The Whole Lie by Steve Ulfelder

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THE WHOLE LIE is full of fascinating characters beyond his protagonist.
-Jen's Book Thoughts


Praise for The Whole Lie

"The Massachusetts gubernatorial race forms the backdrop for Ulfelder's excellent sequel to his Edgar-finalist debut, Purgatory Chasm… Readers will want to see more of Ulfelder's tough but vulnerable lead, whose narration offers a warts-and-all view of his multifaceted character." – Publishers Weekly, starred review

Savvy hadn't changed. She was smarter than you and didn't mind letting you know it. She'd whip you up and down trying to get her way. But we weren't lovers any more—and she'd stopped being a Barnburner long ago. Still…

Conway Sax, the no-nonsense auto mechanic with a knack for solving difficult problems for the Barnburners, the renegade AA group who saved his life, is back in The Whole Lie. And for once, he thinks normalcy is within reach. He's opening a new garage, and he's finally moved in with longtime girlfriend Charlene. The end of his parole is finally in sight. Then along comes Savannah Kane: smart, smoky, and a pusher of men's buttons. Seven years ago, Conway helped her disappear—but not before they had a sizzling, knock-down-drag-out affair. Now she's back with a shocking revelation: she's the mother of a six-year-old boy. Savvy claims her son's father is billionaire Bert Saginaw, but Conway (not to mention Charlene) knows she's back for more than just a family reunion.

Saginaw wants to be Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. Savvy wants to get paid. Conway wants nothing to do with either of them. But when Savvy turns up brutally murdered, he's got no choice but to sort lies from truth – even though doing so may cost him his freedom, his lover, and his life in this thrilling and heart-wrenching follow-up to critically acclaimed novel Purgatory Chasm, in the tradition of Robert B. Parker and Dennis Lehane.

Praise for Steve Ulfelder and Purgatory Chasm

"Ulfelder smoothly steers his plot from one hairpin twist to the next… Conway [is] both tough and vulnerable, a man who has made too many mistakes in his life and, unfortunately, will make even more. Purgatory Chasm is a superb beginning for an author who shows much promise." –South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"A refreshing new character solving hardcore crimes…. crisp plotting, hard-boiled style and realistic dialogue." —Associated Press

"Combines elements of the thriller with tales of tangled families. Violence runs through the novel, but Ulfelder tempers it with compassion — and evocative prose. Purgatory Chasm may be hardboiled, but it's heart-wrenching, too." –Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Working throughout is the edgy, self-effacing voice of a flawed main character, a good guy with plenty of baggage who's just trying stay alive and to get it right this time." –The Boston Globe

"Ulfelder couples precise, evocative prose with an original private investigator in his compelling hard-boiled debut…. Ulfelder smoothly navigates the many plot twists, and effortlessly introduces wrinkles in his protagonist's backstory that enhance the character." –Publishers Weekly, starred review


About Steve Ulfelder

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STEVE ULFEDER is an amateur race driver and co-owner of a company that builds race cars. He was a business and technology journalist for twenty years.  He lives in Southborough, Massachusetts, with his family.
Published May 8, 2012 by Minotaur Books. 321 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Whole Lie
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1


Below average
Jun 15 2012

In his second appearance, Conway, as engaging as he was in his debut (Purgatory Chasm, 2011), is undercut by a story that never quite jells.

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Publishers Weekly

Mar 05 2012

Readers will want to see more of Ulfelder’s tough but vulnerable lead, whose narration offers a warts-and-all view of his multifaceted character.

Read Full Review of The Whole Lie | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Reviewed by Elizabeth White on Jun 22 2012

Ulfelder has created a fresh, compelling lead in Conway Sax, a character precariously straddling the line between invincible tough guy and vulnerable emotional wreck.

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Reviewed by Terri Coop on Jun 15 2012

The strength of The Whole Lie is in the larger than life characters of Conway Sax, Savvy Kane, and baby-daddy Bert Saginaw.

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Curled Up

Reviewed by Luan Gaines

Fast-paced and hard-hitting, Ulfelder knows this territory well, pushing the limits and pulling back just in time.

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Lesa's Book Critiques

Reviewed by Lesa on May 11 2012

The Whole Lie works as a complex mystery where the truth is buried under all kinds of lies.

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Jen's Book Thoughts

Reviewed by Jen on May 24 2012

THE WHOLE LIE is full of fascinating characters beyond his protagonist.

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Sons of Spade

Jun 29 2012

The writing is exceptionally hardboiled, the characters vivid and interesting, the plot dark and exciting.

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