Sweet Little Lies
by Caz Frear

Overview -

In this gripping debut procedural, a young London policewoman must probe dark secrets buried deep in her own family's past to solve a murder and a long-ago disappearance.

Your father is a liar. But is he a killer?
Even liars tell the truth . 

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More About Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

In this gripping debut procedural, a young London policewoman must probe dark secrets buried deep in her own family's past to solve a murder and a long-ago disappearance.

Your father is a liar. But is he a killer?
Even liars tell the truth . . . sometimes.

Twenty-six-year-old Cat Kinsella overcame a troubled childhood to become a Detective Constable with the Metropolitan Police Force, but she's never been able to banish these ghosts. When she's called to the scene of a murder in Islington, not far from the pub her estranged father still runs, she discovers that Alice Lapaine, a young housewife who didn't get out much, has been found strangled.

Cat and her team immediately suspect Alice's husband, until she receives a mysterious phone call that links the victim to Maryanne Doyle, a teenage girl who went missing in Ireland eighteen years earlier. The call raises uneasy memories for Cat--her family met Maryanne while on holiday, right before she vanished. Though she was only a child, Cat knew that her charming but dissolute father wasn't telling the truth when he denied knowing anything about Maryanne or her disappearance. Did her father do something to the teenage girl all those years ago? Could he have harmed Alice now? And how can you trust a liar even if he might be telling the truth?

Determined to close the two cases, Cat rushes headlong into the investigation, crossing ethical lines and trampling professional codes. But in looking into the past, she might not like what she finds. . . .

  • ISBN-13: 9780062823199
  • ISBN-10: 0062823191
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Publish Date: August 2018
  • Page Count: 352
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - Police Procedural
Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - Women Sleuths
Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - International Crime & Mystery

BookPage Reviews

Whodunit: Can you tell who the good guys are?

Picture a counterculture movement that neatly splits the ideological difference between Occupy and Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult responsible for the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, and you’ll have a good idea of the Massive Brigade, which plays a central role in Olen Steinhauer’s latest thriller, The Middleman. The organization started out as a nonviolent yet combative group against social injustice, but now they have become weaponized and are targeted by the FBI. But before the FBI can step in, leader Martin Bishop vanishes, taking with him 400-odd followers. Things escalate to a shootout—a bloodbath, actually—with the apparent “good guys” seizing the day. But the story is a long way from over, and it proceeds at a more frenetic pace than spy stories of old, largely because of the strange times we find ourselves in now, when right is wrong and lies are truth. Steinhauer masterfully taps into that vein of uncertainty and disaffectedness.

If you like a liberal dose of humor in your suspense fiction, then look no further than David Gordon’s clever new caper, The Bouncer. The protagonist, Joe Brody, is a bouncer at a gentleman’s club owned by Gio Caprisi, whom Joe has known since his Catholic school days and who is deeply connected with the Mafia. Joe has been at the other end of a bouncer’s baton himself, having been kicked out of Harvard some years back, and he is always up for a bit of petty (or grand) larceny, should the right opportunity present itself. Meanwhile, FBI agent Donna Zamora mans the terrorist phone-tip line at bureau headquarters, though she would strongly prefer to be out in the field. Are she and Joe going to meet? Oh, yes. And will the sparks fly? Yes again. Initially, there is not a lot of trust between the pair, as Zamora arrests Joe as part of a citywide terrorism sweep. Joe’s time in the holding cell affords him a golden opportunity for a bit of larceny, so the possibility of a big score could outweigh the need to save the country from terrorism. The Bouncer has “film adaptation” written all over it.

Caz Frear’s Sweet Little Lies has been generating a lot of buzz (it’s even been optioned for TV by Carnival Films, the producer of “Downton Abbey”), and with good reason: It is one of the best debuts I’ve read in some time. The story starts with a flashback to 1998, when young Cat Kinsella is on holiday with her family in Ireland. A glamorous young woman, Maryanne Doyle, goes missing under mysterious circumstances, and Cat cannot shake a nagging suspicion about her father’s hand in the disappearance. Fast forward 20-odd years, and Cat is now a detective constable with the London police. While investigating a murder, Cat receives a strange phone call that suggests a link between the present-day homicide and the disappearance of Maryanne. Is it a coincidence that Cat’s father still runs a pub not far from the site of the murder? Or is Cat conflating memories of her childhood with the too-easy coincidence of her estranged father’s proximity to this latest case? Cat is a bit of a troubled soul, which may call her judgment into question. That said, she is an engaging character who is worthy of her central place in this fine new series.

Dr. Siri Paiboun, everyone’s favorite spirit-channeling, semiretired Laotian coroner and sleuth, returns for the 13th book of Colin Cotterill’s critically acclaimed series, Don’t Eat Me. Grisly and hilarious in equal measure, not unlike the 1980s Vientiane milieu in which it is set, the narrative alternates between two parallel storylines. Under cover of darkness, Dr. Siri smuggles an expensive and rather huge movie camera across the Mekong River from Thailand. His ambitious plan is to create an epic Laotian film version of Tolstoy’s War and Peace—never mind that he has never written a screenplay, never operated a movie camera, has no access to professional actors and must secure permission from the notoriously repressive government. Meanwhile, a skeleton turns up at the base of the Victory Arch, a monument to those who died in the struggle for Laos’ independence from France. This skeleton, that of a young woman, appears to have been munched upon by animals, possibly while its owner was still alive. All the usual supporting characters are present and accounted for, including Dr. Siri’s wife, Madame Daeng, who takes no guff from anyone, particularly Dr. Siri. It is helpful but not entirely necessary to read the series in order; by the time you have accomplished that, hopefully installment number 14 will have hit bookshelves.


This article was originally published in the August 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews