Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In The Company Of Liars” as Want to Read:
In The Company Of Liars
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In The Company Of Liars

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  570 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
In the Company of Liars is that rare animal - a truly original thriller, strikingly fresh and unpredictable. Told chronologically in reverse, from its enigmatic end to its brilliant beginning, it’s centered around a woman on trial for murder - Allison Pagone, who is caught between competing forces, each represented by someone who may not care if the pressure kills her in t ...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published April 7th 2005 by Brilliance Audio
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In The Company Of Liars, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In The Company Of Liars

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Blake Crouch
Jul 02, 2016 Blake Crouch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Obsessed with this book! Has one of the coolest narrative structures I have ever experienced. Masterful.
Written completely in reverse chronological order. Cleverly written and skillfully put together, but required too much thinking on my part - always an issue - especially late at night. At one point I considered starting at the back of the book and reading backwards, or is that forwards? See what I mean? My head hurts! 3.5 stars
Jan 18, 2010 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SO AMAZING! The whole book is backwards so you have to keep up with what happened the day before rather than the day after. Really fun, quick read. This is another that I listened to which was great because they used different voices for the male and female characters, making it slightly easier to keep up with who was speaking. When you think you have it all figured out, the book changes and you get floored about 4 different times!
Armin Hennig
Sep 25, 2012 Armin Hennig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pks-justiz
Vierter und chronologisch rückwärts erzählter Teil der Saga um die namenlose Hauptstadt eines Staates im Mittleren Westen und ihre Anwälte bzw. Strafverfolgungsinstitutionen. Einen Haupthelden mit, wie auch immer gearteten Identifikationspotenzial gibt es in dieser Geschichte nicht, die Stars anderer Romane wie z.B. Paul Riley, der im Folgeband und insgesamt erfolgreichsten Roman Im Namen Gottes/Eye of the Beholder im Focus steht, spielen nur Nebenrollen. Die Hauptpersonen, - wie die wegen Morde ...more
Elizabeth Scott
Mar 08, 2010 Elizabeth Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like thrillers, and haven't read David Ellis, you are in for a treat. This is my favorite of his books, not just because it's wonderfully written and is one of those rare thrillers where you can't see what's happening from the first chapter or so, but because it is also written from the ending (yes, that's right--the end) back to the start. You wouldn't think you'd be able to pull of a successful psychological suspense thriller this way---I mean, you know what happens in the end, right?-- ...more
A guy returned this today and just raved about it for 5 minutes. He said it was told backward like Momento, and I liked that movie, and really took him by surprise. He said, "if you read it, and ever see me in the library, let me know, because I'm dying to talk about the ending with someone!"

I pretty much will read anything a library patron raves about, unless it's really not my type of book, so I guess I'm going to read it.
Benjamin Thomas
This book is very hard to describe, much less evaluate. In essence, it is a legal thriller involving murder, terrorists, government intrigue, FBI operations, and courtroom drama. But Mr Ellis decided to tell the tale in a unique manner: backwards. He begins the book at the end of the story and every scene in the entire novel takes place one or two days before what you just read. Now, I am normally not a person who goes in for gimmics. Too often authors like to prove how smart they are by fooling ...more
Aug 05, 2016 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first David Ellis book but definitely not my last. Finished this book last night and I'm still thinking about it. Those are the best stories, you know the ones that stay with you for awhile. Why am I thinking about it? Because I'm not 100% sure of the ending...what really happened to Allison? This would be a great series. I chose this book based on Blake Crouch's review, he sparked my curiosity and echoing his review I enjoyed the narrative style and the reverse chronology.
Dec 28, 2010 DW rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with patience and mental fortitude
Shelves: fiction, i-own-it, 2007
This is a very unique book. It's written entirely in reverse. It's funny, I found myself reading a chapter, reading the next chapter, and then re-reading the previous chapter. It's thought intensive, but worth it and fun. Even though you read the last chapter first, more or less, you still have no idea until you get to the first (final) chapter. Give it a try.
Michelle Meckley
Nov 24, 2009 Michelle Meckley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fran,Chrsitine,Julie,Anica,Jean
AWESOME book the reverse chronilogical writing style is one of a kind
each chapter a day before amazing enough but the surprises of what you thought happened and what actually did is PURE GENIUS!!!!! This one is def flying under the radar with the critics and hyp I ABSOUTLELY loved it and would recommmend to all my friends DON't miss this one

