Review: LIARS, INC.


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Title: LIARS, INC.
Author: Paula Stokes
Release date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, eBook


For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV’s How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called “Captivating to the very end,” Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.


NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.

The Review

LIARS, INC. is a tension-filled, edge-of-your-seat read that sets the stage right from the start with a scene that will leave readers wondering not only how things got to that point but where they’ll go from there. It’s a story that involves a missing boy, a murder or two, a possible kidnapping, a potential frame-up, a number of suspects, a whole bunch of secrets, lies, and betrayals, and a host of hidden agendas.

It’s a story filled with all sorts of twists and turns that will keep readers guessing and plenty of excitement to keep them riveted. It’s a story that will have them wondering if anyone is innocent or if no one is.

Max Cantrell never really appreciated just how good he had it. Not until everything started falling apart. When his best friend Preston went missing he didn’t think anything of it. At first. But when it starts to look as if Preston’s not just hiding out, that something happened, and that someone’s making it seem as if Max had something to do with the disappearance, he’s determined to find out what’s really going on.

If only he hadn’t covered for Preston, hadn’t lied to the FBI, hadn’t been a part of Liars, Inc., he might not have been their prime suspect. But if he can find out what really happened and who’s actually to blame, it might not be too late to convince everyone of his innocence. He’ll just have to do so before they catch him or before whoever really is guilty does. Because he’s not ready to spend a life behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit or have it end early because of one stupid mistake.

Paula Stokes did a masterful job creating, establishing, building, and presenting the mystery in her story. It was gripping. It was suspenseful. It introduced doubt and distrust. It created and developed suspects. It offered theories and motives. And even with the story beginning in the middle, it flowed beautifully.

She gave readers a few interesting, if not always likable and rarely trustworthy, characters to get to know. She chose an unreliable narrator to tell the tale. She ordered her story in a way that teased an outcome at the outset. And she slowly revealed the key pieces of information leading up to what can only be described as a jaw-dropping conclusion.

LIARS, INC. is a fast-paced and thrilling mystery that checks all the right boxes – engaging storyline, twisty-turny plot, not-instantly-solvable puzzle, fantastic writing, great characters, killer ending. It’s a story that will grab from the get-go and will keep readers hooked until every last question has been answered and all is revealed at the very end.

The Rating


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