The Lie Maker by Linwood Barclay – Book Review

The Lie Maker by Linwood Barclay – Book Review

The Lie Maker by Linwood Barclay

The Lie Maker

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In this twisty thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Take Your Breath Away, a man desperately tries to track down his father – who was taken into witness protection years ago – before his enemies can get to him.

Your dad’s not a good person. Your dad killed people, son. These are some of the last words Jack Givins’s father spoke to him before he was whisked away by witness protection, leaving Jack and his mother to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives.

Years later, Jack is a struggling author, recruited by the U.S. Marshals to create false histories for people in witness protection. Jack realises this may be a chance to find his dad – but then he discovers he’s gone missing, and he could be in serious danger.

Jack knows he has to track him down. But how will he find a man he’s never truly known? And how will he evade his father’s deadly enemies – enemies who wouldn’t think twice about using his own son against him?

Review by Stacey

The Lie Maker by Linwood Barclay is an engrossing and addictive thriller. At the beginning of the book, we meet a young child who has to say goodbye to his father as his dad enters the witness protection programme. The book then moves forward 20+ years and the child is now failing author Jack Givins.

Jack’s books might not be making him much money but they have caught the eye of the U.S. Marshalls office who want Jack to work for them writing backstories for the people who have been taken into witness protection. Jack is unsure whether to take the job but he feels it might be his only way to find his father. The trouble is no one knows where his father is.

I have read quite a few of Linwood Barclay’s novels and enjoyed them all. I love how the character development comes across strongly in each of them and sucks you into the protagonist’s lives and makes you care about them. Jack isn’t someone who has had an easy life. He’s grown up without his father, he’s been told his father was a bad man who killed people. His mother died, his stepfather is a get-rich-quick kind of guy always looking for a handout, his books have flopped and he is struggling for work. The only good thing in his life is his journalist girlfriend Lana.

The tension throughout was on point. You can feel just under the surface something is brewing with each chapter. Alongside Jack’s work for the U.S. Marshalls and the search for his father, there is also a kind of side story where people are going missing and turning up dead days later. These deaths are being investigated by Lana. It was interesting to try to figure out how these deaths might fit into the main story.

Overall, The Lie Maker had me fixated and turning the pages late into the night, finishing it in just a couple of days. I adored the plot and was eager to get some closure for Jack. The twists kept on coming and the tension built more and more creating a magnificent thriller that is a must-read for 2023.

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Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay, a New York Times bestselling author with twenty novels to his credit, spent three decades in newspapers before turning full time to writing thrillers. His books have been translated into more than two dozen languages, sold millions of copies, and he counts Stephen King among his fans.

Many of his books have been optioned for film and TV, a series has been made in France, and he wrote the screenplay for the film based on his novel Never Saw it Coming. Born in the US, his parents moved to Canada just as he was turning four, and he’s lived there ever since. He lives near Toronto with his wife, Neetha. They have two grown children.

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