Sweet Little Lies
What happens when the trust has gone?Cat Kinsella was always a daddy's girl. Until the summer of 1998 when she sees her father flirting with seventeen-year-old Maryanne Doyle.When Maryanne later disappears and Cat's father denies ever knowing her, Cat's relationship with him is changed forever. Eighteen years later, Cat is now a Detective Constable with the Met. Called to the scene of a murder in Islington, she discovers a woman's body: Alice Lapaine has been found strangled, not far from the pub that Cat's father runs. When evidence links Alice to the still missing Maryanne, all Cat's fears about her father resurface. Could he really be a killer? Determined to confront the past and find out what really happened to Maryanne all those years ago, Cat begins to dig into the case. But the problem with looking into the past is that sometimes you might not like what you find. For fans of Erin Kelly and Belinda Bauer, Sweet Little Lies is a suspenseful page-turner from a talented new voice.

Sweet Little Lies Details

TitleSweet Little Lies
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 29th, 2017
PublisherZaffre
Number of pages479 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Crime

Sweet Little Lies Review

  • Bibliophile Book Club
    May 19, 2017
    Review to follow!
  • Shalini Gopal
    June 28, 2017
    Maryanne Doyle went to buy hairspray and never came back on 31st May, 1998... Murdered???In the present time, a woman is found murdered and dumped at Leamington Square close to the pub, McAuley's...The first line caused me to pick up the book and the second, to continue with it. Both these lines created such a high note of suspense and mystery in my mind that the pages turned all by themselves. The entire story is written solely in the voice of DC Catrina Kinsella in two timelines 1998, when Mar Maryanne Doyle went to buy hairspray and never came back on 31st May, 1998... Murdered???In the present time, a woman is found murdered and dumped at Leamington Square close to the pub, McAuley's...The first line caused me to pick up the book and the second, to continue with it. Both these lines created such a high note of suspense and mystery in my mind that the pages turned all by themselves. The entire story is written solely in the voice of DC Catrina Kinsella in two timelines 1998, when Maryanne Doyle disappeared and in the present time when a woman, Alice Lapine is found murdered. There is police investigation during both the times, and Catrina is involved in both. In 1998, when Maryanne disappeared from the area of Mulderrin, everyone was questioned including eight year old Cat and her father Michael.... He lied about knowing Maryanne and Cat knew he lied.. But yet she was quiet... In the present time, the woman, Alice Lapine is found close to the bar owned by Cat's father... Coincidence??? Cat doesn't believe in coincidence.... She is part of the police team that investigates this murder. All possible suspects including the husband Thomas Lapine are looked into. A public appeal for further information about Alice is sent, which brings to light a shocking fact by an Irish man, Aiden. He thinks she is his sister and her name is Maryanne... Alice Lapine is Maryanne DoyleShock... Silence... Goosebumps... And Cat is again right in the middle of it all. Neither can she open her mouth and claim knowledge about Maryanne of 1998 and put her dad in trouble nor can she be silent about the death of the present Maryanne. All that she thought was true, was a lie yet not a lie. Her childhood facts were Fact no 1 - her father knew Maryanne Fact no 2 - her father had a role in her disappearance Fact no 3 - her father killed Maryanne but... No, that wasn't a fact.... Maryanne was not murdered in 1998 but in the present time close to her father's bar. Her fear came from the fact that if her dad wasn't involved then, was he involved now??? The entire story is an investigation into the life of Alice / Maryanne, her disappearance, her name change and her murder. Each part reveals a facet about Maryanne's past life which puts Cat more in a dilemma. Her silence may cost her, her career. There are sharp twists and turns which make the book a fast read. Caz Frear, in her debut, writes well in some parts, builds up the pace slowly, weaves the past into the present, in a deliberate manner. The police team is well rounded especially, the relation between Cat and her immediate senior Parnell is heart warming, so is her love for her nephew, Finn. The only problem I had is, throughout the book, Cat rambles on and on, going on tangent lines in her mind, sometimes with self deprecating humour and sometimes with cynicism. This spoils the reading a bit but luckily in the latter half the investigation proceeds at a fast rate, so Cat has no time to ramble. This police procedural works at a level where clues are revealed and mysteries are unravelled all leading to the finale which is mind blowing and unexpected....Cat's last line in the book goes like this Dad and I are bonded for life now because I'm not just a keeper of his secrets but he's the keeper of mine... I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Bonnier Zaffre and this is my honest and unbiased opinion
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  • Tammie
    June 27, 2017
