Book review: Tanen Jones offers a gripping plot in 'Better Liar'

  • "The Better Liar," a novel by Tanen Jones.

    "The Better Liar," a novel by Tanen Jones. Associated Press/Ballantine

By Molly Sprayregen
Associated Press
Posted1/19/2020 7:27 AM

"The Better Liar: A Novel" by Tanen Jones; Ballantine Books; 307 pages

In Tanen Jones' debut novel, "The Better Liar," Leslie Voigt Flores must reunite with her estranged sister, Robin, to claim a joint inheritance from their father. However, when she arrives at Robin's Las Vegas apartment, she finds that she is dead.


Desperate to get her hands on the money fast, Leslie hires Mary -- a woman she meets that same day -- and who looks eerily like her sister -- to return home with her to New Mexico and pretend to be Robin in exchange for her half of the money.

It doesn't take long, however, for both women to realize that the other has secrets. A lot of them. As the days go on, it becomes less clear what each woman is after -- and who can be believed.

Jones' writing is strong and offers a gripping, suspenseful plot that keeps readers engaged and wanting more. The characters are deep, complex and unpredictable -- exactly the kind of characters a thriller should deliver. While the ending feels a bit rushed, the story makes a bold and thought-provoking statement on women, sisterhood and motherhood.

"The Better Liar" is a fun, interesting and truly original read.

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