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All the Beautiful Lies

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  11,885 ratings  ·  1,711 reviews
Harry Ackerson has always considered his step-mother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an “other worldly” way. She has always been kind and attentive, if a little aloof in the last few years.

Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Devastated, he returns to his father’s home in Maine. There,
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by William Morrow
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Claude Bouchard My local independent bookseller gets them and passes them on to customers. All he asks is that we provide him with honest reviews to help him decide w…moreMy local independent bookseller gets them and passes them on to customers. All he asks is that we provide him with honest reviews to help him decide whether to order them or not once they're available.(less)

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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  11,885 ratings  ·  1,711 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Each year I look forward to a new Peter Swanson novel as if it's Christmas morning; the build up and anticipation grow steadily until I finally hold that nugget of goodness in my grubby little hands and devour it quickly. And devour it I did. Obviously the downside to this ritual of mine is that I have to face the long, painful wait for another novel, but I think that's a pretty great problem to have, no? Whether you're new to his books or an old fan like I am, it's never a bad time to pick up a ...more
j e w e l s
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-bejeweled

I have a very smart friend that works as a literacy coach for elementary school teachers. Her advice for young students just learning how to tell someone else about a book? Four little words.


Is that genius or what? I love it. So short and simple, I'm doing it now. Without spoilers of course!

SOMEBODY WANTED: (You better hold onto your hats, ladies and gents). There are a few characters that want to engage in taboo relationships. The
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
DNF at 60%

I've read a lot of uncomfortable books but I guess this is where I draw the line. If you're into step-parents being in sexual relationships with their step-children, then this is the book for you.

I still recommend his other books, specifically The Kind Worth Killing but this is a hard pass.

Update: Since people can't take a joke. It's not the relationships that are the problem, it's the pace. After 60% barely anything has happened, I'm bored and not at all intrigued. His other books wer
Jeffrey Keeten
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
”’Why do you think you like mysteries so much?’ Harry asked.

‘I’m deeply skeptical of any book that doesn’t begin with a corpse.’

Harry had heard his father say these exact words, or something close to them, many times. ‘No, really. Why?’

His father frowned, thinking. ‘It’s a religion, I guess, since I don’t have a real religion. The world is chaos, and then a detective comes along and restores order. Or he doesn’t, and that’s really my favorite kind of mystery story.’”

Bill Ackerson doesn’t get to
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A twisted tale of desire, obsession, and deceit

I read this book with the traveling sisters group and it certainly enhanced my appreciation for the book. I loved our discussion, and I gained new insight than I would have if I had read the book alone.

This book was an excellent psychological thriller. It started off strong, in my opinion. After only the first couple chapters, the book sunk its teeth in me. Like so many other books I’ve read, this book follows a similar pattern of alternating betwee
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
“The world is chaos, and then a detective comes along and restores order. Or he doesn’t, and that’s really my favorite kind of mystery story.”

Fast-paced mystery about a young college grad who is drawn into the deceitful web of his beautiful stepmother.

All the Beautiful Lies is primarily about Alice, a beautiful realtor whose husband recently died. But even though beautiful, cold Alice appears to be grieving for her late husband, her stepson Harry thinks there’s something not quite right abo
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Mar 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
In over four years of writing reviews I’ve never given a book 1*. Usually I will know when a book is not right for me and send a note to the publisher and don’t continue on with the book, therefore I don’t write a review.

However in the case of “All the Beautiful Lies” I continued to read the book to 75% to see if there was any way that I might be missing something since there were quite a few high ratings for this book. Here is what I concluded.

I found nothing redeeming about this book. The wri
Holly  B (semi-hiatus until Jan)

An engrossing page turner that had me guessing and gasping until the very last page.

I had to finish this one and the twists were plenty throughout. I enjoyed the alternating time line of then and now. It follows the story of Harry Ackerson and the phone call he receives from his stepmom Alice that his father is dead. He is told that the police think it is suicide, but Harry is heading home to Maine to sort it out. He will miss his college graduation, but he needs to be home.
Harry begins to susp
Diane S ☔
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
Think it might be time for me to take a psychological thriller break again. They are all blending together, and the plots just seem to darn familiar. Am in the minority in my rating and review for this one, but that has happened before and I'm sure will happen again.

