The King of Lies by John Hart

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John Hart creates a literary thriller that is as suspenseful as it is poignant, a riveting murder mystery layered beneath the southern drawl of a humble North Carolina lawyer. When Work Pickens finds his father murdered, the investigation pushes a repressed family history to the surface and he sees his own carefully constructed façade begin to crack.

Work's troubled sister, her combative girlfriend, his gold digging socialite wife, and an unrequited lifelong love join a cast of small town characters that create no shortage of drama in this extraordinary, fast-paced suspense novel.

Hart's mastery of prose and plot belie his newcomer status as he explores the true heart of a man. An illuminating anatomy of a murder and the ripple effect it produces within a family and a community, The King of Lies is a stunning debut.


About John Hart

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John Hart is the New York Times bestselling author of Down River and The King of Lies. The only author in history to win the best novel Edgar Award for consecutive novels, John has also won the Barry Award and England's Steel Dagger Award for best thriller of the year. He was born and raised in North Carolina. For a time he practiced criminal defense law, but left to focus on his writing.
Published April 1, 2010 by Minotaur Books. 321 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The King of Lies

Kirkus Reviews

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Patchy debut thriller about a son who emerges from his father's shadow.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The King of Lies

Publishers Weekly

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Another problem is that Chandler's performance is devoid of the lovely North Carolina lilt, which is an essential component of this novel, much as John Grisham's South looms large in his characters' psyches.

Jul 10 2006 | Read Full Review of The King of Lies

Publishers Weekly

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Trapped in a loveless marriage and haunted by poor emotional choices and his sister's psychological trauma, Work finds himself under suspicion when his father's corpse surfaces more than a year after Ezra was last seen alive.

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Book Reporter

When Ezra's bullet-ridden body is discovered, the finger of suspicion points at Work, who has motive --- Ezra was extremely wealthy --- but his alibi appears to be unshakable.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The King of Lies

Entertainment Weekly

Jackson Workman Pickens — ''Work'' — never got along with his dad, wealthy attorney Ezra Pickens.

May 12 2006 | Read Full Review of The King of Lies

Reviewing the Evidence

South Carolina lawyer, Jackson Workman Pickens, known as Work to his friends, has just found out that his father, Ezra, who had been missing for 18 months, has been found by the police, shot and killed at a deserted mall.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Salem Macknee Denver Post 4 of 5 Stars "Hart taps into his legal background to speckle the book with insider-type facts about the way lawyers and police do their jobs and the grim reality of prison life, adding to the believability of the story."

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of The King of Lies

Spinetingler Magazine

As Work questions everything about himself and his life you will find yourself unable to put this novel down until you reach the emotional and electrifying ending.

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THE KING OF LIES is the story of Jackson Workman ('Work') Pickens, a lawyer, whose attorney father had become rich and famous after receiving a million dollar jury award for one of his clients.

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