    What happens when the trust has gone?Cat Kinsella was always a daddy's girl. Until the summer of 1998 when she sees her father flirting with seventeen-year-old Maryanne Doyle.When Maryanne later disappears and Cat's father denies ever knowing her, Cat's relationship with him is changed forever. I was expecting Sweet Little Lies to be suspenseful, but it was more of a police procedural. Although I thought the mystery was rather intriguing at times, ultimately I did not find it all that compellin What happens when the trust has gone?Cat Kinsella was always a daddy's girl. Until the summer of 1998 when she sees her father flirting with seventeen-year-old Maryanne Doyle.When Maryanne later disappears and Cat's father denies ever knowing her, Cat's relationship with him is changed forever. I was expecting Sweet Little Lies to be suspenseful, but it was more of a police procedural. Although I thought the mystery was rather intriguing at times, ultimately I did not find it all that compelling of a read. Parts of it felt really drawn out and I had a hard time wanting to pick it up and read it when that happened. The main character, Cat was not all that likable to me either. The good thing about this book is that I did not figure all the details of the mystery out. On a random note, since finishing this I've had the Fleetwood Mac song stuck in my head.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Bonnier Zaffre for giving me a copy of this book for review.Review also posted at https://writingsofareader.blogspot.com/
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  • Elaine Tomasso
    May 18, 2017
    I would like to thank Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre for an advance copy of Sweet Little Lies, a police procedural set in London featuring DC Cat Kinsella.Cat and the team are summoned to a murder scene where a woman's body has been dumped. When the body is identified the real puzzle begins - unraveling the mysterious life of Alice Laplaine.Told in the first person the novel's driving force is Cat's personality. Smart, cynical, often humorous, troubled and loyal, there is a sense of survival and o I would like to thank Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre for an advance copy of Sweet Little Lies, a police procedural set in London featuring DC Cat Kinsella.Cat and the team are summoned to a murder scene where a woman's body has been dumped. When the body is identified the real puzzle begins - unraveling the mysterious life of Alice Laplaine.Told in the first person the novel's driving force is Cat's personality. Smart, cynical, often humorous, troubled and loyal, there is a sense of survival and optimism to her that shines through her travails. Cat is attending a therapist after a meltdown at a recent crime scene but her troubles really stem from her troubled relationship with her father who went from being a god to a man not only with feet of clay but a potential murderer in Cat's eyes. In 1998 teenager Maryanne Doyle disappeared from the Galway village of Mulderrin where 8 year old Cat and her family were holidaying. When her dad denies all knowledge of Maryanne she knows he's lying and as the novel continues we learn more of Cat's suspicions and "evidence". Ms Frear has done an excellent job with Cat, both as an eight year old and as an adult. I find most fictional children unconvincing but she nails it with 8 year old Cat, as she does with the slightly immature and uncertain adult.While Cat's voice dominates the novel Ms Frear does not neglect her plot. It is well paced with information coming in dribs and drabs, as in most investigations. There is twist upon twist as Alice's life is uncovered and it had me glued to the pages, desperate to find out what was coming next.I loved Sweet Little Lies and it is one of the best books I have read this year so I have no hesitation in recommending it as an excellent read.
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  • Heidi
    June 13, 2017
    “Justice? That’s a bit of a lofty goal. I’ll settle for the basic rule that says bad people get punished.” DC Cat Kinsella’s past and present collide when a current murder investigation throws up links to the disappearance of a girl she knew as a child, and who was never found. Worse still, Cat has always suspected that her father was somehow involved in the events of that long ago summer. Forced to confront her worst fears and suspicions, she may not only be putting her career in jeopardy, but “Justice? That’s a bit of a lofty goal. I’ll settle for the basic rule that says bad people get punished.” DC Cat Kinsella’s past and present collide when a current murder investigation throws up links to the disappearance of a girl she knew as a child, and who was never found. Worse still, Cat has always suspected that her father was somehow involved in the events of that long ago summer. Forced to confront her worst fears and suspicions, she may not only be putting her career in jeopardy, but also find more than she bargained for.I really enjoyed Sweet Little Lies, especially the character of Cat, a plucky young detective who added a lot of depth and enjoyment to this interesting police procedural. Although it got off to a bit of a slow start, I soon found myself engrossed in the storyline, which threw up some interesting questions and premises. What would you do if you had to investigate a murder that may be connected to events in your past your own parent may have been involved in? Cat’s relationship to her father has always been troubled, to put it mildly, but deep down she is still a young woman who needs to be loved and lay her trust in her family. Switching between past and present, we get to know an eight-year-old Cat, who still thinks her father is a hero; and an older, wiser and somewhat disillusioned Cat, whose father has long toppled from the pedestal and who she can now see in the cold stark light of reality. As main protagonist, Cat is a well-rounded