The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard -Review.



About the Book

Her first love confessed to five murders. But the truth was so much worse.

Dublin’s notorious Canal Killer, Will Hurley, is ten years into his life sentence when the body of a young woman is fished out of the Grand Canal. Though detectives suspect they are dealing with a copycat, they turn to Will for help. He claims he has the information the police need, but will only give it to one person – the girl he was dating when he committed his horrific crimes.

Alison Smith has spent the last decade abroad, putting her shattered life in Ireland far behind her. But when she gets a request from Dublin imploring her to help prevent another senseless murder, she is pulled back to face the past – and the man – she’s worked so hard to forget.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy via Jellybooks.
The Liar’s Girl is the first book that I have read by Catherine Ryan Howard. It is a dual time frame novel with the same character. Set in modern-day where Alison has rebuilt her life in the Netherlands after the events that occurred when she was at university and also as they happened. You see her excitement at being away from home for the first time, socialising and meeting new friends and her first boyfriend Will. You also see how she has had to cope with loss and betrayal years later. Losing her best friend and her boyfriend and feeling guilty over both.
When a series of new murders occur the verdict against Will is in doubt and with pressure from the Gardaí she returns home to Ireland.
It is an excellent read. All of the characters and relationships felt real and unforced. I loved Alison’s relationship with Mam. Every scene she appeared in made me smile at some part it. Whilst this is a crime novel, the murders and the solving of them seem to take a back seat. The only one that is shown with any details is the murder of Liz. I thought this novel focused on the characters more and how they dealt with the situation. The most fascinating part for me was the friendship and death of Liz and how one-sided the friendship was. Liz was a manipulative person and not really a nice friend to have. But even though Alison knew all of her faults she had always accepted them and felt immense guilt and loss over her death.
I think this is a standalone novel but there is definitely potential for a series with the Gardaí, especially Malone, the guard who was happy to show his caring side.

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin – Review.


About the Book

We went to school that Tuesday like normal.
Not all of us came home . . .
Huddled in a cloakroom with his classmates and teacher, six-year-old Zach can hear shots ringing through the corridors of his school. A gunman has entered the building and, in a matter of minutes, will have taken nineteen lives.
In the aftermath of the shooting, the close-knit community and its families are devastated. Everyone deals with the tragedy differently. Zach’s father absents himself; his mother pursues a quest for justice — while Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and drawing.
Ultimately though, it is Zach who will show the adults in his life the way forward — as, sometimes, only a child can.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received via JellyBooks.
I was very keen to read this novel because it sounded so original.
All of it is told through the eyes of a six-year-old boy whose family were affected in the worst way possible by the shooting at the school. He survived, without any injuries but there were multiple casualties. Including his older brother.
You see all of his emotions, that range from sadness at his brother’s death to happiness that he is no longer there to bully him. And of course there is the guilt at thinking like this and the terror of that day that is never far away.
As the novel progresses you see how much Andy’s death affects the family in completely different ways. Nobody can judge what is the right or wrong way to grieve. But because Zach is so young, and it his story, you can see how raw the suffering is. When he has to handle his own emotions and try to understand why his parents are coping the way that they do.
At times it made me smile, but it is also heartbreaking the way Zach sees his Mum and Dad change. And how they appear not to see how he is also feeling. He was a little boy who I adored. A caring, brutally honest six-year-old boy whose family went through hell.
If you read this book, pick a day when you won’t get disturbed, have plenty of tissues and can just immerse yourself in Zach’s world. It is an astonishing read.
This was the first book I read in 2018. If all of the other books I read this year are anywhere near as good I am in for a cracking year.

You can buy the book here