Friday, 9 November 2012

One Last Lie by Rob Kaufman

One Last Lie Philip and Jonathan are a devoted couple whose dream of having a child together was stopped in its tracks after cancer left Philip infertile, and Jonathan was reluctant to pass on his obsessive compulsive genes. When Philip's old college friend Angela reappears in his life after 15 years, having conquered obesity and depression, she has a suggestion they feel could benefit them all. She wants to be a mother and is happy to let them have contact with the child if they will provide the sperm. Although friends have concerns about the idea they plough ahead, only for the situation to deteriorate rapidly once Angela is living nearby and pregnant.

The story moves between the present, where Jonathan is in a home seeing out his days and waiting for his life to be over, and the past. Although it moves around in time the progression of the story in the past is pretty linear, and we get various viewpoints to help the reader see the full picture, so it's not too hard to keep up with. 

A lot of the book is setting up for the dramatic unravelling of the relationship between the couple and Angela, and paints the two men as a warm, clever and caring couple surrounded by good friends and with a wonderful life. Angela on the other hand is clearly scheming in the background and has a temper that she carefully hides until it is too late. The latter part of the book sees events quickly unfold after just a few small alarm bells start to go off and Angela's plotting ends in tragedy. The very end throws up one final surprise. It  was something that had crossed my mind while I was reading but I certainly wasn't expecting it, and it wrapped the book up nicely.

One Last Lie is a tale of a warped woman who sets out the get what she wants at the expense of others. She is deceitful  manipulative and I couldn't find a single redeeming factor, so she is the perfect foil to the men who couldn't be more different. Seeing how much had gone into her plot made me dislike her more and more. 

I really enjoyed reading this book, and I only have a couple of criticisms. The balance of the book felt a bit off, with the unveiling of Angela happening very hurriedly towards the end after a long set up. I also noticed a few silly typos that should have been picked up easily - nothing major but a little distracting. It was definitely worth the time I spent reading it though.

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 4*

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