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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
A powerful, heartrending novel of tragedy, treachery, and -- ultimately -- transcendence, this stellar debut from former lawyer John Hart is a first-class mystery/thriller (à la John Grisham and Scott Turow) that will hit readers like a ton of bricks.
The King of Lies centers on 35-year-old North Carolina defense attorney Jackson Workman "Work" Pickens, the well-to-do son of a prominent local lawyer, whose entire existence unravels when his famous father, missing for 18 months, is found murdered in an abandoned mall. Believing that his emotionally unstable sister, Jean, may be the culprit, Pickens does his best to protect his suicidal sibling from suspicion -- only to become the prime suspect himself. With an unsympathetic detective determined to pin the murder on him, Pickens struggles to clear his name while his career, his marriage, and his very will to live crumble around him…
This brilliantly twisted tour de force derives its power in large part from the author's meticulous attention to, and understated use of, imagery, symbolism, and allegory. Hart employs varying heights -- elevated porches, muck-filled sewers, the judge's bench, etc. -- as settings that work on many levels. A poignant chronicle of a southern lawyer's bittersweet journey of self-discovery, The King of Lies is intensely emotional, darkly poetic, and utterly readable. Grisham and Turow had best watch their backs! Paul Goat Allen