I was so excited for The Liar’s Girl, the sophomore novel by Catherine Ryan Howard, especially after reading (and LOVING) Distress Signals last year. I lent this novel out to several people and had everyone in my life jumping on to the Catherine Ryan Howard train. I was expecting on the edge of my seat action, tension and red herrings aplenty. Glad to say that The Liar’s Girl did not disappoint!!
We meet Allison, a college student who has met the man of her dreams, Will, and they fall madly in love. Seems like they will live happily ever after until a murder unfolds, her boyfriend is implicated and she realizes she is dating a serial killer. Ten years later, after struggling to rebuild her life, her past comes rushing back into her life as the police ask for her help in a string of new murders that appear like Will’s.
Like Distress Signals, I loved how Howard rolled out the plot in The Liar’s Girl. It all flowed seamlessly and, by the end of the first chapter, I was completely hooked. It sort of read to me like the Stillhouse Lake series by Rachel Caine. Not too many twists or turns but just a strong, steady, creepy plot. I loved it.
Now, the ending, I have a bone to pick with. I won’t say anything other than that since I don’t want to give away any spoilers but it just didn’t feel like it “fit” with the tone of the story.
Overall, another awesome novel by Howard and I’ll be waiting anxiously for her third book. Is there any way you could write a little faster??!!
Thanks to Blackstone Publishing and the author (Catherine Ryan Howard) for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
#cjsreads read this book as one of our picks! Want to see what Chandra and Jessica thought of this one? Keep reading to find out!
What Jessica Thought:
Last year the #CJSReads trio read DISTRESS SIGNALS by Howard and we all loved it. So when we saw she had another thriller coming out we knew we needed to grab it 🙂 With really popular books it’s hard for follow ups to measure up, but THE LIAR’S GIRL did not disappoint! If you liked DISTRESS SIGNALS then you need to pick this one up.
Will Hurley is charming, handsome, and has a place in the elite St. John’s College in Dublin. Sounds perfect, right? Well, he’s also Ireland’s most prolific serial killer known as the Canal Killer. He was sentenced to life in the Central Psychiatric Hospital at the age of nineteen. As a freshman at St. John’s College, Alison Smith quickly fell in love with Will Hurley, until the night her best friend became the newest Canal Killer victim. After learning that the man she loved was the killer, she fled Ireland.
A decade later, a body is found in the Grand Canal and it becomes apparent that this is a copycat killer. Will is willing to help the police but he said he has one last confession and he will only give it to Alison. She is forced to come back to the past she desperately tried to hide from and she must now face the man that murdered her friend and changed her life forever.
I love Howard’s writing style. She makes it effortless for you to fly through the first half of the book without realizing it. If it weren’t for the two feet of snow we got, I would have definitely finished this in one sitting. She has great characterization, a slow build mystery that isn’t too slow, and then the perfect amount of suspense to keep you tense as you flip through the pages. This is one of those thrillers that doesn’t have a huge and shocking twist, but it ties everything together nicely for you so that it all makes sense.
I can’t wait to see what Catherine Ryan Howard has in store for us next!
I give this 5/5 stars!
What Chandra Thought:
There’s just something about Howard’s writing style that I just really LOVE. Neither of her books are those throat punch, make you gasp and go OH MY F*$(*%#$) GOD, WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?! And I know we ALL love those, but hear me out because I do too, but The Liar’s Girl is GOOD.
I started this last night and did NOT want to put it down. I was hooked in just 20 pages and the only reason I put it down was because I knew I had an early and long day at work today. I snuck reads in all day just to finish this and finish it, I did!
This book is extremely easy to fly through. It doesn’t throw twists at you left and right but rather engages you in Alison’s life. A decade after her boyfriend is convicted of being a serial killer, he reaches out to her to help prove his innocence. But he CONFESSED… he can’t possibly innocent… can he?? In her return to Dublin, she realizes she just needs to know. Whether he is or not, she finally needs some solid answers since there seems to be doubt in his conviction now. Howard takes us back a decade ago and then to the present. Mainly this is done via Alison’s POV… mainly.
If I was going to be picky, then I would say that the very ending may not have been entirely necessary. I liked exactly how it was up to this point… however, it didn’t take anything away from my love of the story either.
Quite frankly, this was exactly the type of read I needed right now. I feel like I’ve been struggling through the last few books I’ve read so it was nice to be able to fly and get truly invested in one again and for that, I give my full five stars.
Thriller lovers who are into characterizations without the big twists (but with the ahhhh, so THAT’S what happened) will truly enjoy this book. Win, win with both of Howard’s books for me to date. I absolutely look forward to more from her.
Thank you to Blackstone Publishing for this copy!