Loved the setting, not that many books are set to n Maine and from the descriptions it sounds gorgeous. The rest of the book was rather predictable, easy to guess what was coming next. A few of the plot twists, didn't make sense. On
Carol (Bookaria)
An excellent thriller from one of my favorite authors!

Harry is a few days away from his college graduation when he receives a phone call, on the other end on the line his stepmother informs him that his dad had a fatal fall while taking his daily walk. 

Harry packs and heads immediately to his father's house. Soon after arriving he learns that his father's death might not have been accidental at all. 

The novel takes place (mostly) in Maine and is narrated in alternating points of view. I was comp
Susanne  Strong
2.75 Stars* (rounded up)

Well Ho-Hum. That’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

“All the Beautiful Lies” is the story of Harry Ackerman, whose father dies right before his college graduation. His father was his best friend and life line and now he’s gone. Having already lost his mother years prior, all he has left is Alice, his step-mother. If Harry is honest, he has always had inappropriate feelings for Alice, she is beautiful, sexy and mysterious. Once his father is gone, Alice needs him
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having read all of Swanson’s books, All the Beautiful Lies is almost smack dab in the middle of his oeuvre. It isn’t as compelling as his first two but much better than his last. Then again, I still may be suffering from “grip lit” or thriller burnout and others may find this to be among Swanson’s best. As you can see this is another of “lie” books rather than the formerly popular “girl” books.

There is nothing wrong with this novel. It moves along at a nice pace beginning with a college student
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson was an awesome psychological thriller! This is my second read by this author. The Kind Worth Killing was so good I just had to get my hands on this gem. It alternates between then and now with multiple POVs. All the Beautiful Lies was twisted, weird and fun as hell to read. I LOVED it!

So what’s it about? Harry has just graduated college when he receives the unfortunate phone call of his life. His father, Bill, has died. Harry returns home to his father’s h
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
"He began to think about all the words his father read, all the plots he'd absorbed, and how they were all gone, but then he stopped himself."

And all I could think of were all the words trailing throughout this storyline and all the untapped avenues that were left darkened and not tread upon. This could have been a blockbuster of a read. Instead, All the Beautiful Lies turned into a mile high sandwich steeped with layer upon layer of taboo sauce and no burger in sight.

Peter Swanson creates a st
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: c-w-mars
I think anyone that reads thrillers knows that Peter Swanson is a go to author. The guy knows how to write a thriller. Period.

All The Beautiful Lies is about 22 year old Harry Ackerson who returns home from college in the wake of his fathers death. We are then introduced to Harry's stepmother Alice. She had only been married to his father for four years while Harry was away at college so he doesn't really know her all that well. Since his mother died from cancer when he was a teenager she is re
Peter Swanson is well known in thriller/suspense field and his latest book, All the Beautiful Lies, only adds to his credibility as a master story-teller.

Harry Ackerson has just completed his university studies when he receives a call from his step-mother informing him that his father has died in an apparent suicide. Harry rushes home, not even attending graduation, in grief and disbelief. His step-mother, Alice, appears to be in a state of shock. Harry believes it is his duty to comfort Alice a
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 dark and disturbing stars to All the Beautiful Lies! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing is at the pinnacle of the most gripping and disturbing thrillers I’ve ever read. Every thriller I read is compared to it, and none have measured up. I’m happy to say that All the Beautiful Lies was at that same level for me.

It all begins when Harry, a college student, receives a call from his stepmother, Alice, that his father is dead. Alice and the police believe it was a suicide, and Harry re
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
So... I think it may be time to take a break from psychological thrillers. This was my first read by Peter Swanson. I feel like all these thrillers are blending together especially with "lie" in the titles... oh my goodness! I think "lie" has replaced the "girl" titles from last year.

I do have to say that this was a very easy read! I finished this in a couple days! But, easy doesn't necessarily mean excellent plot.....

