ONE PERFECT LIE
I really don’t know how Lisa Scottoline keeps writing one excellent mystery after another, but she does. Her latest had me completely fooled until the author revealed the secret she’d kept for more than a third of the book.
One Perfect Lie opens with Chris Brennan interviewing for a position at the high school in Central Valley, Pennsylvania. He’s made it his business to know exactly the type of substitute teacher the school administration wants, and he presents himself accordingly. He’s observed the male high school staff and is dressed the way they are in what might be termed “school casual;” he’s even had his hair cut locally so that nothing about him will stand out or seem unusual.
His resumé is perfect, and the reasons he gives for the many moves he’s made in his life ring true. It also helps that the school needs a substitute Government teacher at once, as the regular teacher left suddenly due to a family emergency. Chris gives the principal, the only member of the school’s administration he hasn’t met previously, all the answers she wants and needs to hear, and so, he gets the job. Then he thinks to himself, “It was time to set (the) plan in motion, commencing with step one.”
Step one is finding out about renting a truck from a local man who’s not too fussy about legalities. The man assumes the vehicle is needed for a move, but Chris knows that the available twelve footer is the perfect size for transporting an ANFO bomb, an explosive with ingredients that are easy and safe to assemble.
During his first class Chris sets out to win over all the students, especially the boys. He’s already deciding who the leaders and who the followers are, and he’s narrowed down the ones he’s interested in to just a handful. He plans to cull the handful even more until he finds the perfect boy. Between his teaching assignment and agreeing to be the assistant coach of the school’s baseball team, he expects to find just the right one; he’s in a hurry because the bombing is only six days away.
Lisa Scottoline is a master storyteller. She brings to life the three teenagers in whom Chris shows the most interest. There’s Evan Kostis, the handsome, smart student from a wealthy but unhappy family; there’s Raz Samatov, bereft over the recent death of his father; there’s Jordan Larkin, whose single mother is guilty over how much time she needs to work in order to provide for the two of them. So what exactly does Chris want from the boy he decides to choose?
All of these characters, and many more equally well done and believable, inhabit the pages of One Perfect Lie. Ms. Scottoline has written one more thriller that will keep you guessing until the end.
You can read more about Scottoline at: https://scottoline.com/
AND check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at: marilynsmysteryreads.com
I’ve always been a reader and, starting with Nancy Drew (my favorite, of course), I became a mystery fan. I think I find mysteries so satisfying because there’s a definite plot to follow, a storyline that has to make sense to be successful. And, of course, there’s always the fun of trying to guess the ending!