Henry Hayden is a best selling author who seems to have an idyllic life. That is until his wife suddenly dies and his mistress announces her pregnancy. If that wasn’t enough, Henry is at a loss for what to do since only he and his wife knew the truth about the novels – that she was, in fact, the writer and not him. With his publisher pressuring him to deliver his next book, detectives investigating the death and his carefully concocted life falling apart around him, Henry tries to ensure his past stays hidden while he figures out what his future will hold.
Pitched as a book for fans of The Dinner or The Silent Wife, both of which I have read, I knew this was going to be a twisted kind of read. Right from the beginning, you’re thrown into Henry’s life at the moment of crossroads. He’s faced with a problem, and his mind immediately goes into working out a solution. As his lies and actions begin to spiral out of control, we witness a man with seemingly sociopathic tendencies struggling to stay afloat as the repercussions of his deceptions come forward.
Henry Hayden is not a likable protagonist. Obviously, given the choices that he makes, we aren’t necessarily supposed to like him but I struggled with it. At so many moments I questioned the motive behind his actions, how lies beget more lies and everything felt so extreme of a response. It wasn’t only the main character that had questionable motives either. The development of the cast of characters sometimes felt out of place, and the intent of their actions felt sporadic at times. The circumstances surrounding Henry made for a very messed up, twisted story that served its purpose. I thought the plot of this novel was an interesting one, and the execution was satisfactorily woven in a convoluted tale.
Personally, I would have preferred a different ending, though I do fully acknowledge the merit in the way Arango concluded this book. The Truth and Other Lies will certainly appeal to fans of books that are a bit messy, a bit criminal and very twisted. If you liked The Husband’s Secret, Gone Girl and the previously mentioned The Silent Wife you’ll enjoy this one.