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Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

Thriller

Sweet Little Lies

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Caz Frear, on your first book!

by Caz Frear

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Quick take

One grisly murder, one determined detective, and the suspect she dreads confronting ... her father.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Police

    Police

  • Illustrated icon, Family_Drama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Creepy

    Creepy

  • Illustrated icon, Whodunit

    Whodunit

Synopsis

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 ...

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Caz Frear's Sweet Little Lies.

Sweet Little Lies

I recall the day we heard about Maryanne with high-definition clarity, although I know nothing about what happened to her, nor the manner in which she left.

I don’t offer this by way of an alibi. Neither is it a well-practiced defense. After all, it’s not as if I’ve ever had to explain myself—on the scale of likely suspects I was always nestled firmly alongside Gran, hovering somewhere between “laughable” and “nigh-on impossible”—and yet in order to understand the demons that hound me, and indeed in the spirit of the police oath I claim to hold so dear, I feel it’s necessary to make clear that I know nothing about what happened to Maryanne Doyle, the girl who went to Riley’s for hairspray and never came back.

I have my suspicions, of course.

I speculate plenty, especially after white wine.

But when it comes right down to it, I actually know nothing.

The same cannot be said of my father.

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Why I love it

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.

Member ratings (8,225)

  • Kelly D.

    Brooklyn, NY

    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.

  • Amanda P.

    Minot, ND

    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”.

  • Shevaun B.

    Bartow, FL

    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.

  • Lisa M.

    Tampa, FL

    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.

  • Vijaya S.

    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

Thriller
First Lie Wins
No One Can Know
House of Glass
Middle of the Night
Listen for the Lie
A Talent for Murder
One Perfect Couple
Darling Girls
Kill for Me, Kill for You
Bad Tourists
Murder Road
Daughter of Mine
The Fury
Only if You’re Lucky
The Other Mothers
When I’m Dead
The Soulmate
What Lies in the Woods
She Started It
The Only One Left
Dark Corners
Blacktop Wasteland
All the Dangerous Things
The Only Survivors
The Broken Girls
The Family Game
The Push
We Were Never Here
Things We Do in the Dark
The Golden Couple
The Collective
The Stranger Upstairs
Gone Tonight
Too Good to Be True
The Last Word
You Are Not Alone
Rock Paper Scissors
Not a Happy Family
A Flicker in the Dark
The Last Flight
Reckless Girls
The House Across the Lake
The Wife Upstairs
The Last Thing He Told Me
The Maidens
Everything We Didn't Say
Invisible Girl
The Paris Apartment
You're Invited
The Last Party
Dark Places
Pieces of Her
The Wife Between Us
Sharp Objects
None of This Is True
The Silent Patient
The Winter Sister
The Other Woman
Necessary People
The Family Upstairs
The Night Swim
Girl A
The Hunting Wives
Just Another Missing Person
First Born
The Lies I Tell
Breathless
Thriller
View all
First Lie Wins
No One Can Know
House of Glass
Middle of the Night
Listen for the Lie
A Talent for Murder
One Perfect Couple
Darling Girls
Kill for Me, Kill for You
Bad Tourists
Murder Road
Daughter of Mine
The Fury
Only if You’re Lucky
The Other Mothers
When I’m Dead
The Soulmate
What Lies in the Woods
She Started It
The Only One Left
Dark Corners
Blacktop Wasteland
All the Dangerous Things
The Only Survivors
The Broken Girls
The Family Game
The Push
We Were Never Here
Things We Do in the Dark
The Golden Couple
The Collective
The Stranger Upstairs
Gone Tonight
Too Good to Be True
The Last Word
You Are Not Alone
Rock Paper Scissors
Not a Happy Family
A Flicker in the Dark
The Last Flight
Reckless Girls
The House Across the Lake
The Wife Upstairs
The Last Thing He Told Me
The Maidens
Everything We Didn't Say
Invisible Girl
The Paris Apartment
You're Invited
The Last Party
Dark Places
Pieces of Her
The Wife Between Us
Sharp Objects
None of This Is True
The Silent Patient
The Winter Sister
The Other Woman
Necessary People
The Family Upstairs
The Night Swim
Girl A
The Hunting Wives
Just Another Missing Person
First Born
The Lies I Tell
Breathless