Jul 11, 2015 Mallory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book absolutely BLEW MY MIND. The reverse chronological storyline proved frustrating at times, but in the end it only adds to the overall integrity of the book. Extremely well-written, a fantastic read for anyone who appreciates a good crime novel.
Janet Hammond
Sep 02, 2010 Janet Hammond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, book-club
Surprisingly good! Loved all the characters.
May 02, 2013 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say about this book other than it was absolutely fascinating, and brilliantly and uniquely written. In fact, I have never read a book before that was written entirely in reverse chronological order, and it took more work by Ellis than simply writing the book and re-collating the chapters, because they had to make sense and flow ... even backward. While I have read books that start in the present and then have sections entitled "a year earlier", or "a week earlier", they have always cu ...more
Shihab Azhar
Sep 03, 2014 Shihab Azhar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know, i just read six books by David Ellis in a row, and I am so glad that I saved this for last. The reason is, most of the author's books tend to fit into a nice but very similar graph if you consider the level of excitement/pacing/what have you. Generally, his books start off with a bang, then slow down somewhat as he introduces context and characters, and then pick up gradually until a final explosive twist at the end that, four times out of five, I could see coming, but I still couldn't ...more
May 26, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
In In the Company of Liars, David Ellis applies the unusual, though not unheard of, technique of telling his mystery in reverse chronological order. As the novel opens, what appears to be an open and shut case is presented, that of crime novelist Allison Pagone who is on trial for murdering her lover, a congressional lobbyist. Soon it slips back to a few days earlier, then a few days before that - well, you get the picture. Of course, all is not what it seems, and the reader is presented with th ...more
I guess my patience level just isn't what it used to be.

This is a novel written backward--and it appears to me that it is written backward simply for its novel...ty and the challenge of writing it in this manner. Contrary to the blurb on the cover ("smashes through the barriers of coincidence and credulity, leaving readers breathless"), I just found that I didn't want to do the work necessary to read it in the order written; 93 pages into it, I turned to the last chapter and then read it backwar
This was a good read. It is written in reverse chronological order, from the end to the beginning. Like the movie Memento, it took a little while to get used to it, then it flowed well.

The only problem I had with the book is that I still don't actually know what happened. I read lots of reviews and those that liked it all seemed to be sure they know what happened. I wish I could read a review with a true spoiler, so I could be in on the secret.

On the other hand, maybe the author intended that w
Jan 15, 2017 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: Amrita Thakurta
This book could be a little confusing at first, given the reverse chronological order in which it is told. But by the end, it was really interesting how everything slowly came to light, and it was worth being confused at the beginning.
Even at points when I thought I had everything figured out, there was still something lurking in the coming chapters that hadn't been revealed yet. Very well thought out and everything wasn't completely wrapped up into the very end.
Maneki Neko
Apr 08, 2014 Maneki Neko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes a lot of patience to really get into (+100 pages to get hooked) and it took me having absolutely nothing else to do to devote myself to it. Additionally, you need to swallow a very large pill to suspend disbelief into what is going on (no spoilers). That being said, it does pay off. It is engaging and vividly written. I'd definitely watch a film adaptation if one were ever able to be made.
Dec 07, 2008 Alissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This thriller is told in reverse chronological order. An excellent book. A little hard to get into at first, but the tight plotting, especially as what you thought you knew begins to unravel, it's gripping. Almost had to re-read back to front.
this book is completely below the radar screen and totally underrated. good read with unexpected twist at the end. i recommend it.
Nov 27, 2011 Yvi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, read-2012
Na ja, ... für mich eines der schlechtesten Bücher die ich je gelesen habe. So schlecht, dass ich sogar beim Lesen schon vergessen hatte was zwei Seiten vorher passiert ist.
Ich hatte Anfangs gedacht, das Buch sei was besonderes, da es chronologisch rückwärts geschrieben ist. Leider habe ich mich zu sehr von den Lobpreisungen auf dem Einband blenden lassen. Zum Glück habe ich das Buch als Mängelexemplar gekauft, denn bei dem vollen Preis hätte ich es noch mehr bereut.

