Fake Liar Cheat - Tod Goldberg

Lonnie Milton has all of life's essential accessory pieces: a 401(K) plan, a nice TV, a coffee table from Pottery Barn. The only thing missing is an actual life. Trapped in a dead-end job, Lonnie meets Claire, the perfect deliverance from his safe, boring, and even worse, ordinary life. Sucked into the swirling L.A. nightlife. Lonnie quickly graduates from Claire's admirer to her accomplice. Together they pillage the town's hottest spots, kissing cheeks with Hollywood's power players, show runners and stars at SkyBar and Spago before their mendacity runs out. Alone, Lonnie discovers he has become an underground legend, his actions spawning a cult following of imitators as he careens toward an inescapable, explosive climax.
In Los Angeles, it isn't who you are, it's where you're seated...





Lonnie has a steady job in a management position at a staffing agency. His life seems good... but predictable and bland. At a Barnes & Noble bookstore one night, he has a run in with this beauty, Claire. He tries to be all smooth with her but little does he know he's hitting on a skilled con artist. But after some talks he picks up on what she's up to... and finds himself agreeing to be her accomplice. Lonnie's decisions after that point are largely a reflection of him "thinking with his second head". He is so pulled in by Claire's beauty and mysteriousness,  he doesn't really rationally think about what all she's dragging him into..... and before long, the two of them have set off a domino effect crime spree all over the city of Los Angeles. Even long after Lonnie has pulled out of the game, he is being implicated for copycats acting in his name. Before long, nearly every aspect of common man Lonnie's life begins to unravel. 


I circle my building twice, looking for cops or anyone suspicious. Not that I know what a suspicious person looks like. I've only ever seen them in movies, and they always look like Nick Nolte.

{loved that line!}


This one was a strange one for me. For a good part of it, I felt myself struggling to be interested in the characters, though there was something to the voice of Lonnie that kept me reading. Mid-point, it sort of snuck up on me... I found myself really immersed in the story and wanting to see how Lonnie was going to put it all back to right. Plus, I liked the nostalgia of the story. Taking place in 1999, it took my mind back to my own life at that time (infinitely less eventful than what Lonnie gets himself into!), which was an added fun element. I'm now really curious to check out more of Goldberg's work --- I might have just found a crime fiction writer I can really get into! :-)