Sweet Little Lies
by Caz Frear
Publication Date : August 14, 2018
Pages : 352
Synopsis from Publisher :
Cat Kinsella was always a daddy's girl. Until the summer of 1998 when she sees her father flirting with seventeen-year-old Maryanne Doyle. When Maryanne later disappears and Cat's father denies ever knowing her, Cat's relationship with him is changed forever.
Eighteen years later, Cat is now a Detective Constable with the Met. Called to the scene of a murder in Islington, she discovers a woman's body: Alice Lapaine has been found strangled, not far from the pub that Cat's father runs.
When evidence links Alice to the still missing Maryanne, all Cat's fears about her father resurface. Could he really be a killer? Determined to confront the past and find out what really happened to Maryanne all those years ago, Cat begins to dig into the case. But the problem with looking into the past is that sometimes you might not like what you find.
Just when I thought I had read every possible variation of the troubled detective, I meet Detective Constable Cat Kinsella, formally known as Catrina McBride. Frear has created a character which stays true to the standard damaged detective I have grown to love. However there is something about Cat which sets her apart. The urge to find out what makes her different is what will keep readers glued to Sweet Little Lies.
Eighteen years ago Catrina McBride was eight years old. While on a family vacation to visit her Grandmother in Ireland a local girl, Maryanne Doyle, goes missing. Maryanne’s disappearance shocks Catrina. Maryanne barely knew her but Catrina idolized Maryanne from a distance. When Maryanne disappeared everyone in the small village of Mulderrin was questioned including Catrina’s father Michael. Michael denies knowing Maryanne or anything about her disappearance, but Catrina knows her father is lying. Eighteen years later, the body of Alice Lapaine is found near the bar owned by her father. Catrina immediately believes the worst assuming her father is involved. As she investigates Alice’s death, some events from her past begin to make sense. However for every answered question a new question begins to form.
Sometimes while reading crime fiction books I find myself more invested in either the crime or the main character. Frear has managed to make me care about the crime as well as the characters. I was trying to solve the crime but I was also trying to work out Cat.
Cat Kinsella is very similar to other tortured detectives. She is damaged, troubled, and of course has a vice or two. However there is something about Cat that sets her apart from other troubled detectives. It took me reading almost the entire book to learn what makes her different. Cat is not struggling to change. Other detectives I have read are fighting their vices, trying to be better people, kinder, less compulsive. Cat seems to embrace her flaws and does not try to hide them. Some of Cat’s flaws make her a better detective and in some cases a better person. This made me respect her more.
From reading the synopsis readers will know that Cat’s relationship with her father is complicated, to say the least. She loves him and hates him in equal measure. Their complicated relationship goes back into Cat’s childhood. What I found interesting about the relationship is the amount of time and energy Cat spends trying to spite her father, even changing her name to distance herself from him. However he is an intricate part of Cat’s personality. When she is invited to attend family events, she usually declines because her father will be in attendance. She then relents and attends the event. I could not figure out if she relented because she wants to exasperate her father, if she wants his attention, or she misses him. It is a very odd dynamic. I look forward to reading more about their relationship.
The best part about reading Sweet Little Lies was knowing this is the first story in a new series. I am very eager to learn more about Cat. Although Cat is an intriguing character, the central mystery is complex and riveting. Frear’s writing is clear, fluid, and has a compelling rhythm. Fans of Jane Harper should add Sweet Little Lies to their list of must reads.
** Thanks to Harper Books for my free copy of Sweet Little Lies**
Murder and Moore Rating :
5 out of 5 Stars