Vielleicht ist es was für e
This is a murder mystery written backwards, which is as hard for the reader as the writer. The story line is very convoluted, involving terrorists, love affairs and family dysfunction. Pieces are added to the story as you proceed, but these are things that happened in the past leading up to the present, which you have to remember from before. Hmmmm. A tour de force, but memorable only for the technical skills and perhaps the fact that the beginning (which is really the end) left me hanging. I wa ...more
Sep 24, 2012 Nancy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reverse unfolding of story was incredibly challenging on audio CD. I lost track of order of events numerous times and my brain struggled to draw pictures of the characters fed to me in reverse time. Probably would have been more manageable with a traditional hard/paperback where I could double-check dates and reread "future" events. Intriguing gimmick/style/exercise. Voices of Dick Hill and Susan Breck were picture perfect!
Feb 23, 2013 Andi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery
This was a hard book to follow. Similar to the movie "Memento," it's told backwards, with each chapter given a date, along with a note that says something like "Two days earlier" or "One day earlier." You really have to pay attention while you're reading, and I found myself rereading large sections of the book just to keep up. Plus, once I finished, I still had questions about the main character and what really happened. Did the plan really work?
Sep 16, 2013 Almeta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dying2read
I was expertly lead to believe that the wide range of events, slowly revealed, come to a pin-point conclusion, when in fact each previous event, presented in reverse chronological order, one day at a time, narrows backward to the actual cause of the mystery like a matryoshka nested doll.

This was brilliant trickery and I can't image how the author kept it all straight.
Dan Fahlgren
A bit difficult to keep it straight going in reverse chronological order, but it was very interesting. I really enjoyed it. The reverse order hook kept me reading for long stretches, rather than my usual 4 or 5 pages at a sitting. Once I got used to it, I couldn't put it down. David Ellis is an outstanding writer. I've loved the four books of his that I have read. Give this one a try.
Apr 11, 2013 Katy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the story confusing. I couldn't determine what would happen or what wouldn't. It was told in reverse order, and so I thought it would be interesting. It was interesting, but was everyone lying???

The book is like the Cold Case television show. You must really watch and listen carefully in order to sort out the events.
Oct 15, 2012 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a mystery/suspense novel, this was quite cleverly done. The author starts in the present with the crime and proceeds backwards, revealing level after level of keep rereading the first part of the book as things are revealed....a good puzzler if you like that sort of thing. (Pretty clean regarding language, sexual content)
Cheryl Bess
Nov 03, 2016 Cheryl Bess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I thought I'd have a hard time reading this book because of the chapters working chronologically backwards, but I was soon drawn into the story and In the beginning, I thought I knew what was going on, then i read more and things shifted and then I thought I really knew what was going on...then things changed again. In fact, several times. Brilliantly written. Loved it!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Promise of a Lie
  • The Deepest Cut (Nan Vining Mysteries, #3)
  • Devil's Garden
  • Murder By Numbers
  • Unspoken
  • La mémoire fantôme (Lucie Hennebelle, #2)
  • Der Menschenmacher
  • Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me
  • Zerschunden (Fred Abel #1)
  • The Boys from Santa Cruz
  • Five Minutes More
  • Blinder Instinkt
  • Letzte Hilfe
  • Berlin
  • Am Abend des Mordes
  • Romeo
  • Utan eko (Hanne Wilhelmsen, #6)
David Ellis is a lawyer and the Edgar Allan Poe Award winner for Best First Novel for Line of Vision. Ellis attended Northwestern Law School and began his legal career in private practice in Chicago in 1993. He served as the House Prosecutor who tried and convicted Illinois Governor Blagojevich in the Impeachment Trial before the Illinois Senate. He was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2 ...more
More about David Ellis...

Share This Book