Book Review

Review: The Good Lie by AR Torre

Six teens murdered. A suspect behind bars. A desperate father. In a case this shadowy, the truth is easy to hide.

Psychiatrist Dr. Gwen Moore is an expert on killers. She’s spent a decade treating California’s most depraved predators and unlocking their motives—predators much like the notorious Bloody Heart serial killer, whose latest teenage victim escaped and then identified local high school teacher Randall Thompson as his captor. The case against Thompson as the Bloody Heart Killer is damning—and closed, as far as Gwen and the media are concerned. If not for one new development…

Defense attorney Robert Kavin is a still-traumatized father whose own son fell prey to the BH Killer. Convinced of Thompson’s innocence, he steps in to represent him. Now Robert wants Gwen to interview the accused, create a psych profile of the killer and his victims, and help clear his client’s name.

As Gwen and Robert grow closer and she dives deeper into the investigation, grave questions arise. So does Gwen’s suspicion that Robert is hiding something—and that he might not be the only one with a secret.

This is a beautifully crafted thriller taut with suspense from the first page and I loved everything about it. The characters were engaging and the plot twists and turns all over the place, keeping you guessing until the very end. While there are romantic elements, it’s not a romance by any definition and the relationship between the characters adds to the intensity and tension as it seems to morph and change with every new revelation. I would’ve loved a little more insight into the characters, a bit of introspection and more of a backstory with Gwen because she still feels very much like a stranger even at the very end, but Robert is easily one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever read.

There’s not much I can say about the plot without giving away spoilers but I’ll say that it’s carefully woven to make you believe and doubt, then change your mind almost constantly and it’s done very well. Every time I thought I knew who the villain was, there was more to the story and it’s a powerful reminder that there are different kinds of villains in the world. There’s a delicious cat-and-mouse feel to the entire thing, not just with the serial killer but also with the detective investigating the death of Gwen’s patient. It added to the intrigue in so many ways, not the least of which is our reason to see Detective Sax as a potential enemy evolves as the plot unfolds.

AR Torre is a pen name for romance author Alessandra Torre so I thought I knew what to expect but this is very different from her romance titles and really blew me away. There was nothing predictable in this story and that made it so much fun to read.

Leave a Reply