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Tanen Jones Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Better Liar (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Tanen Jones is a bestselling author of psychological thrillers. She is from North Carolina though she grew up and spent much of her childhood in Texas. She got a bachelor’s in American history and spent her early career editing criminal justice and law books. However, she always believed she was destined for greater things and being a queer author, decided to write novels from the queer perspective. Her novel “The Better Liar” is a contemporary take on the psychological thriller genre and explores the question of what makes a woman bad, mad or dangerous to know? She is queer and currently lives with her partner in New York. She has said that she wrote most of her novel from her apartment window. Tanen has always loved reading domestic and psychological thrillers and this shows in her debut novel. The novel The Better Liar has something of a Ruth Ware and Robyn Harding vibe and would make for a great beach read. She knows how to craft characters and write a mystery that leaves her readers on their toes trying to figure it out. She then gives a pleasant surprise when she finally resolves the mystery.

Tanen Jones writes so eloquently that you would be hard-pressed to believe that she is a debut author. She writes an incredible story that is suspenseful and un-putdown able. She draws her readers in with the promise of heart-stopping turns and twists and never lets up writing an explosive story that does not disappoint. The story is told from the perspective of three women with each being more unreliable than the previous one. What makes this so intriguing is the mystery as Jones weaves a complex web that it is almost impossible to tell who is lying and who is telling the truth. Her readers often find themselves lost in the intricate web of secrets and lies as they try to untangle the real story, even as she deftly makes the big reveal to amaze and shock at the end of the novel. Tanen being a queer author also writes of the theme of sisterhood and family. At the heart of “The Better Liar” is a family that has to deal with a lot of heartbreak and loss. Reading the novel is intended to make one think about their relationships with their loved ones and family. Jones also does write about betrayal that is a recurring theme though just like her web of secrets, it is not so easy to tell who is betraying who?

“The Better Liar” is a brilliant, clever, devious, smart and funny debut from Tanen Jones who promises to be one of the best authors in the genre. The psychological thriller takes its readers on an extraordinary journey of the love and hate bonds of sisterhood, motherhood, and family. It is a fun though heartbreaking narrative that moves fast towards an explosive finale with a devilishly clever reveal. Tanen is a master at drawing her characters and plots in as realistic a manner as possible. Reading the novels, you can smell the smoke and actually feel like you are participating in the conversations and living the lives of the narrators. Writing as if she is in her twentieth novel, she is a master at plot and characterization as she weaves an intriguing narrative that will have her readers flipping the pages right to the very end. With every turn of the page is an unfolding psychological mind game her characters play with each other and the author plays on her audience. The characters live with secrets deeply rooted in their lives though they often lie to themselves, believing that they can alter the truth. Eventually, the truth does come out and when it does, it turns everything upside down. Jones writes in a profound style that keeps one anticipating what is coming next and just when they believe they have resolved the mystery, she takes the story in another surprising direction. It is an excellent narrative full of endless unknowns, twists and turns.

Tanen Jones’ debut novel “The Better Liar” is a critically acclaimed story of ties that bind and a warped portrait of sisterhood. It is a twisted heart stopping narrative that asks how far one would go to get what’s theirs. At the start of the novel, Robin Voigt just died leaving behind an inheritance to Leslie and her sister Robin. Leslie has just arrived in Las Vegas at the cramped apartment that her sister calls home to bad news. They have not seen each other for more than a decade as Robin had run away from home in her teens leaving Leslie in New Mexico, where she had been taking care of their sickly father and in the meantime also got married and started her own family. Leslie had got the shock of her life when her father died as she discovered that she would have to share the inheritance with her sister Robin, who had never been there for her father. What is even worse is that her father had said that she had to share it or else she would get nothing. Half of the money she considered hers now belongs to another at a time when she desperately needs it. It turns out that her sister Robin died a few hours before she arrived in Vegas leaving her in dire straits. When she meets a smart and ambitious young woman that has a striking resemblance to her sister, they make a deal that she will impersonate her. The woman has everything to gain agree to become Robin for a week but what they do not know is how high the stakes may get once she takes on Robin’s name. Mary suspects that Leslie has a secret and it is not long before Leslie too discovers that the stranger charming her husband, babysitting their son and living in their house has her own secrets. Even in death, Robin’s troubled legacy and wild ways continue to dog her life.

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