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

The Better Liar

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  4,988 ratings  ·  1,031 reviews
When a woman conceals her sister’s death to claim their joint inheritance, her deception exposes a web of dangerous secrets in this addictive new thriller for fans of Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins.

“Like most of the dead, I want to be remembered.”

Robin Voigt is dead. If Leslie had arrived at her sister’s cramped Las Vegas apartment just hours earlier, this
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Ballantine
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 The Better Liar, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Mayka I think it is meant as the person she was is dead -and now she is free become a new person , who's identity is longer tied to Leslie.
and yes the cops…more
I think it is meant as the person she was is dead -and now she is free become a new person , who's identity is longer tied to Leslie.
and yes the cops are dumb .(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,988 ratings  ·  1,031 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Better Liar
Nilufer Ozmekik
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Happy release date🎊🎉🥂
Finally this delicious thriller is out there to be devoured! 💃🏻💃🏻
Are you ready for a mind-bending, psychological, surprising new novel that full of lies, brain storming exhaustion, WTH just I read, what kind of end this themes!

Come on I slap the characters but instead of characters slapped me this time because I was way too naïve and lost my spider senses for consuming too much stress nails (They weren’t my own thankfully but paramedics who pumped my stomach had different t
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
I loved this book! Wow! All the stars for this fantastic debut. This book puts the W in WTF!!! I mean this is one twisted domestic thriller. Honestly one of my favorite books I have read this year.

Your sister Robin has been missing for 10 years. She ran away from home when she was 16 and is now living in Las Vegas. Leslie is the "good sister"- staying with her ailing father until he passes away. Catering to his every need as your sister Robin is in sin city doing god knows what. You also find th
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dita by: Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Shelves: netgalley
Did I stay up half the night last because I was unable to put this down? Yes!

Do I regret it? Nope!

Would I read any book that Kim ~ It's All About The Thrill recommends to me? Yes! (Follow her, friend her, and follow her blog...she's awesome!)

This book is full of twists, turns, red herrings and misdirection; and even as I was able to work out the biggest one there was still so much to gasp over as this awesome story climbed and climbed to it's satisfying conclusion.

Thank you to Tanen Jones, Rando
Icy Cold Game of Cat and Mouse

One desperate woman lures another into impersonating her dead sister in order to receive her inheritance.

Leslie takes a trip to Vegas to bring her sister home to Alburquerque. Sadly, she discovers her sister, Robin, is dead. When she bumps into a woman named Mary who bears an uncanny resemblance to Robin, she coaxes her into coming to Alburqueue to impersonate Robin. With the promise of collecting Robin’s half of the inheritance, Mary decides to come along for the
Elyse  Walters
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This is a great book to go in blind!!!!

Names change like a revolving cake walk!!!

...Leslie meets Mary in ...
...Leslie brings Mary home to Albuquerque.
...Mary becomes Robin (Leslie’s pretend sister whom she hadn’t seen in 10 years until finding her dead from overdose)...
...Mary who is pretending she is Robin, ( still pretending to be Leslie’s sister)... meets Billy and tells him her name is Alice.

Alice’s name might change again...

Names that ‘aren’t revolving are:
...Leslie is Le
Holly  B (semi-hiatus until Nov)


Two sisters entangled in a web of lies and hidden agendas...

The debut of an author that I will surely keep an eye on!

An intriguing premise about estranged sisters, Leslie and Robin. Their father has recently died and Leslie can't collect on the estate until she tracks down sister Robin.

The first half of the book had me on the edge as Leslie hit road blocks, curves and full blown speed bumps as she searched Las Vegas to find Robin. What happened was just, wow...

The next half was clos
Aug 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, audio
Leslie needs to find her sister Robin ASAP! Her father has died, leaving a very specific codicil to his will. The only way his money will be released is if both daughters are present in the lawyers’ office.

And if Robin can't be there? Then what? What if she needs to find someone fast to fill her sister’s shoes...just for a few days.

Introducing Mary. She’s more than eager to help out and play the role of the long lost sister. But can Leslie trust her? After all, there is a lot of money on t
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
Alive sister - Leslie. Dead sister - Robin. Fake sister - Mary.

They all have a voice in this story. What I loved most about this book is the feeling of unease that exudes from the pages especially as there isn't really much happening at all BUT you just know that something explosive is going to happen. One or more of these ladies is unreliable. One or more of these ladies is lying. It all becomes such a tangled web and to watch it unravel was very satisfying.

Kudo's to the author for writing a
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
.... and the Oscar goes to ....... Mary, for her winning performance, skilful chameleon like adoption of personas at the drop of a hat, her methods of acquiring and using information to her advantage, her resourcefulness, her survival, her mirror faced beauty, her intelligence and disingenuousness. You snooze, you lose Leslie, you caught a tiger by the tail. So, what’s that all about? Leslie’s sister Robin ran away from home twelve years ago. In order to secure an inheritance from their father b ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you, Random House/Ballantine Books for the gifted copy.

If you don’t mind suspending disbelief a little at times, step right up to my new favorite thriller! Twist after twist, after oh-my-gosh twist!

