Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Publisher: Julie Patra Publishing
Release Date: May 15, 2019
They say that you are not a product of the environment that you’ve grown up in, that you create your own story, tell it your way. That you get to pick your own future. They lied. If you’re honest with yourself, you believed that lie, too, like I used to, because I wanted to, and even needed to believe that I had some semblance of control over my own self. The truth is that control is part of the lie. The ability to become a person of our own making is the perfect lie. I concede that it might appear that some people control their destiny, but I assure you, if you gave me fifteen minutes, I could pull apart that façade. We are born into a destiny that we never have the chance to escape. That’s why I must tell my story. For those of you out there like me who were told that you have choices, when you never had one single choice that was your own. For those of you out there who were, who are, judged for decisions you’ve made that were directed by your destiny, not by the façade of choices. The irony of the story within this story is how one person’s predisposed destiny can impact, influence, and even change the lives of those around him or her. How one destiny ties to another destiny.
I am Hailey Anne Monroe. I’m twenty-eight years old. An artist, who found her muse on the canvas because I wasn’t allowed to have friends or even keep a journal. And yes, if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m that Hailey Anne Monroe, daughter to Thomas Frank Monroe, the man who was a half-percentage point from becoming President of the United States. If you were able to ask him, he’d probably tell you that I was the half point. But you can’t ask him, and he can’t tell you. He’s dead. They’re all dead and now I can speak.
A Perfect Lie is the story of the future first daughter, Hailey, as she struggles with her strained relationship with her father, the pressure associated with a family member running for the presidential office, and the mysterious disappearance of her best friend. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy A Perfect Lie as much as I wanted to because of the slow pace of the novel and a rather ineffective main character.
The pace of this novel in incredible slow. Readers follow Hailey as she lives her life day-to-day and deals with the pressure and media fanfare that follows presidential candidates. Life under her father’s thumb is a dull one, so when Hailey is sent away, I fully expected the novel to pick up and deliver a thrilling political mystery. Unfortunately, the story stays the same and Hailey never gains any agency despite all the characters around her making intriguing political moves. The novel then closes out quickly and conveniently with a summary of what happened instead of seeing what Hailey seemingly schemed off page.
Hailey has little to no agency throughout the entire novel. From the first page until the last she is controlled by her father and the various people around her father. Everything happens around and to her without her making any interesting or intriguing political moves herself. The reader is never privy to any of the moves she makes as they’re left off page. This may be indicative of an unreliable narrator, however this accentuates Hailey’s lack of agency instead of functioning as misdirect.
I also disliked the journal entries at the beginning of each chapter. I felt like they detracted from the story since the main character is telling the reader how she felt instead of showing. These journal entries would have served the story better had they been flashbacks instead of definitions.
Overall, A Perfect Lie is a boring thriller that has the potential to be as ruthless as House of Cards, but misses the mark entirely.
*** I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.