historical fiction

City of Lies – Victoria Thompson

2 stars

I received early access to City of Lies through Penguin’s First To Read program.

I have been on a streak of disappointing books lately, Readers. Book after book that I’ve been looking forward to reading and reviewing and it’s just been a string of disappointments lately. Unfortunately, City of Lies is another notch in my belt of disappointing reads lately.

The synopsis sounded intriguing:

Elizabeth Miles scours 1920’s Washington, D.C. for a killer in the first Counterfeit Lady novel from the author of the New York Times bestselling Gaslight mysteries.

Every woman plays a part—but some are more dangerous than others…

Like most women, Elizabeth Miles assumes many roles; unlike most, hers have made her a woman on the run. Living on the edge of society, Elizabeth uses her guile to relieve so-called respectable men of their ill-gotten gains. But brutal and greedy entrepreneur Oscar Thornton is out for blood. He’s lost a great deal of money and is not going to forgive a woman for outwitting him. With his thugs hot on her trail, Elizabeth seizes the moment to blend in with a group of women who have an agenda of their own.

She never expects to like or understand these privileged women, but she soon comes to respect their intentions, forming an unlikely bond with the wealthy matriarch of the group whose son Gabriel is the rarest of species—an honest man in a dishonest world. She knows she’s playing a risky game, and her deception could be revealed at any moment, possibly even by sharp-eyed Gabriel. Nor has she been forgotten by Thornton, who’s biding his time within this gilded orbit, waiting to strike. Elizabeth must draw on her wits and every last ounce of courage she possesses to keep her new life from being cut short by this vicious shadow from her past.

Unfortunately, Elizabeth is deeply unlikable. I do love a good antihero, but Elizabeth Miles is not an antihero that I found any fondness for. All of the characters feel like caricatures – this might work if the novel were satire, but it is not.

I quit reading half way through the book because I was so bored and turned off by the unpleasant characters. I am disappointed. I enjoy a good grift or heist story with a compelling plot and antihero. Unfortunately, City of Lies didn’t deliver either.

City of Lies hits shelves tomorrow, November 6, 2017 and is the first in Thompson’s new Counterfeit Lady series.