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Genuine Fraud: A masterful suspense novel from the author of the unforgettable bestseller We Were Liars Kindle Edition
From the author of the unforgettable bestseller WE WERE LIARS comes a suspenseful new psychological thriller - the story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life.
But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.
Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.
Praise for GENUINE FRAUD
'Addictive and shocking feminist thriller' Lena Dunham
'A brilliant, twisty thriller--I loved it!' Karen M McManus, bestselling author of One Of Us Is Lying
'It is so good and you will devour it in one sitting. Then re-read it immediately.' @gayleforman (Gayle Forman on Twitter)
'Compelling and unique, I was absolutely hooked' Jenny Blackhurst, bestselling author of How I Lost You
'It's a captivating, suspenseful story made all the more bewitching by Lockhart's twisty narrative' Booklist
'An excellent choice recommended for teens and adults who love twisty mysteries and tough-as-nails teen girls' School Library Journal, starred review
'Lockhart blends the privileged glamour of WE WERE LIARS with a twisty, backward-running plot that's slick with cinematic violence. A bracing pace, a slew of far-flung locations, and a storyline that runs mostly in reverse will keep readers on their toes, never entirely sure of what these girls are responsible for or capable of.' Publishers Weekly
5 STARRED REVIEWS!
"A brilliant, twisty thriller--I loved it!" --Karen M. McManus, bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying
"Fans of E. Lockhart's We Were Liars will love this . . . and definitely won't see the ending coming." --HelloGiggles Online
"Tangled secrets, diabolical lies and, ultimately, a mind-blowing outcome are crafted with the plotted precision we expect (and love!) from E. Lockhart." --Justine Magazine
"The coming-of-age plot and complicated friendship between its two main characters make Genuine Fraud seem like it could be Girlsfor a younger set." --Vanity Fair
"A sophisticated, emotionally literate whodunit." --The Guardian
"As with E. Lockhart's previous novel, the bestselling We Were Liars, [readers] will likely finish the last page and flip right back to the beginning to search for clues they missed." --Chicago Tribune
"If there are two things you can count on E. Lockhart for it's badass ladies and killer atmosphere--Genuine Fraud has both in droves." --Bustle
“A bracing pace, a slew of far-flung locations, and a storyline that runs mostly in reverse will keep readers on their toes, never entirely sure of what these girls are responsible for or capable of.” —PW, Starred Review
“Captivating . . . bewitching.” —Booklist, Starred Review
“An excellent choice recommended for teens and adults who love twisty mysteries, stories about class conflict, and tough-as-nails teen girls.” —SLJ, Starred Review
“This thriller from the author of We Were Liars will challenge preconceptions about identity and keep readers guessing.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Intoxicating." —The Horn Book, Starred Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Third week in June, 2017
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
It was a bloody great hotel.
The minibar in Jule’s room stocked potato chips and four different chocolate bars. The bathtub had bubble jets. There was an endless supply of fat towels and liquid gardenia soap. In the lobby, an elderly gentleman played Gershwin on a grand piano at four each afternoon. You could get hot clay skin treatments, if you didn’t mind strangers touching you. Jule’s skin smelled like chlorine all day.
The Playa Grande Resort in Baja had white curtains, white tile, white carpets, and explosions of lush white flowers. The staff members were nurselike in their white cotton garments. Jule had been alone at the hotel for nearly four weeks now. She was eighteen years old.
This morning, she was running in the Playa Grande gym. She wore custom sea-green shoes with navy laces. She ran without music. She had been doing intervals for nearly an hour when a woman stepped onto the treadmill next to her.
This woman was younger than thirty. Her black hair was in a tight ponytail, slicked with hair spray. She had big arms and a solid torso, light brown skin, and a dusting of powdery blush on her cheeks. Her shoes were down at the heels and spattered with old mud.
No one else was in the gym.
Jule slowed to a walk, figuring to leave in a minute. She liked privacy, and she was pretty much done, anyway.
