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Books Editorial

allthebeautiful.jpg All The Beautiful Lies

Peter Swanson, Faber & Faber

In his three previous books Peter Swanson has demonstrated a deft hand in writing crime novels that are plotted with a clockwork like intricacy, his characters subject to the kind of rug-pulling that cast them into the darkest of rabbit holes (while delighting the reader). His latest begins with Harry, on the eve of his college graduation, who is unexpectedly called home by his step-mother, Alice, because his father has just died. Apparently he fell while out walking along the Maine cliffs, close by where he and Alice live. Upon arriving back at the family home however, Harry soon discovers that something about his father’s death doesn’t add up. Swanson neatly flick-flacks the narrative between the present day, where Harry tries to make sense of revelations he uncovers about his father, and Alice’s past, but this device doesn’t hamper the thrust of the tale, indeed it drives it forward, the intrigue continually being ramped up until we land upon the delicious denouement – and that other fine Swanson trope – the final twist of the knife.