By: Eric Skillman and Jhomar Soriano
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Format: Hardcover, 6 x 9, 120 pages, Black and White
Reviewed by: Diamond BookShelf
As one would expect from a book taking its title from a line in a Mickey Spillane novel (Kiss Me, Deadly), Liar's Kiss is a straight-up noir tale, full of twists, turns, and few innocents.
The story focuses on Nick Archer, an admittedly mediocre private investigator who stumbled onto his best gig: tailing the attractive young wife of a millionaire businessman with whom he happens to be having a torrid affair. After orchestrating photographs to show the wife was at home when in fact she was out with Nick, everything seems in the clear – until the businessman is found dead and the wife becomes the prime suspect. Going behind the cops' backs to clear his lover's name, Nick uncovers several revelations that show that no one in this tale is quite what they seem – and almost everyone's hands are dirty.
Skillman has a feel for the noir structure, breaking the story into chapters, each with its own startling twist and revelation. The book is expertly paced and the characters fleshed out enough to feel convincing. The narration takes a slight change in the last chapter, which breaks the flow for the reveal, but the story makes up for it. Soriano's art captures the vibe perfectly as well, offering an expressive black and white line work that evokes the gritty, harsh world of the broken-down PI, and offers clues which, upon re-reading, reveal the twists which appear in the plot.
True to genre, Liar's Kiss is full of intrigue, sex (both implied and briefly witnessed), and the rougher aspects of human nature which make it suggested for Adult collections.