“You training?” the woman asked. She gestured at Jule’s digital readout. “Like, for a marathon or something?” The accent was Mexican American. She was probably a New Yorker raised in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood.
“I ran track in secondary school. That’s all.” Jule’s own speech was clipped, what the British call BBC English.
The woman gave her a penetrating look. “I like your accent,” she said. “Where you from?”
“London. St. John’s Wood.”
“New York.” The woman pointed to herself.
Jule stepped off the treadmill to stretch her quads.
“I’m here alone,” the woman confided after a moment. “Got in last night. I booked this hotel at the last minute. You been here long?”
“It’s never long enough,” said Jule, “at a place like this.”
“So what do you recommend? At the Playa Grande?”
Jule didn’t often talk to other hotel guests, but she saw no harm in answering. “Go on the snorkel tour,” she said. “I saw a bloody huge moray eel.”
“No kidding. An eel?”
“The guide tempted it with fish guts he had in a plastic milk jug. The eel swam out from the rocks. It must have been eight feet long. Bright green.”
The woman shivered. “I don’t like eels.”
“You could skip it. If you scare easy.”
The woman laughed. “How’s the food? I didn’t eat yet.”
“Get the chocolate cake.”
“Oh, yeah. They’ll bring it to you special, if you ask.”
“Good to know. You traveling alone?”
“Listen, I’m gonna jet,” said Jule, feeling the conversation had turned personal. “Cheerio.” She headed for the door.
“My dad’s crazy sick,” the woman said, talking to Jule’s back. “I’ve been looking after him for a long time.”
A stab of sympathy. Jule stopped and turned.
“Every morning and every night after work, I’m with him,” the woman went on. “Now he’s finally stable, and I wanted to get away so badly I didn’t think about the price tag. I’m blowing a lot of cash here I shouldn’t blow.”
“What’s your father got?”
“MS,” said the woman. “Multiple sclerosis? And dementia. He used to be the head of our family. Very macho. Strong in all his opinions. Now he’s a twisted body in a bed. He doesn’t even know where he is half the time. He’s, like, asking me if I’m the waitress.”
“I’m scared I’m gonna lose him and I hate being with him, both at the same time. And when he’s dead and I’m an orphan, I know I’m going to be sorry I took this trip away from him, d’you know?” The woman stopped running and put her feet on either side of the treadmill. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “Sorry. Too much information.”
“You go on. Go shower or whatever. Maybe I’ll see you around later.”
The woman pushed up the arms of her long-sleeved shirt and turned to the digital readout of her treadmill. A scar wound down her right forearm, jagged, like from a knife, not clean like from an operation. There was a story there.
“Listen, do you like to play trivia?” Jule asked, against her better judgment.
A smile. White but crooked teeth. “I’m excellent at trivia, actually.”
“They run it every other night in the lounge downstairs,” said Jule. “It’s pretty much rubbish. You wanna go?”
“What kind of rubbish?”
“Good rubbish. Silly and loud.”
“Okay. Yeah, all right.”
“Good,” said Jule. “We’ll kill it. You’ll be glad you took a vacation. I’m strong on superheroes, spy movies, YouTubers, fitness, money, makeup, and Victorian writers. What about you?”
“Victorian writers? Like Dickens?”
“Yeah, whatever.” Jule felt her face flush. It suddenly seemed an odd set of things to be interested in.
“I love Dickens.”
“I do.” The woman smiled again. “I’m good on Dickens, cooking, current events, politics . . . let’s see, oh, and cats.”
“All right, then,” said Jule. “It starts at eight o’clock in that lounge off the main lobby. The bar with sofas.”
“Eight o’clock. You’re on.” The woman walked over and extended her hand. “What’s your name again? I’m Noa.”
Jule shook it. “I didn’t tell you my name,” she said. “But it’s Imogen.”
