The King of Lies

  • by John Hart
  • Narrated by David Chandler
  • 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 facade 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.


What the Critics Say

Mystery Writers of America 2007 Edgar Nominee, Best First Novel by an American Author
"[A] stunning debut, an exceptionally deep and complex mystery thriller....Few readers will be able to resist." (Publishers Weekly)
"This is a first novel that lunges off the page, just grabs the reader by the throat and won't let go....Hart is a fine stylist, turning phrases with a panache that recalls Raymond Chandler." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

For the Eyes Only

This is a beautifully-written book. I live in North Carolina about four hours from Salisbury (Sols-berry) where this story takes place. John Hart has pinned small town society right to the mat. He writes in a metaphor-rich southern cadence and really puts the reader in the moment. The reader can literally "watch" the story because it is written so completely well.

The real gripe I have is that the company in charge of hiring a reader for this book must need a new talentscout. They made a terrible, terrible choice. Not only does the reader not have a Carolina accent, he doesn't have any kind of Southern accent at all. He reads aggressively, like a hard-nosed detective rather than a gentile southern lawyer with a near-broken spirit. I just can't believe the recorded reader missed the heart of the book so very completely.

I would highly recommend this book as a "must read" book, in both senses of the term.

It's a great mystery/thriller, wonderfully and achingly written, and for those readers who have lived in the south and are aware of the carved in white pillars class distinction, it is bang on the head of what that class separation is all about.

It's a very satisfying book and one I will definitely "read" with my own eyes next time.

I can't imagine what Recorded Books was thinking...Mickey Spillane reads Harper Lee. Sheesh.
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- Deborah

Negitive Reviews Almost Kept Me From Buying!

I recently stumbled on Hart's latest book Last Child. LOVED IT TO DISTRACTION. So I went straight to Down River and though it was also fantastic, it didn't trump Last Child. This author is just getting better and better and I can't wait until his next offering.

Despite my need for more Hart, I almost didn't buy his first book: King of Lies because of the reviews whining about the narrator.
I was worried about all the purported lip smacking and swallowing by David Chandler.

I am glad I took the chance. Chandler is an excellent narrator. I think the problem lies with the production company. I guarantee you that Scott Sowers and, my personal favorite, Scott Brick, smacks occasionally in the audio booth too, but state-of-the-art editing software renders such distractions a thing of the past.

Bottom line, Chandler was pretty damn good and quite frankly, his purported "smacking" is not that bad. Ignore the negitive reviews and get this book. Just FYI. Recorded Books produced the King of Lies. Last Child was produced by McMillan Audio and Down River was offered up by Audio Renaissance . Critique the production company,not the narrator.
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- Kelley

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-08-2006
  • Publisher: Recorded Books