One Last Lie by Rob Kaufman

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     Philip and Jonathan have had the perfect life together for ten years – fulfilling every dream except that of having a child. Along comes Angela, Philip’s college friend who apparently conquered her old demons of obesity and manic-depression.

     After reacquainting and becoming good friends, the three decide to have a child together through artificial insemination of Jonathan’s sperm.

     From that point, Philip and Jonathan’s idyllic life begins to unravel. Angela’s mask of deceit gradually slips as her pregnancy awakens psychological and physical problems, leaving Philip and Jonathan regretting ever allowing her into their lives.

      Told from an elderly Jonathan’s hospital bed, Angela’s tangled web unwinds into heartbreak, deception, legal battles, and finally murder – with a surprise ending no one could have ever imagined.  (synopsis from Goodreads)

     The story begins with Jonathan, old, alone, and miserable, he is living is a home for elderly adults.  He is more then ready to die but when his nurse tells him that he has a surprise visitor coming the next day Jonathan can’t even begin to imagine who it would be.  He begins thinking back on his life and we see flashbacks of his life with Philip from the very beginning.

     Jonathan and Philip are both loveable characters who are totally in love and deeply devoted to each other.  Their lives seem almost perfect; they have love, they have a gorgeous home, and they both have amazing jobs.  The only thing missing from their lives is a baby but that dream was gone once Philip found out he had cancer and received radiation treatments that left him sterile.

     Then Philip’s college friend Angela enters the picture.  She has lost a ton of weight and is now beautiful, funny, and the perfect friend to both men.  After spending many months together going to dinner, hanging out, and getting to know each other again, the three decided to have a child together.  It seems like the perfect solution to the one thing all three of them want.

     But after Angela gets pregnant everything changes.  Her true colors begin showing and soon Jonathan and Philip are worried that the woman carrying their baby may be seriously crazy.   As the months creep along Angela gets meaner and needier until something finally snaps.

     I could not stand Angela from the beginning.  She was mean to her friends, awful to her boyfriend, and seemed to care about no one but herself.  The fact that she played the part of sweet and innocent Angela in front of Jonathan and Philip infuriated me.  I knew that there was something sneaky about her but when I found out what she was really up to I hated her even more.

    The characters in this book had very clearly defined personalities which made them easy to like or hate.  The fact that Angela is somewhat crazy added an air of suspense to the novel because I never knew what she was thinking or what she might do next.  She was unpredictable which was both exciting and nerve-wracking.  

     The one thing I had difficulty with in this novel was the shift between past and present as well as the shift between the time periods in the past.  It jumped around a lot which was confusing at times.  Otherwise I really enjoyed this suspenseful novel and the twist at the end was just crazy enough to be believable. 

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

One Last Lie is Rob Kaufman’s second novel. This book made it through to the quarterfinals of Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Awards and is currently receiving five-star reviews on websites like Amazon and GoodReads. Rob lives in Connecticut, writes whenever he can find the time and tries to “live in the moment” – though he admits, the older he gets, the more difficult that becomes.
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