The King of LiesBook - 2006
When his father is found murdered, the investigation into the crime uncovers dark family secrets that threaten to unravel the life of North Carolina lawyer Work Pickens and those of his troubled sister, her combative girlfriend, his gold-digging socialite wife, and other small-town characters. A first novel. 75,000 first printing.
Work's troubled sister, her combative girlfriend, his gold digging socialite wife, and an unrequited lifelong love join a cast of small town characters that create no shortage of drama in this extraordinary, fast-paced suspense novel.
Hart's mastery of prose and plot belie his newcomer status as he explores the true heart of a man. An illuminating anatomy of a murder and the ripple effect it produces within a family and a community, The King of Lies is a stunning debut.
Blackwell North Amer
A year after his mother's death and his father's mysterious disappearance, Jackson Workman Pickens - known to most as "Work" - is still fighting the fallout from his tortured past. His law practice is a shambles, a far cry from the legal empire that his father, Ezra Pickens, left in his care the day he vanished; his socialite wife, Barbara, is content to spend her days at the country club; and both Work and Barbara ignore the passionless nature of their failing marriage. Work's life is almost pleasantly unfulfilling.
The discovery of Ezra's murdered body changes everything.
Values are challenged, assumptions are questioned, and when the police learn of the vast fortune left in Ezra's wake, Work is no longer just a victim, he's a prime suspect - and so is his sister, Jean.
While Work's life has been overshadowed by his powerful, domineering father, Jean's life has been all but destroyed by him. Yet as damaged as she may be, is she capable of patricide? Fearing the worst for Jean, Work launches his own investigation, crossing paths with a power-hungry detective, a string of damning evidence, and the ugly rumors that swirl within his small and moneyed Southern town.
As his sister comes undone, and the evidence against Work mounts, his long-standing emotional dam crumbles, and he must fight from beneath the torrent of secrets, lies, and childhood trauma that threatens to drown him. Desperate for the redemption that has eluded him for so many years and stripped of everything he once valued, he fights to save his sister, clear his name, and regain the love of the woman to whom he gave his heart so many years before.
When his father is found murdered, the investigation into the crime uncovers dark family secrets that threaten to unravel the life of North Carolina lawyer Work Pickens and those of his troubled sister and other small-town characters.
From the critics
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"I decided instead to find an innocuous lunch and the courage to face again my childhood home and the memories of broken bones that lay like stained carpet on the formal staircase."
"Sex and tears, like sun and rain, were never meant to share a moment, but for a fallen soul, an act of wrong could, at times, feel very right, and that scared the hell out of me."
"But memory can be like a floodgate, once opened hard to close, and as I drove, images and feelings marched upon me like waves."
"Our truest self is often the person we allow no one else to see - who we are when we are alone."
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