Leslie’s runaway sister, Robin, is unexpectedly dead. Their father has also recently passed away, and there’s an inheritance- but for both of them, not just one. So what does Leslie do? She conceals her sister’s death.

Compulsively readable, I lost sleep thanks to this book. I loved the author’s
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This story requires a ton of suspension of disbelief. Luckily for me, I spend my entire life discounting reality so it was a perfect fit.

Despite the improbability of this story, Tanen's writing and it's remarkably novel plot make for an unputdownable read.

The ending goes off the rails a bit and could have benefited from a tighter outline.

With a story that is overwrought with liars, who is the better liar?
I'll take Donald Trump for $800, Alex.

** I recieved a ARC from the publisher in exchange
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it
3 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lots of great reviews for this one, but unfortunately, this one was kinda dull. I enjoyed the first half and then it went downhill.

I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I can’t do slow burn thrillers. I like fast paced with some jaw drops. This book had neither for me.

The story is told from 3 POV’s: Leslie, Mary and Robin. Leslie and Robin are sisters. Their father dies and leaves them a chunk of cash. In order to claim it, they both must be present. Unfortunately for Leslie
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Makin' deals with the devil.

But is it the devil of your own making?

Leslie arrives in Las Vegas on a mission. She's looking for her long lost sister, Robin, who exited their home town of Albuquerque ten years ago. No buh bye note, no quick hit-or-miss phone calls, not even a post-it note on the mirror.

After that much time, Leslie had no interest in knowing Robin's whereabouts. Good riddance, Sistuh. But the stakes have been ratcheted up as of late since their father died. There's $100,000 in the
Mandy White
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Better Liar was a book that I went into with high expectations after hearing so many great things about it. For that reason it was bumped up my to be read list and I am really glad that I did. This book was clever, twisty and addictive. Definitely a “ just one more chapter “ book. I really wanted to see how it was all going to play out and the ending was brilliant. This book will be big in 2020.

Leslie and Robin are sisters, who have not seen or spoken to each other for more than 10 years. Bu
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW this book has literally kept me up all night, I couldn’t put it down!! What a rollercoaster of a ride I have been on. Deep breathe!! How can I give this great book the justice it deserves without giving anything away!!! Here goes,

Leslie needs her sister Robin, so that she can claim their joint inheritance, she hasn’t seen her sister for years. She discovers Robin sadly is dead from a drugs overdose. Along the way she meets Mary who is hiding from an ex and convinces her to pretend to be her
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

I would not put Tanen Jones on par with Gillian Flynn, but I will admit that there is definite appeal there for that audience if the reader is inclined to be forgiving. THE BETTER LIAR is a debut novel, and with comparisons to authors such as Megan Abbott and Gillian Flynn in the blurb, seems to be setting itself to some pretty high standards, which can sometimes lead to disappointment. I personally thought the story was more reminiscent
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
The Better Liar is about a woman, Leslie, who inherits a large sum of money from her father. In order to collect her half of the insurance, she must appear before the lawyer with her sister Robin. It takes Leslie three months to track Robin down, and by the time she arrives at her sisters apartment, her sister has OD’d and died. On her way back to Albuquerque, Leslie chances across a woman (Mary) who looks a lot like her sister, and hatches a plan to collect her inheritance anyway, using Mary as ...more
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found myself thinking about this book a lot over the weekend, so I just bumped my rating up to 5 stars. This one sticks with you!

If you like:
-Unreliable characters
-Clever, unpredictable story lines
-Twisty, psychological suspense

Then this debut by Tanen Jones is a must read!

Enjoyed every delicious, dark and well written page! Looking forward to what this author will come up with next.

ARC provided by NetGalley
Just when I thought psychological and domestic thrillers were dead, Tanen Jones emerges to take back the throne of one of my favorite genres. I legitimately could not put this book down, and I was sneaking in reading sessions around work and skipping out on post-work errands to get in more chapters. The Better Liar has Robyn Harding and Ruth Ware vibes, so if you enjoy reading novels by those two authors, you'll devour this debut. I loved the characters, I loved the mystery, and I loved how ...more
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

For a long time while reading The Better Liar by Tanen Jones I wasn't sure what to think. Once I hit the last few chapters though I was all in and they raised me to a solid 4-star rating.

Reading The Better Liar was like peeling an onion, the more you read the more layers that are pulled away until everything is revealed. It was predictable in some ways for me, and not in others but overall it's a slow burn that ends with quite the reveal. The last few chapters really got me and the
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Better Liar” is a nightmare version of dysfunctional sisters. Leslie and Robin Voigt were raised by their aloof mother and detached father. Their mother would often “go away” on trips for weeks, sometimes leaving them in the care of another aloof woman, their grandmother. Is it any wonder these girls would end up having a bizarre relationship?

