One grisly murder, one determined detective, and the suspect she dreads confronting ... her father.
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Why I love it
Author, Two Girls Down
As the author of a mystery-thriller with a tough but damaged female protagonist, I thought this story about a detective with a troubled past was familiar territory and was confident I would see the twists coming a hundred pages out. Um, not the case. Sweet Little Lies surprised me over and over again.
While investigating a seemingly routine murder case in London, Detective Constable Cat Kinsella is drawn into a maze of cover-ups reaching all the way back to the disappearance of a teenage girl 18 years prior. But what’s even more unsettling than a two-decade-old mystery is that Cat has never been able to shake the feeling that her gangster father was involved in the crime. Now, Cat can no longer ignore the past as the clock ticks for her to find the killer.
When I finished Sweet Little Lies after a 48-hour binge of subway-reading, ignoring-boss’s-phone-calls-at-day-job-reading, crossing-the-street-reading (not recommended), late-night-after-kid-goes-to-bed-reading, I did a thing I do with my favorite mysteries: I went back to the beginning and read the first 20 pages again. Only then did I realize Caz Frear’s mastery, how the seemingly non-magic beans she dropped along the way grew into gloriously unpredictable and yet completely satisfying intertwined stalks of character and plot. Not only did this book keep me guessing until the end, it was also a sharp portrait of the many ways in which parents and children hurt and save each other. Fans of Tana French will love this. I did.
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 her 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 18 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 ...
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After the initial shocker, there’s a little bit of a slow build at the beginning but once it picks up, I could not put it down. So many twists I didn’t see coming! I enjoyed the Cat’s voice immensely.
Love a good, strong female detective character and this one didn’t disappoint! I related to the family drama - loved that it showed families that are more “actual normal” than “perfect normal”.
The main character is slightly annoying because she acts like a petulant teenager towards her father, but all in all, a great book. Lots of twists you don’t see coming and not a run of the mill story.
Where do I even start? I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I had to work through the English/Irish language, but I honestly didn’t see where this book was going. Which makes it so so good! Def recommend.
I really enjoyed reading a mystery through the perspective of a detective. Delving into Cat Kinsella’s family background and how it may or may not relate to the case added an extra layer of intrigue!
Great read! I did think it was a bit slow in the beginning but it definitely picked up. But some things I am still unclear on, such as did Gina's dad kill Leo and who exactly did Kian Doyle look like?
West Babylon, NY
I figured out half the mystery pretty quickly but the other half took a few more clues. I highly recommend it because it's not just a murder mystery; the main character really does some introspection
Mingo Junction , OH
This book was really good! It was full of mystery and who done it type of drama! The ending was a big shock and the main character was so interesting! I really did enjoy this book and please read it!
A totally captivating crime novel that will keep you guessing! Many times, I thought I had the plot all figured out, but I had no idea how deep the darkness of this one went! What a crazy web of lies!
Grand Rapids, MI
Right from the beginning it caught my attention. Cat the main character is pretty relatable, and you keep wanting to find out more. The end was something that I was not expecting at all. Awesome read!
Kept on turning to the next page/chapter to see what's next I've read a lot like this from the POV of civilians, but never did I know that detective work was stressful. In other words, LOVED IT, 100%.
I love a good mystery, and this one did not disappoint. I really enjoyed the aspect of viewing a mystery from the perspective of a law enforcement officer - not just something that happened randomly.
One tough detective is working a case that has ties to her past and family. She works the case despite the conflict but has to decide how much she wants to protect and pursue justice for the victim.
Kansas City, MO
Couldn't put it down. Wish it had a better name, I almost didn't give it a chance because the name sounded like Big Little Lies. Not the case at all. Totally worth it! Don't judge a book by its name.
Leitchfield , KY
I was really surprised I enjoyed this book. She totally kept me on my toes and wrapped all the ends up beautifully! The writing was cleaver and intriguing. Will definitely be reading her other book!
This is one of those mysteries where the author has you believing, full on believing something, for so long, and then BAM, there's a twist. I appreciate that I can still find thrillers that surprise.
This gripping mystery set in England is a page turner. Our heroine takes problems from her troubled childhood and becomes a police officer determined to find the truth about a girl's disappearance .
White Haven, PA
A detective gets a murder case and she believes her father did it... bunch of arguments and lying later from everyone, the ending is mind blowing. Never seen it coming. It would be an amazing movie.
This is an exquisitely well-written debut novel! Cat Kinsella, an Irish girl, is now a Detective in a London Precinct. This novel is for the discerning reader who likes a deep and intelligent read!
This sharp, simmering police procedural gave me serious Tana French vibes. I loved how Cat's troubled past and complex family dynamics were intertwined with the plot. A dark story and a great read!