Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle.
I think this book is so different from any other book we have discussed so far. Did you feel that way? I think the suspense and characters are unlike any book I've read recently.
I'm having a hard time picturing Roy. He acts really devious and acts like a much younger man. But, he appears to be pretty old. I imagine him to be very spry, and I think he probably looks a lot younger than he is. Betty seems very nice. She has a really nice family who appear to want to take very good care of her. I think it's nice that she has Stephen to help her get around. But, I can't really see what Betty sees in Roy. He doesn't seem very exciting or overly kind to her. And, it's obvious, at least to the reader, that he wants her money.
In the second chapter, Roy makes a comment about wanting the young girl he's watching to feel fear. I think that whole scene was a big clue to let us know that Roy is very dangerous and has done horrible things in his past. It made me uncomfortable to read about that, but I think that's why that scene was included in the book. We also get a clue about Roy's preferences when he's in Berlin. He goes out to seedy neighborhoods in the middle of the night to find excitement. I think he's probably engaged in a lot of dangerous behavior in his past.
I had a hard time with the third chapter. I thought it was a little abrupt to go back in time, and I was a little confused about what Roy and his business partner were really doing. All I really understood is that they got money and then stole it from all of the men who helped them. And, they pretended like Roy died after the robbery. Did you understand more about what was going on? Did you understand the intricacies of the crime they committed? Did you have a hard time jumping back in time, or did you fall right into the narrative? I had a much easier time going back in time for the 6th chapter--maybe because it was farther back in Roy's life? I thought that chapter was easier to understand.
In the chapter where Stephen is talking with his supervisor about his research subject, I felt like something was off. When he's talking about his research subject to his supervisor, he mentions photographs. But, when he mentions his research subject to Roy, he mentions that his subject was born in the 1600s. So, I don't see how he could have any photographs. Do you think Stephen is researching more than one thing? Do you think he's looking into Roy's past? I wouldn't blame him if he were. I'm dying to know more about Roy because he's obviously hiding something.
I think Betty is hiding something, too. I can't imagine that she's just completely taken in by Roy. I just think there has to be more to the story. She keeps saying that she needs Roy, which I can't see that she does. And, she seemed to be watching Roy carefully while they were in Berlin. I think she was gauging his reactions to everything. What do you think she's hoping to uncover about him? Do you think she knows more than she lets on? Do you think she's completely fooled by him? What did you think of their trip to Berlin? Why was she so insistent that they go there? At the end of the trip, Roy mentions that he has a friend who would be willing to look at Betty's money. But, we know that guy's a crook. I hope she doesn't fall for that.
What do you think we learned by the sixth chapter? In this chapter, we see that Roy wanted to open a store in the 1970s that would have "provocative" materials, and we see that he pulls a fast one over on the bank when they were slow to give him a loan. But, we don't really learn anything about his past that we didn't already know. We knew he was a thief and wasn't always nice to women. I really want to know more.
Do you have any guesses where this story is going? Don't you wish the first section provided a little bit more answers instead of just a bunch of questions? I just really want to know what's going on. And, I really want a definitive answer about whether or not Betty sees through Roy. I hope she isn't swindled by him.
If you're curious to read a bit about Nicholas Searle and to read about the inspiration for the novel, check out this article from theartsdesk.
And, check out the video below if you want to hear more from the stars of the movie!
I hope you enjoyed this section and are excited to read chapters 7-12 for next week! I can't wait to hear from you in the comments section.