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The Better Liar  By  cover art

The Better Liar

By: Tanen Jones
Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan,Karissa Vacker,Kristen Sieh
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Publisher's Summary

“Jones’s sensational debut has the bones of a thriller but reads like literary fiction: lean, shrewd, and gratifyingly real.” (Entertainment Weekly)

When a woman conceals her sister’s death to claim their joint inheritance, her deception exposes a web of dangerous secrets in this addictive new thriller for fans of Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins. 

An ID Book Club Selection

Leslie Flores has the perfect life - a loving husband, a happy newborn, and a New Mexico home straight out of a magazine. She’s been the perfect daughter, too, taking care of her ailing father in his final days. But Leslie has a dark secret - and it’s an expensive secret to keep. When she discovers she won’t receive a penny of her inheritance unless she finds her estranged sister, Robin, she sets out to track her down. Instead, upon arriving at Robin’s apartment, Leslie discovers her body.

Just as Leslie begins to panic, she meets a charismatic aspiring actress named Mary who bears a striking resemblance to Robin - and has every reason to leave her past behind. The two women make a bargain: Mary will impersonate Robin for a week in exchange for Robin’s half of the cash. Neither realizes how high the stakes will become when Mary takes a dead woman’s name.

Even as Mary begins to suspect Leslie is hiding something, and Leslie realizes the stranger living in her house has secrets of her own, Robin’s wild, troubled legacy threatens to eclipse them both. Fans of Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins will relish this darkly addictive portrait of the ties that bind and the secrets we all keep from one another.

©2020 Tanen Jones (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A darkly complex relationship between two sisters lies at the heart of Jones’s debut psychological thriller.... A blistering debut from a promising new talent." (Kirkus Reviews)

"A taut, twisty thriller.... Jones arrives with an undeniable splash." (Publishers Weekly)

"A dark, intriguing exploration of family wounds and the fragility of identity.” (Caite Dolan-Leach, author of Dead Letters and Why We Went to the Woods)

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What listeners say about The Better Liar

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Mental illness and music

Ms. Jones is a good writer and you really get to know the characters, deepest, darkest thoughts. And the characters usually are, quite entertaining.
This is the second novel I've listened to by this author and I see a trend. She seems to be fascinated with women's mental illness. The stories have a lot references to music, I mean, a lot, I found myself stopping so, i could find some of the music metioned.
I enjoy her writing but, I have yet to really like ANYONE in her novels, especially the women; their either, delusional, or just evil. Lastly, the authors note and the end well, it reminds me of the Nancy charin thus story, a great deal of compassion but, just statistics and what she was told.
If you have to go over statistics and analyze to the bare bone, whether, or not to have children; chances are, "you shouldn't ". I suffer from clinical depression, and I have for many years, and I'm also a woman of color. I have 2 children and I've NEVER felt anything but, love, in fact; they brought me the greatest happiness in my life, they wrre sometimes a reprieve from sadness.
Your books, end with no resolutions, the characters end up just as disturbed, or worse. These stories are too depressing and perhaps the author suffers from mental illness.

11 people found this helpful

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Wow!!!

I really didn't think I was going to enjoy this as it took a lil bit for me to get to the "meat" of the story but, WOW, This was one of those books that you thought you had it figured out and then BAM!! You're totally left with your mouth hanging open. I'm not ashamed to admit I totally put things off just to finish this in one sitting! Looking forward to what's next from this author!!

10 people found this helpful

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Really like this one!

I didn't guess how it would end. I'm usually pretty good at that. It was a story filled w/ plot twists and bends leaving you never quite sure what was going to happen next. It kept my interest while listening. Worth purchasing.

7 people found this helpful

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That Author’s Note 😭

One of the twists in this book was really obvious, but there were also a lot of things that weren’t.

That author’s note is the real deal though. What a serious issue to shed some light on. Well done.

5 people found this helpful

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this one surprises

In The Better Liar, we have a crazy, surprising story of two women. Robin left home for Las Vegas more than ten years ago and has been a nuisance to her sister Leslie ever since. Leslie has been acting as caretaker for their ailing father, but he has now passed away. His will requires the sisters to reunite if they want to receive their inheritances. So Leslie must go to Vegas and track down Robin. Unfortunately she finds that her sister is also dead, having overdosed on heroin only hours before she arrived. Leslie is scared and stressed and flees Robin's home, only to meet Mary, an actress...

This book surprised me in the end, despite the fact that the clues were there. I completely enjoyed the ride.

2 people found this helpful

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good premise, poor execution

The story had a good premise, but it went into a long, drawn out finale that was implausible and unsatisfying. The author's note at the end about post-partum depression, had 0 connection to the themes of the story. The narrators were good, but the story did NOT work.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting, but Depressing and Slow

I’m not gonna say I DON’T recommend, but I I’m not gonna say I do either. I just feel like it was depressing and slow-paced throughout... very little to break that up. I did listen to the end out of curiosity, and there were some decently entertaining elements, but overall, I wouldn’t send my bestie message saying “OMG you’ve gotta read/ listen to this!” I doubt I’ll mention it at all... she’s pretty picky.

2 people found this helpful

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Held my attention every second!

This book (especially as a debut novel) is fantastic, and the narration only makes it better! My only issue with this story was the parts that are hard to believe possible, but it was definitely a page turner that held my attention, and that's not easy! I look forward to more from this author

2 people found this helpful

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Loved It

Wow what an incredible story! Character development was outstanding. Unraveling the complex layers of before and now, a family ripped apart by secrets and pain and the ramifications it has on two sisters that once were very close. I loved all the twists, they really were surprising but added so much to the story.

Narration was excellent! I felt present with all the characters. Definitely recommend this audio!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Horrible characters without any redeeming qualities

Rarely have I read a story that lacks a character with any redeeming qualities. This one is it. There isn’t a single character in the entire book that is likable or relatable. The story had some interesting ideas but they were poorly played out and left too much open at the end. So disappointing. Trying to tie PPD to this woman is irresponsible. She was a sociopath from way before she had a baby and treated everyone around her as disposable. Women with PPD suffer this as a drastic change in personality after birth. The authors note at the end throwing racism in was a desperate attempt to appear woke and give this novel some greater purpose that it clearly lacked while reading.

1 person found this helpful