and interesting character who I could root for, and felt her inner turmoil as she weighs up confessing her own involvement in the case against keeping quiet and running a parallel investigation of her own, knowing that her career would be on the line if anyone ever found out about it. The work dynamics within the murder squad are well-drawn, and added further depth and authenticity to the story. The plot is interesting and throws a few curveballs, offering that surprise twist at the end I had definitely not seen coming. And best of all, the mystery is unravelled slowly and methodically, as more clues are being unearthed by Cat in the process of her investigation – which always adds greatly to the suspense for me.Sweet Little Lies is a promising debut novel by an author to watch – I really liked the character of DC Cat Kinsella and hope to see her back in many more police procedurals in future. The mixture of personal family conflict and Cat’s professional life added a new dimension to this novel, which set it apart from many books of the same genre. I really enjoyed Sweet Little Lies and don’t hesitate to recommend it to lovers of mystery and crime. *blog* *facebook* *instagram*
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  • Kate Southey
    May 23, 2017
    This book was a slow starter for me but I'm glad I kept reading as it's a great story and the characters lingered with me after I'd finished it. For me, a huge part of whether I like a book or not is down to the level of research and the authenticity of what they are describing. I can safely say that Caz Frear has done her homework with regards to police work and police humour. Although there are a few artistic licences taken, the over all feel of Cat's interaction with her colleagues and the te This book was a slow starter for me but I'm glad I kept reading as it's a great story and the characters lingered with me after I'd finished it. For me, a huge part of whether I like a book or not is down to the level of research and the authenticity of what they are describing. I can safely say that Caz Frear has done her homework with regards to police work and police humour. Although there are a few artistic licences taken, the over all feel of Cat's interaction with her colleagues and the techniques used in interviewing is very good. Working fairly closely with the police in my own job I am often annoyed by inaccurate portrayals in books. Setting is another thing that Frear is very good at. I'm still not entirely sure how, but there was a distinct change in tone and tempo in the scenes set in Ireland, both the flash backs and the current ones. It is so subtle I really can't put my finger on how she's done it but I felt, a long with Cat that Ireland was a safer, more comfortable place to be, even with her suspicions of what happened 'back then'. I do have to say here that the 'what happened back then' doom laden sentences were a little obvious and I think that was what stopped me from enjoying the early chapters. I thought I'd caught Frear out at one point as there was something that meant I couldn't possibly see a grown woman still being concerned by childhood fears but then, deftly and simply, Frear closes that loophole and puts me back in my place! And yes, I did genuinely gasp out loud "so THATS why she......." Frear 1 - This reader 0.The thing that captivated me the most in this book though was the relationship between Catrina and Parnell. Having had that bond with an older male colleague myself it was great to see it so well demonstrated in prose. Real love, friendship and concern between people of the opposite sex with no sexual or romantic feelings involved at all. And no suggestion or suspicion of such by those around them. Cat's fears of letting him down at the end when she feels compelled to tell him about her father are so poignant. Another example of Frears seemingly effortless ability to create a mood within her writing, the Hicks family's Christmas was so realistic. I have been to those houses at Christmas, in fact my family was that middle class, drinks parties with the neighbours, roaring fire and large bowl of nuts, families and it worked to have those scenes so cosy and warm when outside was winter and an unsolved crime. I liked the interaction between Catrina and her Father and sister but I did think there was a heck of a lot of animosity between her and her brother and it wasn't, to my satisfaction, explained properly. I thought it would become clearer at the end of the book but it never did. I did love the redemptive ending though! All in all a great read and if Catrina and Parnell were to become a crime fighting double act I would definitely buy subsequent books. That said, I will read anything else written by Frear.
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  • Debstr
    May 31, 2017
    ARC from Netgalley.This is a terrific read: well-written with rounded, developed characters and a stonking good story. Initially it reads like a fairly entertaining police procedural with a bit of narrator-angst thrown in, but once it really gets stuck into the plot, it just takes off. Highly-recommended and especially impressive for a debut novel - I hope to see more from this author before too long.
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  • Manon
    June 28, 2017
    I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewThis was a good story, with interesting characters. I wasn’t expecting most of the twists which felt great and most of my theories were obliterated. It kept me on my toes the entire time.I wish I had felt more of a connection to the main character though.
