Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
A handsome stranger moves to the small Pennsylvania town of Central Valley, and his name is Chris Brennan. He s applying for a job as a teacher and varsity baseball coach at the local high school, and he looks perfect, on paper. But his name is an alias, his resume is false, and everything about him is a lie. And he has a secret plan - for which he needs a pawn on the baseball team.
Susan Sematov loves her younger son Raz, the quirky and free-spirited pitcher of the team. But Raz s adored father died only a few months ago, and the family is grief-stricken. Secretly, Raz is looking to fill the Daddy-shaped hole in his heart.
Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who s dedicated to her only son Justin, the quiet rookie on the team. But Justin s shy and reserved nature renders him vulnerable to attention, including that of a new father-figure.
Mindy Kostis is the wife of a busy surgeon and the queen bee of the baseball boosters, where her super-popular son Evan is the star catcher. But she doesn t realize that Evan s sense of entitlement is becoming a full-blown case of affluenza, and after he gets his new BMW, it s impossible to know where he s going or whom he s spending time with.
The lives of these families revolve around the baseball team and Chris Brennan. What does he really want? How far will he go to get it? Who among them will survive the lethal jeopardy threatening them, from the shadows?
Enthralling and suspenseful, One Perfect Lie is an emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will keep readers riveted to the shocking end, with killer twists and characters you won t soon forget.
An emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will keep listeners guessing until the end. On the surface, it tells the tale of the struggling single mother of a high-school pitcher, a shy kid so athletically talented that he's being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball. But the mother fears that she's losing her grip on her son because he's being lured down a darker path by one of his teammates, a secretly disturbed young man from an affluent family, whose excellent grades and fun-loving manner conceal his violent criminal plans. Add a handsome stranger who comes to town and infiltrates the high school, posing as a teacher but with a hidden agenda all his own.
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Having stabbed a man to death, a seemingly damaged, deranged Chris Brennan plans to attack a small Pennsylvania town. Or will he? This loner certainly is a liar: he lies about his name, his background, and his experience to gain a teaching and coaching position at a high school where he urgently pursues a teenage boy to assist him with his scheme. Chris succeeds in finding a ten-foot box truck that can hold 50 bags of fertilizer, enough to cause deadly destruction. After putting readers on edge with the development of this unlikable character as a would-be domestic terrorist, Scottoline (Most Wanted; Every Fifteen Minutes) slams the plot into reverse at midpoint and accelerates at full speed. Throw in sexting, cheating, drinking, and grieving to draw in the other protagonists, including teachers, three mothers, and their teenage sons. VERDICT This stand-alone suspense novel is not to be missed by Scottoline's fans as well as other readers who relish fast-paced thrillers by Linda Fairstein and John Grisham. [See Prepub Alert, 10/24/16.]-Wendy W. Paige, Shelby Cty. P.L., Morristown, IN © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
ATF agent Curt Abbott goes undercover as high school baseball coach Chris Brennan in this entertaining thriller from bestseller Scottoline (Most Wanted). He targets three teenage boys in his investigation of a domestic terrorism plot: wealthy, spoiled Evan Kostis; troubled Raz Sematov, struggling to cope with his father's recent death; and thoughtful, diligent Jordan Larkin, raised by a single mother. As his supervisors threaten to derail the case, loner Curt wonders whether he could have a future with Jordan's mom, Heather, for whom he has unexpectedly developed feelings, if she knew his true identity. Scottoline shifts focus among Curt and each of the boys' mothers, who represent a cross-section of suburban Central Valley, Pa. This fast-paced read culminates in a daring chase that would play well on the big screen, and readers may anticipate the outcome of Curt's budding romance with Heather as eagerly as they do the resolution of the terror plot. 400,000-copy announced first printing; author tour. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Readers meet Chris Brennan just in time for his job interview at Central Valley High School, where he hopes to teach government, economics, and criminal justice and serve as the assistant varsity baseball coach. The second sentence of the novel makes it clear that he is a fraud, but Scottoline doesn't expand. After obtaining the job, Chris gets to know his students, particularly the baseball players, and readers discover that he has a criminal act in mind. Teens are introduced to some of the players on the baseball team and find out a bit about their family lives, but it's not until a third of the way through the narrative that they learn who Chris really is. Something big is stirring in this small town in Pennsylvania, and a plot with nationwide consequences could create an uproar in the lives of the baseball players and their families. As Scottoline tracks the progress of the investigation step-by-step, readers will be drawn into this exciting and absorbing page-turner. VERDICT Recommend this fast-paced read to teens who enjoy tales of espionage and action.-Marlyn K. Beebe, Los Alamitos, CA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Central Valley High's new government teacher and assistant baseball coach, Chris Brennan, is looking for a boy that fits his precise criteria: a little lost and open to a malevolent scheme. He has a truck and a bunch of fertilizer but needs the perfect accomplice as the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing approaches. But he is on shaky ground one of his fellow teachers just happens to be from his hometown and threatens to blow his cover in a gust of friendly gestures. More importantly, the moms of Chris' three top prospects all have family dramas that distract Chris from his goal. Heather, mom of a talented player, is broke and desperate to make ends meet. Insecure Mindy suspects her husband of using their son's money to hide an affair. Susan's dead husband looms large in the background as she struggles with a troubled older son, while her younger son is clearly in over his head. Scottoline keeps the pace relentless as she drops a looming threat into the heart of an idyllic suburban community, causing readers to hold their breath in anticipation. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Best-selling Scottoline's latest promises plot twists that will keep readers flipping pages.--Howerton, Erin Downey Copyright 2017 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
The chronicler of Philadelphia law firm Rosato DiNunzio (Damaged, 2016, etc.) heads out to the suburbs to insert a fraudulent teacher into the staff of Central Valley High School.If you were looking for a midyear replacement for a departing government teacher, you could hardly do better than Chris Brennan. He's clearly prepared to cover the courses in government and criminal justice; he's bright, attractive, and personable; he bonds instantly and effectively with students; and he can even serve as assistant coach of the school's faltering baseball team. Chris is clearly too good to be true, an observation it never occurs to his new colleagues to take seriously. Only Abe Yomes, the gay African-American language-arts teacher, poses any threat, not because he sees through Chris but because he actually grew up in Wyoming, where Chris is pretending to be from. Soon enough, however, Mr. Y is dead, an apparent suicide, and Chris is ready to go ahead with his plan, which requires him to befriend a lonely, vulnerable boypreferably somebody both in his class and on the baseball teamseparate him from his cohort, and turn him into a patsy for a scheme that involves a rented truck and a mountain of ammonium chloride fertilizer. To say more would undermine several whopping surprises Scottoline has in store, but readers can be assured that the author nails the high school milieu, from athletic rivalries to sexting, and that even if they spot every twist coming from a mile away, they're still in for one thrilling ride on the roller coaster. A bonus is some strategic leavening via Scottoline's journalistic aphorisms, as when one of the students' mothers imagines a romance with the imposter hero: "She knew that it was an inappropriate fantasy, but no fantasy worth having was appropriate." Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.