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The King of Lies
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Jackson Workman Pickens - 'Work' to his friends - an unambitious lawyer in a small Southern town, has some serious baggage. His mother died a year ago from a 'fall' down the family's colonial staircase and his father, Ezra, has been missing ever since. Work is left to deal with his psychologically damaged sister, his father's legal caseload and his own rocky marriage. Power and greed bring many enemies, especially for a man as cruel as Ezra Pickens, so when his body turns up pretty much everyone in town is a suspect - but only one man is charged with the murder. With time, his wife and public opinion against him, Work embarks on his toughest case yet: proving his own innocence. His investigation will uncover a web of intrigue he could never have imagined - and he soon realises that no one is above suspicion - even those he loves most.
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About the Author

John Hart was born in North Carolina in 1965, and lives with his wife and two young children in Rowan County, where The King of Lies is set. He has degrees in French, accounting and law, and worked as a banker, stockbroker and attorney before beginning his writing career. The King of Lies is his first book.

Reviews

Adult/High School-Jackson Workman Pickens, or Work, has always lived in the shadow of his larger-than-life father, a respected attorney. His life as he knows it-the law practice he shares with his father, the beautiful home and socialite wife-is a tribute to Ezra Pickens's ideas of success. When Ezra is found shot to death, Work is ambivalent about helping the police find the killer, afraid that the path will lead to his younger sister, Jean. Only he and Jean know how abusive their father was and how his actions ultimately led to their mother's death. Work's reticence only serves to reinforce the lead detective's belief that he is the guilty party, especially since he stands to inherit over $15 million. As Work becomes more enmeshed in a web of circumstantial evidence, he learns that his sister's partner, Alexandria, was convicted of killing her own abusive father, and he begins to fear for his sister's safety as well as his own. Hart has crafted a mystery with fully developed characters and a fast-paced and intelligent plot. He not only gives readers plenty of action and suspense, but also delves unflinchingly into the dynamics of family relationships. Teens who enjoy Grisham and Turow will want to be among the first to read this exciting new voice in the mystery genre.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

'Smart and swift-moving! Hart knows his way around the courtrooms and jailhouses!the way that Grisham and Turow do' -- Pat Conroy 'Akin to the close-range gut-roiling atmosphere summoned by the legal thrillers of Scott Turow' -- New York Times 'Presumed Innocent meets Fatal Attraction. Hart's prose is like Raymond Chandler's, angular and hard!' -- Entertainment Weekly 'Nobody does hate like Southerners, and you'll find plenty of it in the characters slithering through this well-spun murder mystery! a gripping performance' -- People magazine 'A fast-paced mystery debut' -- Wall Street Journal 'John Hart has hit a home run with his first novel, The King Of Lies, which has garnered universal and well-deserved rave reviews' -- Deadly Pleasures 'A lovely writing style that's full-bodied and lyrical' -- Deadly Pleasures

A murdered father, a repressed past, and a cast of Southern small-town characters create drama for North Carolina lawyer Work Pickens in this Minotaur First Edition Selection. Hart lives in Greensboro, NC. Regional author tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

These days most novels are performed, not narrated. The skillful actors who have made audiobooks their art form take on multiple voices-male and female, old and young. Chandler's careful reading is generally disappointing. His lack of vocal range is all too obvious. Lawyer and murder suspect "Work" Pickens sounds exactly like his female nemesis, Detective Mills. Work's wife, Barbara, could be his brother. Oddly, the homeless Max, a minor player in this thriller, has the most distinctive voice. Another problem is that Chandler's performance is devoid of the lovely North Carolina lilt, which is an essential component of this novel, much as John Grisham's South looms large in his characters' psyches. Too frequently, Chandler seems to suffer from dry mouth as his tongue separates audibly from the roof of his mouth. Water, please! On a more positive note, Chandler reads Hart's delicious similes and clever phrasing with slow elegance. Hart's writing sparkles throughout, and this is a compelling story, one the reader won't turn off, despite a performance that doesn't matches the brilliance of the novel. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's Minotaur hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 16). (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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