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  • Annie
    May 17, 2017
    I got this from NetGalley. Cat is a police officer. Years ago, a girl she knew disappeared and she has always suspected that her father played a part in the disappearance. Now when the same girl turns up murdered as an adult, having been alive and obviously not murdered by Cat's father, she questions her past suspicions...but also still wonders because the body is found not far from where her father lives. She goes out of the way to hide her own potential involvement in the case, both so that sh I got this from NetGalley. Cat is a police officer. Years ago, a girl she knew disappeared and she has always suspected that her father played a part in the disappearance. Now when the same girl turns up murdered as an adult, having been alive and obviously not murdered by Cat's father, she questions her past suspicions...but also still wonders because the body is found not far from where her father lives. She goes out of the way to hide her own potential involvement in the case, both so that she can be involved in the investigation and also so that she can dig into her father's possible connection without anyone knowing (which sounds like it will end well, right?) Overall I enjoyed the book. I wasn't in love with the writing style, but I did like the story and the solution to the crime was not something I ever saw coming. It seems like a lot of times books can be very predictable, but I was in the dark for this one on the motive/killer, so that's worth a 4-star rating.
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  • Susan
    June 27, 2017
    Sweet little lies by Caz Frear. WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW: In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it? Maryanne Doyle was never seen again.WHAT I ACTUALLY KNOW: In 1998, Dad lied about knowing Maryanne Doyle. Alice Lapaine has been found strangled near Dad's pub. Dad was in the local area for both Maryanne Doyle's disappearance and Alice Lapaine's murder - FACT Connection?Trust cuts both ways . . . what do you do when it's gone?An absolutely fantastic read with brilliant cha Sweet little lies by Caz Frear. WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW: In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it? Maryanne Doyle was never seen again.WHAT I ACTUALLY KNOW: In 1998, Dad lied about knowing Maryanne Doyle. Alice Lapaine has been found strangled near Dad's pub. Dad was in the local area for both Maryanne Doyle's disappearance and Alice Lapaine's murder - FACT Connection?Trust cuts both ways . . . what do you do when it's gone?An absolutely fantastic read with brilliant characters. What a shocker of a read. Gripping from start to finish. 5*. Netgalley and bonnie zaffre.
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  • Patricia Romero
    June 9, 2017
    Let me start by saying this isn't a 'pretty' story. It's real and raw and ugly. The characters are all liars in some way, except maybe Parnell and Steele. Cat herself is a liar and a cop. She has some bad habits and has seen some bad things. For too many years she has believed her father may have killed someone. She knows he hung around a bad crowd and she saw the girl threaten him with blackmail. As an adult she has distanced herself from all of her family over her hatred for her father.How one Let me start by saying this isn't a 'pretty' story. It's real and raw and ugly. The characters are all liars in some way, except maybe Parnell and Steele. Cat herself is a liar and a cop. She has some bad habits and has seen some bad things. For too many years she has believed her father may have killed someone. She knows he hung around a bad crowd and she saw the girl threaten him with blackmail. As an adult she has distanced herself from all of her family over her hatred for her father.How one small, seemingly insignificant lie can lead to the unraveling of so many lives was very evident in this work.The ending was a shocker! Didn't see that coming, but it seemed slow in the beginning and middle and then all of a sudden, case solved.
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  • Emma
    June 29, 2017
    **FOUR AND A HALF STARS*** Review to follow.
  • Kath
    June 26, 2017
    Blooming heck! This book took me round the block a few times. In both directions! I am so glad that I read it on a day when I didn't have anything else major planned cos the couple of times I did have to put it down, I felt completely bereft and chomping at the bit to get back to it. Cat Kinsella is a detective in London. She is part of the team called to the discovery of a woman's body dead and dumped. Identified initially as Alice Laplaine, it soon transpires that she is actually Maryanne Doyl Blooming heck! This book took me round the block a few times. In both directions! I am so glad that I read it on a day when I didn't have anything else major planned cos the couple of times I did have to put it down, I felt completely bereft and chomping at the bit to get back to it. Cat Kinsella is a detective in London. She is part of the team called to the discovery of a woman's body dead and dumped. Identified initially as Alice Laplaine, it soon transpires that she is actually Maryanne Doyle who went missing from Ireland eighteen years go when she was just seventeen. The same Maryanne Doyle who Cat remembers her father denying knowledge of to the Police at the time of her disappearance, despite her witnessing an interesting exchange between the two only days earlier. Cat knows that she really should declare her personal interest in the case but being as how she is still trying to bounce back from witnessing a shocking scene in the line of duty and wanting to prove herself, coupled with the fact that she really needs to be in at the sharp end of the investigation, to know exactly what is going on, she remains silent. What happens next is a rather convoluted peeling back of layers, some kept to one side, others discarded until the really rather shocking truth is finally uncovered. I am still undecided as to whether I still want to slap Cat for all the risks - both personally and professionally - that she took during this story. I guess, with the benefit of hindsight, knowing what happens, I think she made the right call but it