The Liar's Room by Simon Lelic

The Liar's Room

Simon Lelic

Fourteen years ago, Susanna Fenton left her identity behind. When a young man, Adam Geraghty, walks into her office, claiming he needs Susanna’s help but asking unsettling questions, she begins to fear that her secret has been discovered.

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A new spine-tingling thriller from the author of The New Neighbors that takes place over the course of a therapy session, in which neither patient nor therapist are who they claim to be.

Two liars. One room. No way out.

Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a therapist and starting a new life. It was the only way to keep her daughter safe.

But when a young man, Adam Geraghty, walks into her office, claiming he needs Susanna's help but asking unsettling questions, she begins to fear that her secret has been discovered.

Who is Adam, really? What does he intend to do to Susanna?

And what has he done to her daughter?

Advance Galley Reviews

I really enjoyed The Liar’s Room and was engaged from the start. I was kept guessing and hypothosizing throughout the entire book. How are Susanna the counsellor and Adam, the teenager, who has set an appointment with Susanna connected. How could a teenage boy know all of Susanna’s hidden secrets from a life she left behind years ago. I would recommend, The Liar’s Room, to those that like a slower unraveling and are willing to wait for the BANG. I can’t wait to see what Simon Lelic comes out with next and will be going back to read some of his previous novels-The New Neighbors and The Child Who, look particularly good. Thank you First to Read for my advanced copy of, The Liar’s Room written by Simon Lelic, in exchange for my honest review.

This book did a nice job at keeping me guessing from beginning to end. Everything seems normal until the past is revealed. I found this book to be exceptionally taut with emotion and feelings and it was hard to figure out who Adam was until a fair amount of the book. I have never read anything by this author before and I will be reading more in the future.

The Liar's Room - Simon Lelic The concept of this book is intriguing: two people are ’stuck’ inside a room until the truth comes out. It reads much like the basis for the plot of the horror movie series ’Saw’ or how it would be to be stuck in a nightmarish panic room. But in the case of ’The Liar’s Room,’ a dangerous client is keeping a therapist in her office, forcing the truth to come out about her dead son, and has let her know that he is holding her daughter hostage somewhere until she divulges everything. It is extremely rare for me to give up on a book for content, style, pace, just about anything. But I'm afraid to say that this one has broken my streak of finishing books because I do believe I should give them a chance right through until the end. But someone mentioned recently to stop reading a book if you're truly not enjoying it, and I got to a point in this one where I honestly was not enjoying it anymore. What absolutely did it for me was abuse to an animal (a cat) and this followed a fair amount of obscene language that I felt was over the top and ’reaching’ just a bit. I'm not a prude, or naïve by any means, and I'm not scared away by much (I actually read a lot of horror writing), but it felt like this was used as a plot device for shock value and didn't serve enough as part of the storyline. Additionally, the detail, since it was being explained as something being looked back on, was unnecessary and the situation that this happened within was feeling like a continued stretch to me. I was already having trouble staying with the story going from the therapist office (a static location) to lengthy descriptions of what happened in the past. It wasn't holding my interest how I hoped it would. I hate that I couldn't continue with this but once I got to that point in the book, I had that nasty image in my head and it wouldn't disappear. I can handle just about any horror movie, all the blood and guts, I'm not afraid of heights, needles, snakes, nothing. But don't give me animal abuse. I absolutely want to read Simon Lelic’s other books though; I have several on my TBR list. I'm actually a big fan of psychological thrillers. This one, however, was not for me.

This story takes place mainly in one day, with portions being told through letters and flashbacks. A counselor sees a new patient who turns out to not be who she thinks he is. I enjoyed the story. It was a fast read. Some aspects were predictable. Overall good book.

The thriller incorporates a real-time format as we follow the main character, a psychologist with a secret past, who is trapped in a single location for several hours. She's held hostage by a new patient who has kidnapped her daughter and has a connection to her past. The backstory was parsed out slowly over the course of the story. It reminded me of The Dinner in that the story delves into the horrors of parenthood and realizing that a well-meaning "good person" of a parent has inadvertently raised a monster. We learn early on that something terrible has happened with Susanna's deceased son, but the details of what that horrible thing are get teased out over the course of the story. The novel does a good job of building a sense of dread and constructing a story with enough twists and turns that its reveals never feel overly predictable but do fit perfectly into the story. The modern day framing device is less exciting and failed to draw me in as strongly, but even those portions of the book remained intriguing. While the book doesn't go out of its way to establish heavy-handed feminist messages, it has numerous colorful female characters, each with her own unique perspective. The book also explores coded-female issues like motherhood, social pressure, and the tentative nature of female relationships quite well. Overall, the book is a page-turning thriller with an intriguing mystery at its heart and a satisfying conclusion.

I really enjoyed this psychological thriller about a mother who moves away with her daughter to escape her past until a stranger walks into her office who knows about her past...and has kidnapped her daughter. It's fast-paced and interesting, and I thought most of the story was pretty unique. I didn't love the ending (I think it could have been a bit better), but overall, this was a great read.

I wouldn't necessarily call this a thriller and I would recommend anyone who has lost a family member through suicide not pick up this book. It was a quick read and flowed along well. All of the blank pages were a little annoying to scroll through in the adobe digital editions app. To me, this story was a little depressing all the way around but well written. Thanks First to Read for my advance copy.

This book grabbed me from the second I started and didn't let up until I finished it. The story was packed with twists and turns that kept you on the edge of your seat. I found at certain times that I was holding my breath, waiting to see what was going to happen. It was a heartbreaking story and one that I highly recommend.

I know I’m in the minority here, but I think this book fell a little short of its description, “ a spine-tingling thriller”. Even though the writing was well done the story itself just didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat or keep me up reading it into the late AM hours. This was a perfectly good book; however, the description of it made me expect a lot more than it was. Thank you to First to Read for my ARC.

What a great, wonderfully written, read! I could not put this book down! This kept me on the edge of my seat & kept me guessing until the end. At first, I was not sure how interesting it could be with the setting just being "one room," but Lelic did a great job at keeping my attention through the end. This was my first book by Simon Lelic, and I will definitely be checking out some of his other works!

Susanna is a counselor and she is hiding something. Adam comes to see her for therapy and he also has a secret. Their lives are intertwined but you aren’t really sure how until the last half of the book. I enjoyed this but didn’t like the characters. At one point I wanted to slap Susanna silly. A quick read. Thanks for First to Read for the ARC

Probably one of the best books I've read through the First to Read program. I couldn't put it down so I could see where it was going. Lots of twists and turns, many of which I didn't see coming. Well done!

***Thanks to First to Read for providing me a complimentary of THE LIAR’S ROOM by Simon Lelic in exchange for my honest review.*** This is how you write a thriller. THE LIAR’S ROOM starts off when counselor Susanna encounters Adam, a new, yet familiar client. But Adam made the appointment, not treatment, with revenge in mind. Susanna engages in a cat and mouse game with the teenager that starts off tense and continues to build until the final secrets are revealed. Simon Lelic hold my interest from start to finish. I was dying to know the connection between Susanna and Adam, why he was fixated on her son who died before Adam was born and what happened to cause Jake to commit suicide eighteen years ago. THE LIAR’S ROOM, told from the distinct voices Susanna’s third person POV, Adam’s first person POV, Jake’s letters and Emily’s first person, whom Adam kidnapped to torture her mother, Susanna, drops clues to give increasing insight into plot and characters building to a heart pumping conclusion. Mystery and thriller lovers will devour THE LIAR’S ROOM.


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