless. A sociopath practically incapable of human emotions, he has no remorse when he fights to acquit murderers, pedophiles and rapists. When Charlie Doyle, the daughter of the Manhattan DA--and Peter's former lover--is murdered, Peter's world is quickly sent into a tailspin as the DA, a professional enemy of Peter's, embarks on a witch hunt to avenge his daughter's death, stopping at nothing to ensure Peter is found guilty of the murder. 

Peter sets out to prove his innocence, and as he pieces together his defense, he finds that it's those closest to us who are capable of the greatest harm.

My Review:

A tale as old as time.... man from a bad childhood wants to make it big so he leaves his old life completely behind, works hard, loses any goodness he has while building the perfect life he so desperately seeks - at any cost.  Beautiful, successful wife who he grows bored with, enter mistress and the affair that will eventually end on a multitude of levels. Bye wife, enter girlfriend, who he also grows bored with but it looks better professionally to have this perfect little world than to not and he's nothing if not for keeping up appearances. And his son? Another byproduct of a life he doesn't really want and tries to ignore. He's a true winner, isn't he?

A narcissistic sociopath through and through, this is the type of character I loathe and yet love to be inside the head of.  I think people will consider him to be a little bit of unreliable narrator but I find him to be completely reliable in his selfishness and emotionless state of being.  There's nothing surprising in how he acts, what he does and how this eventually plays out.  I was surprised at the end and honestly, I'm really happy with that ending.

My issues with the book was that the pacing of the back and forth from past to present seemed a bit repetitive and we really didn't get anywhere till the last quarter of the book.  Maybe we needed all that build up to realize what a douchenozzle Peter really is... or maybe it could've condensed or played a little bit differently to make a bit more convoluted and twisty.  Then again, all of this makes Peter all too real.  

It's true - sometimes you only see what you want, but if you look close enough, you'll always find that other person lurking under someone's skin.  We all have our roles, but we all have out blinders.  Careful out there, folks! 😉


Jessica's Review:

This was my introduction to A.F. Brady and I’m surprised I haven’t heard of her before! I will definitely have to go back and pick up her other books. ONCE A LIAR is a solid legal thriller with a not-so-likeable lead character – but who can really like a sociopath?

Peter is in the cutthroat world of being a defense attorney. He frequently defends rapist, killers, and the kind of people you don’t want on the streets. Does it bother him? Not in the slightest, but that’s what happens when you’re a sociopath. I will always love going into the mind of characters like these. I’m absolutely fascinated with these seemingly normal monsters that walk among us.

This kept a good pacing for me, there were a couple times the back and forth between the past and present were a little odd for me, but that was short-lived. From the beginning you get completely engrossed in the plot and the life of Peter. He has enemies galore and when his mistress is murdered he finds the blame is being put on him. He must prepare his defense and find out who is framing him for this murder.

I’m a fan of legal thrillers and these unlikable narrators – the ones you love to hate, right? I would highly recommend this to anyone that loves a slow burn of a build up for their thrillers.

4/5 stars

No comments

Leave a Comment