By: Verlin Darrow
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Publication Date: May 15, 2023
Review Date: May 19, 2023
From seasoned author Verlin Darrow comes his fourth novel published by The Wild Rose Press entitled Murder for Liar. At first glance, Murder for Liar appears to be a simple murder mystery, but upon opening its pages, readers will discover levels of psychological manipulation and thrills that are completely unexpected.
Our protagonist, Tom Dashiel, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Santa Cruz, California. He ascribes to an open-door policy at his practice, meaning that he does not turn away any client, regardless of how hopeless or peculiar the situation seems. The story begins as Tom meets a new client named George Arundel for the first time. George has been referred to Tom by a local psychiatrist who had been unsuccessful in working with him due to “substantial challenges.” The first meeting does not go well, beginning with George sitting in what is obviously Tom’s chair, George taking over the direction of the session rather than Tom, and finally ending with George yelling at Tom that he must work with him because he believes his friend is an angel. George then storms out of the room. Despite the unpleasantness of the first session with George, Tom finds himself looking forward to their next meeting, completely unaware of the psychological roller coaster upon which he is about to embark.
Meeting George is only the first incident in a series of bizarre events that subsequently transpire in Tom’s life. Shortly after beginning psychotherapy with George, Tom meets Zig-Zag, the woman who George believes to be a real-life angel. Tom then makes a new friend named Dizzy, who believes that she is the next target of a serial killer who is currently on the loose committing murders in Santa Cruz. Upon hearing this, Tom agrees to act as her bodyguard in his free time. The events keep getting stranger and stranger as Tom visits a bookstore in search of a clue, only to be helped by a dog, whom the owner has never seen before.
Murder for Liar is, at its core, a tale of suspense. The twists and turns just keep coming throughout the entire story. As a reader, just when I thought Darrow couldn’t possibly shock me any more than he already had, the next event had my jaw dropping as I read. I found myself trying to solve the mysteries as the story progressed, and when I thought I had reached the “aha” moment and resolved one in my mind, Darrow would introduce two or three more in the next chapter. This thrilling tale truly kept me guessing until the very last page.
Darrow’s writing is detail-oriented, concise, and thoroughly captivating. Darrow has the structure of writing a gripping thriller down to a science. His writing draws the reader in, and holds him there until every last word has been read. The psychological characteristics of this mystery greatly enrich the story itself, playing an integral role in making it the successful story it is.
Quill says: With Murder for Liar, Darrow has created a truly unique, intellectual, albeit terrifying, psychological thriller. Readers will appreciate the unexpected revelations throughout the story that continue until the very last page has been turned.
For more information on Murder for Liar, please visit the author's website at: https://www.verlindarrow.com/
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