3 out of 4 stars
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Beautiful Lies is a suspense fiction written by R. M. Lagman.
Told in the third person perspective, the story is about six people trapped inside an elevator car between the 32nd and the 33rd floor of a 50 story building in Southern California.
At past five on a Friday afternoon, Paul and Janice Ford come out of the office of their marriage counselor on the 46th floor. Apparently unhappy with the session, Paul takes the stairs while Janice waits for the elevator and finds a lone occupant, Richard Brill. From the 46th floor, the elevator stops at the 42nd and Harold Hart gets on after delivering pizza at the law offices of Cadley, Deft and Moser. Two more people, Tammy Holme and her boss, Vincent Grimmit, founder and CEO of V.G. Financial on the 40th floor, join the three passengers. Finally, on the 35th, the door opens and Paul comes in. When the elevator car stops and powers off at the 32nd floor, four occupants bring out their cell phones but find out, to their dismay, that their cell phones are not working.
Though the book started with a seemingly uninteresting subject of marital discord, the arrival of Vincent Grimmit on the scene set the story in motion. As soon as the elevator stopped and trapped the passengers, the action kept coming and did not falter until the epilogue, making the book difficult to put down.
In addition to vivid descriptions of neglect and disrepair of the building which the author called ‘architectural octogenarian’, the dialogues between characters were so natural that it was easy to imagine being trapped there with them. Moreover, the author did a great job with the characters. They were all well developed and some of them were even relatable. Janice was a distraught wife who was trying to save the remnants of her marriage, while Paul was an indifferent guy who did not know how to be a husband. Harold was a kind and old former school teacher turned pizza delivery man. Vincent was a conceited and detestable financial expert who maltreated his meek, naïve and stuttering assistant, Tammy. Richard was a sarcastic bystander listening to every story from his co-passengers but was unwilling to share his own.
Halfway through the book, the story took an unexpected turn making it entirely unpredictable followed by more shocking twists and mind-blowing revelations. This is, indeed, one interesting book from beginning to end. While some scenes are amusing and entertaining, other scenes are poignant and moving and some may be offensive.
However, I noticed several errors within the book including missing words, extra words, missing quotation marks, incorrect use of words (like who’s instead of whose and it’s instead of its) and grammatical errors (like I’ll will learn and to used).
In view of the above, I give this book the rate of 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to readers who enjoy fast-paced and suspense stories. However, the book features delicate subjects including murder, suicide and rape and contains scenes and languages not suitable for young readers.
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