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Sweet Little Lies    by Caz Frear order for
Sweet Little Lies
by Caz Frear
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's an excellent new police procedural, with a difference - Caz Frear's Sweet Little Lies, starring a rather insecure twenty-six year old Detective Constable Cat Kinsella in London, England.

As the story opens, Cat has been required to take counselling sessions by her admired mentor, DCI Steele, after a minor breakdown at a horrific crime scene where she found 'a blood-soaked child' in a prostitute's bedsit. The scene triggered a response, probably based on Cat's own family secrets.

When she was eight and her family was visiting her Gran in Mulderrin, Ireland, Catrina heard her beloved father (a womanizer) tell a 'big snarling monster of a lie' to police about a missing local teen (Maryanne Doyle). Later, she found evidence that her father and Maryanne had been together. Their relationship has been fractured ever since.

Cat is on a Murder Investigation Team, called to the scene of the killing of a woman, near her father's pub. Initially identified as Alice Lapaine, the victim is later discovered to be the long missing Maryanne Doyle - why did she stay hidden for all this time, who killed her, and for what reason?

Terrified that her father might be involved, Cat keeps that fear - and other secrets - from her bosses, risking her future while obsessing over the investigation. As all this develops, and the trail of evidence leads closer and closer to Cat's dad, she meets and is attracted to Maryanne's brother.

It's an intricate puzzle involving IVF, human trafficking, an aging gangster, and more than one dysfunctional family. But it does get sorted by the end of the novel ... after quite a few surprising twists and turns. Don't miss this outstanding debut mystery - I hope we'll see more of Cat Kinsella.

2nd Review by Mary Ann Smyth:

Cat Kinsella didn't have a very good childhood. But she changed course and become a Detective Constable with the Metropolitan Police Force. Now estranged from her father who owns and runs a pub, Cat is troubled about the murder she is to investigate - young housewife Alice Lapaine was found strangled. Of course, Alice's husband is suspected.

Cat takes a phone call linking Alice's murder to that of Maryanne Doyle, a teenage girl who went missing in Ireland 18 years before. Cat is uneasy because her family had known the missing girl before she disappeared. Cat's father always denied any knowledge of Maryanne, and Cat grew up knowing he had lied. She learned to live with that. But now, with Alice's death near her father's pub, she wonders.

Was Cat's father responsible for Maryanne's disappearance all those years ago? Could he have strangled Alice? How is she to know that her father is telling the truth when he was noted for lying whenever it suited him? Cat is determined to close both cases. But she fears she won't like what she might be called upon to do - to arrest her own father.

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