was touch and go as I was reading it as to whether I thought she was doing the right thing. Even now, in the future beyond the book, I am not convinced that things won't ever come back to bite her in the bottom! Still, her inclusion into the heart of the investigation made for a great spin on the story. The story is told in two timelines. One being set in Ireland eighteen years ago and concerns itself with Cat's family holiday to Ireland to visit her (now deceased) mother's family and the disappearance of Maryanne Doyle. The other is set in London in the present day where Cat is investigating her death. I found the two storylines to be very well woven together. With just the right amount of information from the past injected into the present at just the right times in order to complement and progress the story. Despite my issues with her behaviour I really liked Cat as a character. Especially her relationship with surrogate father figure Parnell. I really did feel for her with respect to her family situation, especially her relationship with her sister being strained and only still connected by Cat's love for her nephew. And then, throw in her brother and now-fallen-from-his-pedestal father, we have a bit of a dysfunctional family. And like all dysfunctional families, lack of communication is a core enabler, which becomes evident as the story begins its final stages.Plotting was excellent. I really didn't know where we were going at all for the most part of the book. I definitely didn't see it going in the direction it ending up going in. And it's a direction that is a bit hard hitting and nasty at times. I'd like to be able to give a content warning but spoliers prevent me from being specific so I would advise that if you are sensitive to some of the big issues that could pop up in this genre of book, that you do seek advice before starting this book.Pacing was a bit different in this book, it wasn't completely linear. usually we have a slow start and then the pace ramps up towards the end. This book didn't really do that. The pace was partly dictated by the setting. The scenes in Ireland moved at a slower pace than those in London. Also, the beginning was slightly more pacy than the middle and then it just took off towards the end. This didn't bother me too much as the slower paced middle coincided with the investigation stalling a wee bit, which in itself is completely credible. For a debut novel, which I believe this is, it's a corker. I have tried to find out whether, as well as being a debut, it's also the start of a series of books staring Cat and possibly Parnell. Part of me really wants it to be as I don't think I'm ready to say goodbye to Cat just yet as I personally think she has much more to give as a character.My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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  • Breakaway Reviewers
    June 30, 2017
    Who is the dead really?When Cat Kinsella was eight, the girl she wasn't sure whether to admire or dislike, Maryanne Doyle, goes missing. Cat a precocious little girl and she knows about the very “tarty” Maryanne and the men. All the men. Married, unmarried…..so she knows when her Dad denies having had contact with Maryanne that this is a lie. A blatant one.The book moves from 1998 where an eight-year-old Cat narrates, to the present day and Cat is now a detective. She’s just worked a harrowing c Who is the dead really?When Cat Kinsella was eight, the girl she wasn't sure whether to admire or dislike, Maryanne Doyle, goes missing. Cat a precocious little girl and she knows about the very “tarty” Maryanne and the men. All the men. Married, unmarried…..so she knows when her Dad denies having had contact with Maryanne that this is a lie. A blatant one.The book moves from 1998 where an eight-year-old Cat narrates, to the present day and Cat is now a detective. She’s just worked a harrowing case where a little girl was found wandering about the scene of her mother's murder, and for some reason, this impacted on Cat very hard - so much so that lady boss Parnell forces her to seek psychological counselling. The thing is, Cat isn't that good about opening up to anyone...least of all in counselling.When she is called to the scene of another body - also a mother, this time just dumped out of a car onto the pavement, Cat has to deal with the very real effects of anxiety while keeping her mind on track because Parnell is watching Cat as she suspects Cat’s mental health isn't what it should be. Ah, if only Parnell knew!!But Cat is nothing if not determined to find this killer, with or without sleep. What bothers her most though, is the location of the body. That is, until the identity is revealed….Then everything changes in the blink of an eye.This is a police procedural novel but it's a brilliant thriller too. I really enjoy Ms Frear's writing style. The way the timeline moves between Cat as a little girl and Cat as an adult is excellent. Parnell is also a very good character - from the start, I envisaged her as a very tiny, determined Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada.On the surface Sweet Little Lies is a book about disappearance, suspicion and murder, but it's also a book about family and the weird and wonderful dynamics that exist between the mind of a very human detective and the sweet little lies everyone else believed.I loved it and would love to see this on the big screen. Please note that it is a British thriller - in other words don't expect SWAT and guns and such. There is plenty to keep you busy though, so many lies and not all of them sweet, and so little time for Cat to find the truth. Lot of twists and unexpected revelations. Sit back and enjoy!Hint to the author - I really hope to read more Cat Kinsella books. ElsaBreakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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  • Emma
    June 30, 2017
