If you love mysterious heroines and trying to backtrack through a mystery, Lockhart’s latest novel, Genuine Fraud, is the book for you. Aside from an intriguing cover, Genuine Fraud mixes money, death, and secret identities until you’re dizzy and trying to figure out if what you think might have happened really happened. Told mostly backwards in time, this novel is a fun read for lovers of YA mysteries and unreliable narrators.
The novel begins with Jule in Mexico, enjoying a nice resort, taking in the views, exercising in the gym, but all of a sudden, she’s confronted by a figure who just might be on to her and she has to get out of there quick. From there, we go back in time nearly a year page by page, chapter by chapter, and figure out just how Jule got to be there. Who is Jule anyway? What happened to her best friend Imogen? Who is the victim of who and how does the money trail lead around the world and back again? These are some of the things you’ll discover in less than 300 pages.
Personally, I enjoyed the narrative structure a lot because it forced you to revaluate all the assumptions you had made in previous chapters. It also allowed me not to feel so disappointed when I figured out the gist of what had happened early on, because I still wanted to see how the heck it got to that point. Yes, Jule is an unreliable narrator, but the story structure quickly gives away some of her secrets, peeling them back layer and layer at a time until you get to what really happened.
The ending was a little less than satisfactory, as someone who likes things to be tied up nicely and justice to be served, or at least for the world to be a little wiser, but alas. I do think the ending fit the story well though, as it felt very “Jule.”
I highly recommend this book, especially if you like unraveling mysteries and plot twists!