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Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear – Book Review

Goodreads Synopsis:
What happens when the trust has gone?
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.

First things first, I need to say that I oscillated my reading between hardcopy and audio.  My verdict on the audio? 1.)  I absolutely love accents.  2.) Even though usually I could read it myself much faster (and I’d much rather have some “me time” between the spines), I really enjoyed the fact that I could continue with the story even though life got in the way. Especially, you know, when I need to solve a crime because characters lives are hanging by a thread until I find the killer. Saving the world, one mystery/thriller/suspense novel at a time.

One of the most striking aspects of the book was how the legal proceedings took place.  In most investigations, there is one highly questionable officer that must be overridden because he is extremely sexist and assumes that the heroine is incompetent in her role.  This book was a pleasant surprise, not only because Cat was given the opportunity to solve the crime with minimal prejudice, but also because you could really see how the police worked together to solve the mystery.  The entire force worked together, having numerous meetings that focused on determining the facts, not assumptions and “hunches” to find the murderer.

In addition, the underlying theme of “How far will you go to protect your family?” is constantly simmering underneath the surface. Even though Cat has lived with the guilt of knowing that her father lied for years, she still tries to keep him from being implicated and takes on a case that she had too much of an emotional attachment to (AKA it’s harder to look at evidence and be impartial) in an attempt to not only solve the crime herself but also protect her father as well. True, she claims that it’s so her carefully constructed world would not unravel, but you can really sense that fundamental familial loyalty.

This mystery thriller put me right in the frontlines of investigative police work and I am living for it.   Thank you so much to Harper Collins for providing me with a review copy.  It’s a pleasure to share my honest thoughts and opinions.



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