    DC Cat Kinsella’s past and present are thrust together when a current murder investigation links to the disappearance of a girl she knew growing up, and who was never found. To throw more curiosity in the pot, we learn that Cat has always suspected that her father had some involvement during that summer long ago. Cat is forced to confront her suspicions and worst fears, as she unfolds the mystery of what happens to Maryanne putting her job in jeopardy and perhaps biting off more than she can che DC Cat Kinsella’s past and present are thrust together when a current murder investigation links to the disappearance of a girl she knew growing up, and who was never found. To throw more curiosity in the pot, we learn that Cat has always suspected that her father had some involvement during that summer long ago. Cat is forced to confront her suspicions and worst fears, as she unfolds the mystery of what happens to Maryanne putting her job in jeopardy and perhaps biting off more than she can chew.I really enjoyed Cat as our protagonist and young detective, and I found it particularly interesting with the great detail there was in the police procedural. Within the first chapter I knew I would find this book hard to put down, as the story line was incredibly engrossing. I loved that the investigation was personal to Cat as it cast some interesting questions and premises. Realising your Dad could be connected to a murder, and how your feelings would effect you carrying out your job and the personal feelings involved- all which I would find incredibly hard and messy to deal with.I found the switching between the past and present a great way for us the reader to find out who Cat is and what she was like as an eight year old, who believes her father is a hero; and also an older and wiser Cat whose father had been dropped from her high expectations and someone who she can now see through. The plot is brilliantly played out with a few curveballs, offering us suspense and a great surprise twist at the end which I definitely didn’t see coming! Having a surprise at the end of a crime thriller such as this is so important for me, and Caz absolutely nailed it. The ending isn’t rushed, but unravelled slowly and methodically as we gather more and more clues by Cat in her investigation.Sweet Little Lies is a brilliant debut novel from an author I’m definitely wanting to read more from very soon, if you love crime thrillers then Caz Frear with Sweet Little Lies is your next stop!
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  • ☘Tara Sheehan☘
    June 3, 2017
    I enjoyed the story and thankfully it was one of those types of crime stories where I didn’t see the ending before the author unveiled it which is always a huge bonus. Predictability is not something I’d use to describe this book as the motive and criminal were slowly unpacked to keep you on your toes.Easily the best part of this novel is the character of Catrina who is our storyteller as it’s her effusive personality that leads the story with her intelligence, wit, and optimism which pours out I enjoyed the story and thankfully it was one of those types of crime stories where I didn’t see the ending before the author unveiled it which is always a huge bonus. Predictability is not something I’d use to describe this book as the motive and criminal were slowly unpacked to keep you on your toes.Easily the best part of this novel is the character of Catrina who is our storyteller as it’s her effusive personality that leads the story with her intelligence, wit, and optimism which pours out from her first person narrative. We get a small taste of it before the story really takes off as she reminisces about a time from her childhood then we see how she’s changed in adulthood from the effect of having her father who was larger than life get cast down into shadow from his possible involvement in the disappearance of a local girl.As great a job as she did with the main character she still had enough sight to pour some of that effort into writing a plot that reads at an easy pace and drips bits of clues along the way. As the author winds some surprising twists into her storyline and characters you’ll find yourself flipping pages impatient to know what it is going to be found around the next corner.One of the other positive aspects was the obvious research Frear must’ve put in on learning about police procedures, interactions, etc because it comes off fairly realistic and effective as a plot device.It was one of the better crime novels I’ve read and it deserves an afternoon of your time.
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  • Irene Brew
    June 14, 2017
    This was such a great read, thoroughly enjoyable due not only to a great plot but also terrific characters.DC Cat Kinsella has as complex a family dynamic as you could imagine, and it's written with a sense of realism and layers that makes it totally believable. Not only the sibling relationships but especially the one she shares with her untrustworthy Father, the one that impacts on the rest of her life. I really liked her as a character, she was flawed, hard-working and had a sense of tenderne This was such a great read, thoroughly enjoyable due not only to a great plot but also terrific characters.DC Cat Kinsella has as complex a family dynamic as you could imagine, and it's written with a sense of realism and layers that makes it totally believable. Not only the sibling relationships but especially the one she shares with her untrustworthy Father, the one that impacts on the rest of her life. I really liked her as a character, she was flawed, hard-working and had a sense of tenderness that was just so endearing. Together with the other detectives, DS Luigi Parnell and DCI Kate Steele, they made such a well-formed group it was as if they were already long-established characters rather than making their debut in Sweet Little Lies. Luigi Parnell in particular already has my affection with his no-nonsense approach to work, coupled with his paternal mannerisms and obvious love of his home life. Whilst they try to find the killer of Alice Lapaine, the bonds that hold the three of them together are subtly tested and strengthened so that I did care about them.The plot is well-crafted and revealed at a pace that held my attention throughout. There are enough surprises to more than outweigh the more obvious aspects of the story, and once again all of this is anchored by an equally interesting set of suspects and witnesses.Caz Frear is certainly an exciting new voice on the crime thriller scene; I mean what a way to start! Sweet Little Lies is a terrific read and I really do hope that we'll be seeing more from her in the not too distant future.
