‘The King of Lies’ is John Hart’s debut novel. After reading Hart’s brilliant ‘The Last Child’, I was keen to read some of his earlier work, but unfortunately this novel doesn’t come close to the same standard.
Jackson Workman ‘Work’ Pickens is a lawyer in a small town in North Carolina. His father Ezra was the most successful lawyer in the county. But 18 months ago, Work’s mother dies accidently and his father disappeared on the same night. Now Ezra’s body has been found, obviously murdered, and with a huge inheritance, Work is the obvious suspect. But knowing he is innocent, Work suspects his mentally fragile sister Jean and will do whatever it takes to keep her out of prison.
Work is a very weak character. He was pushed into becoming a lawyer by his manipulative father. He married the woman his father chose but continued to have an affair with the woman he loved. His wife is a greedy manipulative witch who just wants money and status. While there are moments in the novel where Work tried hard to be a hero, he just didn’t have the guts to get there.
Work certainly didn’t deserve the ending he got and with his attitude to money throughout the novel, his final comments on the inheritance were very disappointing.
If this had been my first John Hart novel, I would probably not have read any more of his work. But remembering how I felt reading ‘The Last Child’, I will probably ignore this one and give him another try.
Book Published 2006