Lev pulled his gun fast and pistol-whipped Norman on both sides of the face. Norman cried out. Lev held the Colt casually pointed in the direction of the thugs.
To her credit, Olga did not scream.
"You asshole," Lev said to Norman. "I killed Josef Vyalov––do you think I'm scared of a fucking accountant?"
Norman got up and scurried out of the room, holding a hand to his bleeding mouth.
Lev turned to the other men, still holding the pistol pointing in their general
direction, and said: "Anyone else who doesn't want to work for me can leave now, and no hard feelings."
No one moved.
"Good," said Lev. "Because I was lying about no hard feelings." He pointed at Ilya. "You come with me and Mrs. Peshkov. You can drive. The rest of you, unload the van."
Ilya drove them downtown in the blue Hudson.
(Ken Follett, Fall of Giants)

What does the clause mean?
(Even if there is some meaning about ‘lie about’, they make no sense with ‘no hard feelings’ to me.)

2 Answers 2


When Lev first said "Anyone else who doesn't want to work for me can leave now, and no hard feelings.", it meant that he wouldn't feel upset, betrayed (or whatever feeling he might feel) if anyone decided to leave. But Lev was lying. If anyone left, I guess Lev would definitely shot that person.

So the clause "I was lying about no hard feelings." here means that what Lev had said before wasn't true.

Hope this is clear to you.

The source you had doesn't fit the situation here. LIE has two different meanings as verbs.

  1. lie around (something)-if something is lying around, it has been left somewhere in an untidy way, rather than being in its proper place

  2. to deliberately tell someone something that is not true

Here is the source lie


Lie about is an expression meaning that something or someone is simply staying in a place without doing anything in particular. In this expression, lie means to rest or recline, and about is an adverb.

In the example you gave, the phrase should be analyzed [lying] [about no hard feelings]. Here, lie means to say something that is not true, and about is a preposition: about no hard feelings describes the subject of the lie. No hard feelings is an idiomatic expression meaning that someone does not have a grudge or resentment about some past event, and in this passage, Lev is saying that he would in fact have objected to anyone's leaving (probably violently), even though he had said he wouldn't.

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