All the Beautiful Lies was a very predictable read and did not have many twis
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
As a big fan of Swanson's two previous books, I was really excited about All the Beautiful Lies. The premise sounded simple enough, but I trusted that Swanson would use his ability to create a twisty, clever tale out of a seemingly unoriginal idea. In a way, I was not disappointed, because it certainly was twisted. Unfortunately, I just wasn't my cup of tea. There was no character with any charisma, and even though it possessed the same compulsively readable quality as Swanson's other books, it ...more
4.5 stars
Ahhhh, this book was so good. Peter Swanson has impressed me once again! I've loved all of his thrillers so much. This one follows some extremely fucked up characters (as usual) with a passion for extremely taboo relationships, and by this I mean relationships with huge age gaps. Almost all the characters in this book get involved in a taboo relationship of some kind and all of these characters are driven by sex and lust, and this is one hell of a plot! The description of this book make
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I very much enjoyed The Kind Worth Killing and was eagerly awaiting this newest release.

The setting is Maine, and the story revolves around recent college grad Harry who goes back home after the unexpected death of his father. The publisher's blurb is the perfect description: "...a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder—a sly and brilliant guessing game." Add in a femme fatale stepmother and questionable identities and this sounds like the perfect thriller.

On a p
Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
Days before his college graduation, Harry's stepmother Alice calls to tell him that his father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Shortly after he arrives back in Maine for his father's funeral, Harry meets a mysterious young woman named Grace. Though she claims to be new to the area, Harry begins to suspect that Grace may not be a complete stranger to his family - especially since he saw her at his father's funeral.

Alice is also acting strangely - she's convinced her husband's death was
Harry Ackerson is on the cusp of his graduation from college when he receives the devastating news of his father’s death from an accidental fall during his morning walk. He returns home to his grieving stepmother, Alice, who looks to him for support. They soon discover that Bill Ackerson’s death was no accident.

According to Sharon Packer, author of Movies and the Modern Psyche, “A distinguishing characteristic of a psychological thriller is it emphasizes the mental states of its characters: the
Krystin Rachel
Blog | Insta

“People hate to see other people happy. Remember that.”

For someone who has never read Peter Swanson before and casually likes to pick up a psychological thriller every now and again, this book will probably seem like a win.

But for someone (this girl!) who has read Peter Swanson before and been blown away but how he weaves a story, and also spends a lot of her time reading this particular genre, All The Beautiful Lies was a big ol’ *fart noises* letdown.

I’m coming away fro
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Oh my god!!! Swanson did it again, if not better than ever.

I don't know how he does it but every time he writes a book he manages to write a better cat and mouse game played.

What can I say? I love to hate his characters!!!

The story comes back and forth between past and present and different point of views. If you are into dark, psychological thrillers you SHOULD read Swanson, he is absolutely fantastic in setting the game and atmosphere between his characters. Loved the ending!

Thanks for Edelwe
Crime by the Book
Review/rating to come, but this one was not for me. This story relies heavily on twisted sexual relationships between step-parents and their step-children, an element that I found disturbing in a way that I did not appreciate. Unfortunately this one just wasn’t for me.
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
oh maaaaaaann.... :((

*full review to come*
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From the blurb:
From the acclaimed author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth Killing comes a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder—a sly and brilliant guessing game of a novel in the vein of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Patricia Highsmith.

I wondered what I was going to say about this character-driven novel. Couldn't really find the words. Hence the blurb-note. But I don't want to say too much. The plot is just too complex and intriguing and I don't want to giv
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, not-for-me
Oh boy, there seem to be way too many inappropriate relationships, in addition to the fascination of them, going on in this story. So much that it completely skeeved me out and was a large part of why this did not work for me. The constant reoccurrence of this theme throughout this novel was just repulsive. To top it off, the manipulation of young adults rendered me extremely uncomfortable. These are all emotions I do not want to feel while reading.

Unfortunately, unlike Peter Swanson’s other wor
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-release
I am a BIG Peter Swanson fan! His writing grips me every.single.time. I devoured this one! It is told in alternating time periods “then” and “now.” This kept the story moving quickly and kept me wanting more! A psychological thriller with all the twists and turns! Passion, deceit, manic obsession. Swanson lets you know exactly how far people will go to protect what they believe is theirs...This was a quick, satisfying read!

Disclaimer::This book has some disturbing content that may n
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Peter Swanson is the author of six novels including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year, and his most recent thriller, Eight Perfect Murders. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Th ...more

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“Harry felt a sudden and revolting sense of pure grief. It swept through him like an attack of nausea, an absolute knowledge that he was all alone and life was meaningless and devoid of joy.” 0 likes
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