What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

Suggest books for me > Mysterious character appears out of nowhere and lies about who they are

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1530 comments I'm trying to come up with a list of books with a mysterious character who appears suddenly, worms their way into a person or family's life, but it turns out they are lying about who they are. They might be pretending to be someone else (e.g. The Talented Mr. Ripley) or they might just have made up a random story about themselves.

I feel like this is a very common trope but I'm struggling to think of examples. The ones I have so far are (sorry it's a bit spoilery to list the books but I can't see how to do this otherwise!):

The Accidental
My Summer of Love

Any other suggestions welcome.

message 2: by Ebookworm2016 (new)

Ebookworm2016 | 185 comments Well, this is very different from the ones you listed, but it does have the person lying about who they are, until they are well entrenched in the MC’s life. It’s an action romance. Are you interested in romances with this theme?

“Skin Game” by Ava Gray
“Kyra's a con woman and a thief who can steal her target's strongest skill. But when she becomes the target of a hit man, she won't be able to hide from the passion that engulfs them.”
From the B&N book overview

message 3: by Pamela (last edited Jun 05, 2018 04:07PM) (new)

Pamela Love | 1203 comments The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold The Warrior's Apprentice (Note that the protagonist is the person who makes up the story about himself.)

Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl has another untruthful protagonist...although with the best intentions. Enchantress from the Stars

Damia by Anne McCaffrey Damia

Two mysteries by Charlotte MacLeod: The Luck Runs Out and The Withdrawing Room The Luck Runs Out The Withdrawing Room

message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicalynfox) | 180 comments Railhead
character takes identity of someone he looks very similar too to gain trust.

Madame Doubtfire

message 5: by SamSpayedPI (last edited Jun 07, 2018 06:34AM) (new)

SamSpayedPI | 2075 comments Murder in Pastel and Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon.

The Prince and the Pauper
Paper Moon
Sophie's Choice

For a humorous take on the trope, any of the Blandings Castle series by P.G. Wodehouse will have at least one impostor (sometimes a bad guy, sometimes a good guy). The series begins with Something Fresh.

message 6: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Love | 1203 comments Two more protagonists who do this appear in Gregory Maguire's Egg and Spoon Egg & Spoon

and The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You! by Harry Harrison The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You!

message 7: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
The Masqueraders actually has 2 characters who do this. (Historical romance.)

Beast Master's Circus sci-fi

The Duke's Ballad fantasy

The Time Traders (first book in a sci-fi series) as the title suggests--time travel fiction

message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1530 comments Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Does anyone have any older examples of this storyline or thoughts about where it originated? I thought of My Cousin Rachel as an older example but I think it goes back further than that. I've not been able to find anything about it on TV Tropes which is usually a good resource.

message 9: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Love | 1203 comments I believe Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu fits this trope. It was published as a magazine serial in 1871-72 originally, but I think the trope is older than that. Carmilla

message 10: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1530 comments Thanks Pamela, good tip!

message 11: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
This trope has been around forever. From myths (can anyone say gods pretending to be mortal for one reason or another) that go back thousands of years to stories from the Bible (Joseph and Jacob for two) to fairy tales (fairy looking to test various people in the story) to the books that we've suggested.

The Mark Twain/Samuel Clemons story was published in 1881, the Heyer story that I suggested was published in 1928.

The Scarlet Pimpernel was published in 1905.

message 13: by Keith (new)

Keith | 223 comments The Dread Empire's Fall space opera series (book 1: The Praxis) has as one of its protagonists a woman who is presented as a member of the nobility but (view spoiler).

The Bitterbynde high fantasy series (book 1: The Ill-Made Mute) has, as the heroine's love interest, a man who is initially presented as an elite ranger/tracker/warrior, but is later revealed to be (view spoiler) and even later (GIGANTIC SPOILER, DO NOT READ) (view spoiler).

message 15: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 40627 comments Mod
The Magus

message 16: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 40627 comments Mod

message 17: by Zev (new)

Zev | 224 comments "Strange Girl" by Christopher Pike

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