Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

Navigate the site:

Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

Advertise: Rates & stats

Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« James, Emmett: Admit One | Main | Goldberg, Lee: Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants »

Caldwell, Laura: The Good Liar

  

Printer-friendly page! Use print preview to see how this page will appear.

Mira © 2008, 407 pages
4.5 stars

Two pairs of old friends anchor Laura Caldwell's thriller The Good Liar. Thirty-something Kate, despondent after her divorce, is introduced by her friend Liza to Michael Waller, who's smart and fit and fifty-five and almost too good to be true. Kate winds up marrying Michael before she notices anything disquieting about his personality or habits: his secrecy about his job, his occasional jumpiness, his over-familiarity with Liza, with whom he was allegedly only slightly acquainted before she fixed the newlyweds up. Caldwell tells her story from multiple perspectives, mostly in the third person. We learn, before Kate does, the truth about Michael's relationship with Liza and about his job: he's an operative with a pro-American counterintelligence unit, the Trust, and he's sworn to secrecy about his missions as well as the very existence of the organization. We also meet the book's bad guy, Michael's long-time friend Roger Leiland, the Trust's new honcho and the fourth member of the book's quartet of principals. Roger has developed a lust for power and isn't about to let friendship stand in the way of his acquiring it. Kate, ignorant of these truths, is living in a very different world from the rest of the characters. This is reflected on the page: the chapters told from Kate's perspective are written in the first person. We get to watch as she slowly comes to suspect that her husband is not what he seems. We already know what she wants to know, but it's still fun to watch her put the clues together.

[INSET TEXT: Kate winds up marrying Michael before she notices anything disquieting about his personality or habits: his secrecy about his job, his occasional jumpiness, his over-familiarity with Liza, with whom he was allegedly only slightly acquainted before she fixed the newlyweds up.] The Good Liar is a really good read. The plot is tight. The prose is transparent and the chapters short. Caldwell doesn't leave us hanging at the end of every chapter quite as successfully as, say, Ken Follett does: it is possible to put the book down, that is, but you won't want to if you don't have to. I love the book's spy stuff--secret drops and faux personas and the operatives' über-competence. What prevents the book from being as successful as it might be is Caldwell's villain, who is too unrelentingly evil to be quite credible: Roger wants power because Roger wants power. The personal loss and character flaws feeding that monomania don't amount to sufficient motivation.

But I quite enjoyed the book. I'll definitely be reading more from Caldwell.

Tags: , , , , ,

< Tweet it! | Reblog
https://www.book-blog.com/2008/03/caldwell-laura.html
Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments

1.

Great review, Debra. I really enjoy reading your reviews whether or not the book in question is my cup of tea-- you convey very well what the book is about and what you think of it, which to my mind is what a review is "for". I think I'll put this one on my Amazon list as a result of your review.

2.

Ah, you're very kind, Maxine.




Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In


About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






The Sunday Salon.com



Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.