Book Report:  ‘The Truth and Other Lies:  A Novel’ By Sascha Arango

Dark, witty, and suspenseful, this literary crime thriller reminiscent of The Dinner and The Silent Wife follows a famous author whose wife—the brains behind his success—meets an untimely death, leaving him to deal with the consequences.

“Evil is a matter of opinion…”

On the surface, Henry Hayden seems like someone you could like, or even admire. A famous bestselling author who appears a modest everyman. A loving, devoted husband even though he could have any woman he desires. A generous friend and co-worker. But Henry Hayden is a construction, a mask. His past is a secret, his methods more so. No one besides him and his wife know that she is the actual writer of the novels that made him famous.


“There was something not quite right about Henry’s story.  Martha hadn’t drowned on the beach.  Betty didn’t believe she had returned home from the cliffs.  What was clear was that her Subaru was still missing – who knew, maybe it was rusting away at the bottom of the sea with Martha in the driver’s seat.  This was all meant that Betty herself was mixed up in the affair.  Strictly speaking, she was even partly to blame for Martha’s death, because she had stolen her husband from her – or had that been fate?  If the car were to be found, there’d be a great many awkward questions.  Betty decided to look on the bright side for the time being.  Martha’s death had cleared the way for a life with Henry and the baby.

She remembered how Henry had once said that if you make your dreams come true you have to live with them.   He’d make happiness sound like a traumatic experience you could never entirely come to terms with.  He himself no longer had any dreams; Henry had revealed hardly anything about himself.  He never spoke of his past, as if it were some unsavoury thing that had to be hidden away before guests arrived for dinner.  If she spoke at all, he spoke about the time after Betty had met him.  She had the feeling that, for each person, Henry chose a past to suit the occasion.  He twisted it like a kaleidoscope, always revealing a different aspect of the same thing.”

‘The Truth and Other Lies:  A Novel’ By Sascha Arango was one of those rare books I would leap into bed with every night after a long day at work.  It is gritty, Stephen King-esque in quality and visually film like in narrative.

Each chapter in ‘The Truth and Other Lies:  A Novel’ broke open into shards as I delved into it.  Similar to that of someone taking a pick axe to a human skull in a parking lot.  I remember moments tucked into bed this past summer anxiously flipping pages to see who was connected to who and why.

Similar to that of the ‘Clue’ film and board game from the 1980’s, ‘The Truth and Other Lies:  A Novel’ introduces us to characters laden with secrets.  Henry, Martha, Moreany, Obradin, Betty and Honor to name a few.  How they all are connected?  What do they know about each other?  Why are they not speaking up about what they know?

Think rain soaked towns, jagged cliffs, ghost writers, a mysterious incomplete script heaping with the promise of a reveal so great that it is bound to take out the characters in its sleepy town in one quick swoop.

The main narrator, Henry’s past is fraught with links into the present.  Neglect, a witness to crime and a life time of burying lies into shallow graves.  ‘The Truth and Other Lies:  A Novel’ has all the making of a supreme true crime novel.

‘The Truth and Other Lies:  A Novel’ is a goodie.  The most perfect goodie to get you on the bus back to school on time, on the first train into the city to work, lounging in bed at night after a long day taking care of the kids and oh did I forget?  You may lose some precious sleep too.


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