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  • Ashley Gillan
    June 17, 2017
    3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.Cat Kinsella hasn't quite been the same since the summer of 1998, when her family visited her Gran in Ireland and a local girl disappeared. Cat always suspected her father had something to do with it. Now a police detective, Cat is suddenly drawn into a case with echoes of the past when a body turns up near her father's bar. Cat tries to remain emotionally distant from the case, but finds she can't as more information comes to light.This book was like a roller coaster 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.Cat Kinsella hasn't quite been the same since the summer of 1998, when her family visited her Gran in Ireland and a local girl disappeared. Cat always suspected her father had something to do with it. Now a police detective, Cat is suddenly drawn into a case with echoes of the past when a body turns up near her father's bar. Cat tries to remain emotionally distant from the case, but finds she can't as more information comes to light.This book was like a roller coaster ride. Things start slowly, but then speed up, only to have the case stall and then *BOOM*, things fall into place. And the ending is quite a big one - almost impossible to guess, I'd say. But it is satisfying and makes sense based on the rest of the book.There's also a lot of moral ambiguity in this book, really blurring the lines on conduct and honesty. I still don't know how I feel about all the decisions Cat made in the book, but it seems to all work out in the end. It gives some complexity to Cat's character, though her character was already well developed and had me hooked from the beginning. I really hope we see more of Cat because I'd like to explore some of that complexity and see how she handles other cases. She seems to really care, without the dispassion that can seem to permeate other police procedurals. Hopefully, this will be the start of a series.I really enjoyed this book. It has family drama, mystery and some mayhem.
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  • Hayley
    June 28, 2017
    DC Cat Kinsella was a daddy's girl. Until Marianne Doyle went missing in 1998 and she suspected her father had something to do with it...Present day Cat has been called into a murder investigation, the victim Alice Lapaine. She is found near her dads pub. What secret is her father hiding? And how are the deceased connected? This book was a slow burner for me, yet very compelling. Cat makes some very questionable choices as a police offer, yet as a daughter she makes decisions that most would for DC Cat Kinsella was a daddy's girl. Until Marianne Doyle went missing in 1998 and she suspected her father had something to do with it...Present day Cat has been called into a murder investigation, the victim Alice Lapaine. She is found near her dads pub. What secret is her father hiding? And how are the deceased connected? This book was a slow burner for me, yet very compelling. Cat makes some very questionable choices as a police offer, yet as a daughter she makes decisions that most would for their family. The story really ramps up towards the end, and my dislike for some of the characters (namely Gina and Patrick) really felt justified. Their abhorrent dealings really got their just desserts. For a debut book, this really is a great offering and I would most definitely invest in any further stories Frear has to offer.I would like to thank Readers First for a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
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  • Susan
    June 26, 2017
    Cat Kinella has a problem. She thinks her dad killed a young woman named Maryanne 18 years ago. Now, she is called to a murder scene for a young woman named Alice who has been murdered. Good and bad. Good: it turns out her dad couldn’t have murdered Maryanne because she and Alice are the same person. Bad: Alice was murdered very near Cat’s dad’s bar. So, just like you would expect in one of these books, Cat does not come clean with her boss regarding her connection to the victim or her concerns Cat Kinella has a problem. She thinks her dad killed a young woman named Maryanne 18 years ago. Now, she is called to a murder scene for a young woman named Alice who has been murdered. Good and bad. Good: it turns out her dad couldn’t have murdered Maryanne because she and Alice are the same person. Bad: Alice was murdered very near Cat’s dad’s bar. So, just like you would expect in one of these books, Cat does not come clean with her boss regarding her connection to the victim or her concerns regarding her father. Instead, she pursues the case even as it gets closer and closer to her own past. At 479 pages, this book is long. But Frear uses those pages to develop several wonderful characters and explore the complexities of their relationships. I look forward to more books from this author.A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and Bonnier Zaffre in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Dee
    June 21, 2017
    Cat Kinsella was always a bit of a daddy’s girl. But when seventeen year old Maryanne disappears and Cat’s father lies about having known her, their relationship changes forever. Now, years later, Cat is a DC working in London. When the body of a woman is found near her father’s workplace, all Cat’s fears about him being a killer return.Cat is flawed and carries around a ton of baggage. She’s currently in therapy after suffering a bit of a meltdown at a crime scene but her issues are mostly conn Cat Kinsella was always a bit of a daddy’s girl. But when seventeen year old Maryanne disappears and Cat’s father lies about having known her, their relationship changes forever. Now, years later, Cat is a DC working in London. When the body of a woman is found near her father’s workplace, all Cat’s fears about him being a killer return.Cat is flawed and carries around a ton of baggage. She’s currently in therapy after suffering a bit of a meltdown at a crime scene but her issues are mostly connected to her father and past events. I found it hard to warm to her adult self but eight year old Cat was lovely. We get to know her through diary entries, written when she still worshipped her father and then ultimately caught him in a lie. There were some interesting family dynamics but I failed to see the significance of Cat’s brother. It’s clear something is going on in that relationship but it’s never really explained which I found a bit annoying.Sweet Little Lies is quite slow and I admit I struggled with it and almost considered throwing in the towel altogether. However, I persevered and I’m glad I did as there is a rather intricate plot tying the past to the present. With a host of unreliable characters and a few twists and turns, this had all the potential of being a great crime fiction story. I just felt it had a bit too much angst and not enough action to really hook me.My thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for the advanced copy, which I received via Netgalley.
