Death of a Lie by Peter Harper – Book Review

Death of a Lie by Peter Harper – Book Review

Death of a Lie by Peter Harper

Death of a Lie

Author – Peter Harper
Pages – 434
Release Date – 21st August 2019
ISBN 13 – 978-1687703798
Format – ebook, paperback
Review by – Ed Sheehan
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.
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1944, and a Lend-Lease B-25 with its Soviet aircrew falls from the sky above Timişoara, Romania. Andrei Bălcescu, while camping out that night on his father’s smallholding, finds a battered folder amidst the plane’s wreckage. Fifty years later, Andrei’s adopted son, Lucian, rediscovers the folder and its eight pages of encrypted material in a garden shed. He visits a childhood friend, who makes a start on cracking the code. Barely a week later, Lucian suspects he is being followed by persons unknown.

Present day, and Lucian’s daughter, Shani Bălcescu, a promising Oxford academic, continues to search for information on her family. When she receives a text from an individual claiming to have known her parents, curiosity takes her to Timişoara, where she soon regrets her impulsive nature. Witness to the aftermath of a vicious murder, and hearing that both Oxford and her home city of Prague have been ‘visited’, Shani knows that to leave Romania would prove fatal without first piecing together her father’s movements days before she was born.

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Prologue: September 1944, Timisoara, Romania: A Soviet plane crashes and bursts into flames next to where Andrei Balcescu, age 10, erected his new tent to spend the night with his friend,
Rodica, an eight year old female friend. It was an American plane with the Soviet Star painted on, and it is rumored that the plane was carrying radioactive uranium. Andrei picks up a black
leather folder from the crash site that contains coded papers inside.

Chapter One: 1993, Timsora: Andrei and Rodica are married. They were infertile, perhaps because of the radiation from the plane crash, and they had adopted a Romanian orphaned boy, Lucian, and an African girl, Zinsa, the lone survivor of the ruling family Andrei rescued many years ago from Seroule, West Africa.

Lucian and Zinsa are married and expecting twins—a boy and girl. When Lucian takes the coded papers from the black leather folder his adopted father recovered from the plane crash back in 1944 to a friend, Mario, who is capable of breaking codes, a story full of twists and turns begins. The girl twin, Shani, grows to be the lead protagonist of the novel, and oh what a fascinating character she is. I will stop here. Writing more review would give away too much of the story.

The story was intricate, which took a sophisticated imagination, and it was well edited. The character development and story line are excellent and logically written. The surprise ending left me a tidbit disappointed at first, but I couldn’t think of a way to close out the story any better. I highly recommend this novel with a four star rating.

Book Reviewer – Ed Sheehan


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About the Author

Peter Harper

Peter Harper works mainly as a member of staff at a post-graduate college in Oxford, UK. He became captivated by creative writing while toying with a short story, using the first person. He quickly realised, however, that he was more suited to the third person, particularly when it came to the project he had in mind, a character-driven story with topical global themes, which would nonetheless slot into the thriller genre – the novel in question being Cascade, the prequel to Death of a Lie.

He dedicated Cascade to the memory of his father – whose worldly insight, he says, essentially gave him the building blocks for his political and philosophical outlook.

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4 Responses

  1. love when you finish a book and still think about the ending a while after.

  2. Yari says:

    Glad you enjoyed it 😊

  3. Great review, I am really glad you fully enjoyed reading this book. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

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