All the Beautiful Lies: A Novel (Paperback)

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All the Beautiful Lies: A Novel By Peter Swanson Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Harry Ackerman is a handsome young man; he takes after his father William, a book scout with a passion for reading.  Bill moved the family from New York, where he is partners in a book store, to Maine after the death of his wife.  He opened a second bookstore in the small town.

Bill married again, with Alice, his real estate agent, and seemed to be happy. Harry didn’t see as much of his father once he went away to college, but they remained close. 

Graduation weekend is just a few days away when Harry gets the call from a weeping Alice.  Bill fell to his death walking the path along the cliff.  Harry rushes home, trying to comfort a distraught Alice.  Then things start to get a little strange.  Alice is younger than Bill and sexy as all get out to boot.  She seems to be coming on to Harry, is it just grief and the need for closeness? Or is it something else? 

Grace McGowan shows up in town, another attractive young woman, asking for a job at Bill’s bookstore.  But she seems more interested in Harry and what happened to Bill than working at the store.  And what did happen to Bill?  Why did he fall from a path he walked so often?  Was it suicide or something more sinister?  . 

— Deon Stonehouse


From the acclaimed author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth Killing comes a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder—a sly and brilliant guessing game of a novel in the vein of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Patricia Highsmith.

Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an "otherworldly" way. She has always been kind and attentive, if a little aloof in the last few years.

Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Devastated, Harry returns to his father’s home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other pick up of the pieces of their lives and uncover what happened to his father.

Shortly after he arrives, Harry meets a mysterious young woman named Grace McGowan. Though she claims to be new to the area, Harry begins to suspect that Grace may not be a complete stranger to his family. But she isn’t the only attractive woman taking an interest in Harry. The sensual Alice is also growing closer, coming on to him in an enticing, clearly sexual way.

Mesmerized by these two women, Harry finds himself falling deeper under their spell. Yet the closer he gets to them, the more isolated he feels, disoriented by a growing fear that both women are hiding dangerous—even deadly—secrets . . . and that neither one is telling the truth.

About the Author

Peter Swanson is the author of eight novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; Before She Knew Him, and Eight Perfect Murders. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionThe Atlantic MonthlyMeasureThe GuardianThe Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. He lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts, where he is at work on his next novel.

Praise For…

“Suspense lovers will devour this deliciously duplicitous read, which is chock-full of twists, turns, lust, greed, and dishonesty.”Library Journal

“Swanson’s fourth psychological thriller is a gripping exploration of delusion and deceit; sure to please readers of Laura Lippman’s stand-alones.” — Booklist

“Complex [and] intriguing… [Swanson] makes sure to place those twists and turns perfectly... And when someone else turns up dead, the story goes from 0-to-60 in a split-second. Peter Swanson has done a fantastic job.” — Suspense Magazine

“Gripping… [Alice’s] past is peppered with secrets and the damage is revealed in a split narrative between now and then, culminating in an edge of the seat ending.” — Sunday Post (UK)

“Swanson has drawn on Alfred Hitchcock to good effect. In All the Beautiful Lies, he looks instead to du Maurier.… The reader is soon gripped and wondering which will come first: Harry’s seduction or his death? Swanson’s magpie borrowings are always finessed into something fresh and piquant.” — Guardian

“This atmospheric, stylish mystery is pure pleasure.” — Sunday Mirror (UK)

“An explosive mix of seductions, obsessions, and dark secrets.” — New York Journal of Books

All the Beautiful Lies has a very rich texture which the reader gets to see only gradually, so cleverly it is disguised.” — Thriller Books Journal

“Crammed with twists, turns, and duplicity galore… The narrative… soars to a nerve-shredding finale that will leave you gasping.” — Saga (UK)

All the Beautiful Lies was hard to put down… This mystery with a twist was outstanding.” — Iron Mountain Daily News

“A compulsive read.” — Good Housekeeping, Thriller of the Month (UK)

“There are many twists and turns, and quite a few surprises along the way…. All the Beautiful Lies is very much character-driven and strong on psychology…. A solid, twisty work of suspense.” — PCA/ACA Mystery & Detective Fiction Reading List

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062427069
ISBN-10: 0062427067
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: February 5th, 2019
Pages: 336
Language: English