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  • Miki Jacobs
    June 29, 2017
    I got a free copy of this from readers first and am very glad I did. Cat is a detective constable working on a murder team. The latest body is someone she knew in her past and the reason why she doesn't trust her father. Over the course of the book she learns that some lies are simply that, just fabrications and not what really happened.
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  • Stephanie
    June 8, 2017
    I found Sweet Little Lies to be a great story. Cat is a police officer who uses her Mother’s maiden name. If she used her actual surname her secret would have been revealed and she wouldn’t have had the involvement with the case that she did. I loved her character and the volatile relationship that she had with her family. Her closest relation was her older sister but that relationship was at times difficult. When the body of Alice Lapaine is found near to her father’s pub I could barely wait to I found Sweet Little Lies to be a great story. Cat is a police officer who uses her Mother’s maiden name. If she used her actual surname her secret would have been revealed and she wouldn’t have had the involvement with the case that she did. I loved her character and the volatile relationship that she had with her family. Her closest relation was her older sister but that relationship was at times difficult. When the body of Alice Lapaine is found near to her father’s pub I could barely wait to see how she would handle the situation and if she would reveal secrets from her childhood.I liked the flashbacks to the family holiday in Ireland. The way she was teased over her fascination over pop groups at the time, her desire to be noticed by the older girls in the village, the locals and the way local places were described. The ‘pot-holey’ road being one of them. And then when it became more sinister when a local teenager disappears.The investigation was a convincing one, showing a realistic pace. Murder isn’t always quick to solve and the team had days with no information coming in. The team was also convincing, all the officers were different with their strengths and weaknesses but Cat was willing to learn from each of them even if they weren’t people she liked.I didn’t work this mystery out, the murderer and the reasons why the murder happened were cleverly hidden. I did find the ending a little abrupt but it didn’t stop me enjoying the book.I would love this to become a series. I thought all the characters were strong enough to appear in further books and I would love to see what Cat does next.With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
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  • Vicky-Leigh Sayer
    June 29, 2017
    Sweet Little Lies is a novel with a bright, funny, intelligent detective at its heart.DC Catrina (Cat) Kinsella is working in London when Alice Lapaine's body is found. There is nothing particularly unusual about this, murders unfortunately do happen. Particularly in London. But Alice Lapaine's isn't actually Alice Lapaine. She's Maryanne Doyle, a teenager who disappeared from Mulderrin when Cat was eight and on holiday there with her family.Cat remembers Maryanne's disappearance as if it were y Sweet Little Lies is a novel with a bright, funny, intelligent detective at its heart.DC Catrina (Cat) Kinsella is working in London when Alice Lapaine's body is found. There is nothing particularly unusual about this, murders unfortunately do happen. Particularly in London. But Alice Lapaine's isn't actually Alice Lapaine. She's Maryanne Doyle, a teenager who disappeared from Mulderrin when Cat was eight and on holiday there with her family.Cat remembers Maryanne's disappearance as if it were yesterday. Her Father was questioned about the teenagers sudden disappearance, as she was friends with Cat's elder sister. He lied and Cat knew this, but at eight years old remained silent, and was not questioned herself. But she has never forgotten what happened.Alice Lapaine's husband has no idea of his wife's previous identity, but that doesn't mean he isn't under suspicion. Their marriage wasn't exactly perfect. Cat doesn't think that he did it though. She's more concerned about where Alice/Maryanne's body was found... Very near to her Father's pub. Once again she knows she must remain silent or risk losing everything.Cat is a complex and troubled character, determined to do the right thing, even if that means having to betray family or keep secrets from those who trust her. What starts of as a relatively slow novel, soon gathers pace, and the ending will (probably) leave you open mouthed. It was certainly unexpected.
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  • Sharon
    June 18, 2017
    review to follow in blog tour
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