The story is character driven, with the ghost of Robin starting with a strange prologue, telling the reader that she wants to be remembered, as most g
Aga Durka
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Better Liar surprised me with its unpredictable plot and layered characters. Based on the synopsis, which I read before requesting this book from the publisher, I expected a psychological mystery read but I got a lot more than that. The author digs deep into family relationship issues and explores the subject of postpartum depression. What sounds like another psychological thriller book, turns out to be a thought-provoking story with a less than perfect main characters. This was a fast-paced ...more
Natasha Niezgoda


Now, this book is ALL about LIES and DECEPTION! Leslie’s father passed away and in order to get her inheritance, she needs to find her estranged sister...the problem is said sister is dead. ☠️ But Leslie NEEDS the money. She happens to make a new friend who resembles Robyn and the con starts to take shape. But will they pull it off?!

YERP. The plot is good! 😏 Like really good! And for the most part, I was TOTALLY into the book.

If I had to break i
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
3 Stars.  I liked the beginning and the end, but I got restless in the middle.
     This tale is two ladies using and manipulating each other for their own personal  schemes. Each lady has lots of secrets. These ladies make a deal to scheme and use each other for their own profit.
     The author holds those big secrets until nearly the end of the novel. When the secrets were revealed, I felt let down and did not buy it.
     The ending was twisty and surprising, but it did not end the way I woul
Frank Phillips
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a great read... All the way up until the very end. I did not expect this type of ending and left me reeling feeling like I I was misled. This book kind of reminded me of one of Peter Swanson's twisted works or another dark Thriller with an unreliable cast, and I fully expected an amazing twist at the end but did not get one. Or at least the type of one I thought I would get. Everything else aside this is a story about family, two sisters to be specific, and depression..that is as much a ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller fans
Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Better Liar is a captivating thriller with an engaging plot that gradually unfolds as secrets are revealed and lies are uncovered, building tension slowly until you have no choice but to keep reading through to the end. It features a pair of female protagonists who couldn’t be more different. You’re not sure who to root for or who you can trust.

Tanen Jones writes from a first person poin
Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)
Leslie’s sister Robin left home more than ten years ago and has been nothing but a nuisance from afar since. When Leslie’s ailing father finally passed, a condition of receiving his inheritance is bringing the sisters back together. But when Leslie tracks down Robin in Las Vegas and finds her a mere few hours too late (heroin OD), what can she do to ensure she still receives her piece of the pie? Panicked and stressed, Leslie flees her dead sisters apartment to collect her thoughts. That’s where ...more
Ludwig Reads
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

"If I tell you how it happened, maybe you’ll remember me as well."

The Better Liar is a quick, clever, mind-bending thriller about a young woman who must reunite with her sister in order to claim their joint inheritance, only when she arrives at her apartment, she finds her sister...dead.

The book starts with this main perturbation, continues with slow-building suspense, which relies on providing the reader with intrigue and curiosity regarding two girls' ridiculously insane plan, all the
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a great debut novel. I started it yesterday morning and finished it last night. I literally couldn't put it down.

Because of the title we already know that we will be dealing with unreliable narrators, so no surprises there, but I was surprised by how intrigued I was by Leslie and Mary. Mary especially, I was continually trying to figure out what made her tick. I'm normally quite quick with guessing what the ending will be in most mysteries, but did not see this one coming at all. I lo
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
There’s nothing worse than a boring thriller. Luckily, Tanen Jones’ The Better Liar isn’t one of those books. There’s something about the two main characters, Leslie and Mary, that hold your attention with a vice grip. I couldn’t read anything else until I finished this one.

Apart from the literal first and last chapter, not much actually ‘happens’, per say. Leslie finds her sister dead, befriends a local woman in Las Vegas and they both go back to her hometown in New Mexico. But from the first i
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lady Clementine
  • The Liar's Sister
  • Bitter Falls (Stillhouse Lake #4)
  • The Lies We Hide
  • The Museum of Desire (Alex Delaware, #35)
  • The Secret Santa
  • A Small Town: A Novel of Crime
  • A Window Breaks
  • The Leaving Party
  • After She Wrote Him
  • Foul Is Fair
  • The Second Home
  • Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains
  • White Elephant
  • Happy Ever After
  • The Secrets He Kept
  • Dead to Her
  • I Dare You
See similar books…
Tanen Jones grew up in Texas and North Carolina. She has a degree in American history and spent several years editing law and criminal justice textbooks. A queer author, she writes from the perspective of women who are also queer. Her work is a modern take on the genre, exploring what makes a woman mad, bad, or dangerous to know. She now lives in New York with her partner, where she writes from he ...more

Articles featuring this book

When it comes to mysteries and thrillers, we're all guilty of loving a good trope from time to time. From "The butler did it!" to "They all did...
238 likes · 58 comments
“each of us experiencing exactly as much happiness as we could successfully contain.” 0 likes
“When no one discusses your feelings, it never really occurs to you that you might have feelings. I did have feelings, of course, but sitcom ones, learned from TV and Are You There God? and church once a year. For the most part these shallow affectations were sufficient for any situation a twelve-year-old from the suburbs could find herself in, but every once in a while something unidentifiable would pass just beneath my consciousness, like the shadow of some enormous sea creature under the tiny bobbing craft above.” 0 likes
More quotes…