Review: ‘The Truth and Other Lies’ by Sascha Arango

I don’t read a lot of mystery, but when I do it’s generally not very serious mystery. It’s not the kind that gets made into a movie, or sparks serious debate, which is why The Truth and Other Lies is a bit of a change for me. This book still has me scratching my head long after I put it down.

Synopsis: Henry Hayden is a best-selling author who has never written a word in his life. His wife, who is the mastermind behind his success, is happy to let him take the credit. But Henry isn’t a great husband, and his mistress has just informed him that she is pregnant. As Henry’s past and future begin to collide, he is only sure of one thing… no one can ever know that he didn’t write the books that have made him rich and famous.

Is it weird that I sympathize a bit with Henry? Sure, he basically started his relationship with Martha on the premise that she had this amazing talent that he could use for his own purposes, but he does really love her in his own twisted way. She really doesn’t seem to mind that he’s basically a freeloader. He feeds her, looks after her, and in return she lets him pretend that he is the author of all her books.

There are a few bits of information that I really wish the author had provided, such as where Martha got her money prior to him coming along, how they met in the first place, and if her family knew about her writing. Of all the characters, hers is the least developed, which confuses me since she is central to the plot. I can’t tell if she was written that way because she has a mental health issue or if the author just failed to give her a personality.

Although I did enjoy reading this book, I felt like there was one character who was completely unnecessary. Gisbert is supposed to be someone from Henry’s past who helps explain some of Henry’s actions, but I felt like we could have learned the same information without him. Henry is the main narrator throughout and adding in a few memories wouldn’t have been such a stretch. Instead we get this long side story that never really goes anywhere.

Has anyone else read this book? Am I missing something?

LC rating: three-stars (good book)

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