- ASIN : B01N9RE3J2
- Publisher : Hot Key Books; 1st edition (5 September 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 3491 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 289 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #75,944 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #423 in Children's Crime & Thriller (Kindle Store)
- #1,222 in Children's Crime & Thriller (Books)
- #7,243 in Crime, Thriller & Mystery (Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in India on 22 September 2021
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Top reviews from India
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So, I’m kind of disappointed with this book. The plot was strong and interesting, but the story kept revolving around the past. The suspense and mystery were great. But, the past and present were not even connecting! There were many loose ends in the story. The main character, Jules is shown great, but if the story would have revolved more around the present it would have been a hit! The thing I LOVE about E. Lockhart’s writing is that she expresses emotions and feelings in a metaphoric format!
Also, it is written in reverse order which is unique and amusing.💄🕶
A psychological thriller laced with a quick hearterd non coherent alliteration of words and an unique view point.
It's been long since I got head on with a 5/5.
So much for my happy ending?
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 15 February 2018
Top reviews from other countries
This is a story told in reverse and with each consecutive chapter taking the reader back through the incremental stages of one feisty female going all out to fulfil her ambitions. This unusual construction added to my enjoyment and keeps the reader on their feet and this was a story which I only fully appreciated as the denouement moved closer. Summarising the plot will be of little value to potential readers, but the story centres around two eighteen-year-old friends, both white, both orphans and girls who share similar looks although their backgrounds and circumstances are worlds apart. Jule West Williams has made fighting, impersonating accents and assuming disguises her way in the world, whilst charming runaway heiress Imogen Sokoloff has been brought up in privileged surroundings with a distinguished educational background. Whilst neither of these central protagonists are easy to warm to, one is assiduously plotting an ingenious reinvention and morphing into the other and the story sees her assume a variety of roles along the way to blur the boundaries between the two.
Although there are deeper concerns behind this entertaining romp, largely centred around identity and it's place in society, others expectations of an individual, right the way through to the symbolism of the great white heterosexual action hero, this is a story that can be enjoyed by a younger audience p purely for the entertainment aspect. However, even for younger readers Genuine Fraud is definitely a novel with a thought-provoking line on friendships, a lesson in investing everything in a single friend and the heartbreaking realisation that some people are nothing more than shapeshifting opportunists. An amusing and succinct take on taking control of ones own destiny and overturning the preconceived outcomes that status, wealth and class typically dictate.
Review written by Rachel Hall (@hallrachel)
E Lockhart is famous for her acclaimed book, We Were Liars, but not having read this I wasn’t sure what to expect. The book starts at the end and gradually works backwards. As a fan of Memento I was intrigued by this, and fell quickly into the rhythm. The main character, Jule, was elusive. At times I felt I’d worked her out only to find a chapter or two later that I’d got her all wrong. By the end of the book I felt almost as far from knowing her as at the beginning. I still don’t know what motivated her actions, other than money. There is a level of violence in the book that is never really explained. Some readers can deal with that, for others this will leave them feeling unsatisfied.
This book get its hooks you in quickly. At times I would stop and wonder if I actually liked it, but I was going through it so fast that I just couldn’t stop. Written in short snappy scenes you race through this book like a runaway train always hurtling on to the next (or actually previous) piece of action, reassembling your insights and expectations with each chapter.
If you are looking for a book that will play with your mind, this is definitely the one for you, but clear your schedule first because once you step on this train, you won’t want to get back off till the journey is done.
I've read quite a lot of E. Lockharts work and many other books and I can honestly say this is one of my FAVOURITES of the year. Originally chose to read this book specifically because of the author but as soon as I'd read the blurb I couldn't shake the feeling of "I HAVE TO READ THIS" and I'm so glad I did.
Hooked from the very first page, I couldn't put it down, I needed to know what happened next so much. The characters are portrayed so well and the story line flows nicely. This read is a total roller coaster and wonderful thriller - highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA and is looking for something a little different - you will not be disappointed!