Pat and the Eason Book Club review Nicholas Searle's 'The Good Liar'

"It was a vortex of emotions... beautifully written"

Pat Kenny, Book Club, Eason, Good Liar, Nicholas Searle

[Penguin]

“Oh, I liked it. It has a big, big story. And it’s a beautifully produced book. Lovely cover. Lovely paper. You really felt like you were turning the page on something special.”

Mary O’Rourke, former Fianna Fáil cabinet minister, was very much taken with the first pick of the new year for the Eason’s Book Club on The Pat Kenny Show. And her sentiments were entirely matched by the other members, host Pat (who’d made the selection), comedian and actress Katherine Lynch, and singer and writer Brian Kennedy.

Written by first-time novelist and former British civil servant Nicholas Searle, The Good Liar weaves together a clever narrative focusing on Roy, an elderly con man living in a leafy English suburb, who’s plotting one last score, one big enough to set him up for the rest of his days. He is going to meet and woo a beautiful woman and leave her high and dry as he absconds with her life savings.

But just who is the man behind the con and what has he had to do to survive this life of lies? And why is this beautiful woman so willing to be his next victim?

“I thought it was a real tale of two halves,” said Katherine Lynch. “At the beginning, I wasn’t that sure about it. But then it changed into this incredible vortex of emotions. It is really beautifully written.”

“I’d actually go so far as to say that it is my favourite book that this club has ever read,” said Brian Kennedy, who also devoured the novel over just two days.

“I thought it was absolutely gripping, like Making a Murderer,” he added.

The Eason’s Book Club also took a call from listener Mary Clark, who started a book club in 2007 with some of the other mothers who were dropping off their kids at The Rookery crèche in Clontarf, Dublin. 12 years on and The Bookery, as the club is called, is still going strong – albeit with one hastily chosen book that made 50 Shades of Grey look like Little House on the Prairie one of the most controversial picks ever made.

Of The Good Liar, the Bookery was a split down the middle; some of the club’s members thought it was a little too slow and a tad predictable, with the characters a little too black and white. But the ladies of the Bookery enjoyed the back half of the novel and all though that it a strong debut for a first-time novelist.

Next month’s Eason’s Book Club will take place on the last Thursday of the month, with Brian Kennedy making the decision. Tune into the show next week to see which one of the following he will pick: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel, This Living and Immortal Thing by Austin Duffy, and The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes.

You can listen back to the full podcast of January’s Eason’s Book Club on The Pat Kenny Show below: