Sweet little lies
Within our souls and minds we all know that we are not immune to telling lies. Everyone harbors secrets and some turn them into lies they often believe and false truths that they actually believe. Witnessing a young child with her dead mother combing her hair, Cat Kinsella remembers this within in her mind and the present. In 1998 Cat and her parents were on vacation. Maryanne Doyle went out for hairspray and never returned. All the police investigators and interviewed people she was never found. Cat’s father had a link to her and was often seen flirting with many young women.
Thomas Lapaine is about to learn that his wife is dead found near the pub that cats father owns. Questioning him it seems odd that he never pursued his wife’s whereabouts for the weeks she was missing. His statement stated that she often wanted to be alone and hated London except for the one time she didn’t. Yet he holds back a harsh reality that might have sent the police in another direction as Cat causes him to reveal his other side. Alice too his passion to become a parent until she decides another route. Cat is hiding and lied about her father’s connection to Doyle. Sweet Little lies let’s face it we all tell them at some time or another for self-preservation or to cover up an indiscretion or just to avoid hurting someone. Cat is our narrator and she has many different sides and voices when interviewing suspects. When interviewing Maryanne Doyle’s brother her accent comes through and when talking to Lapaine she presents a whole other side. Dealing with her two bosses yet a third and the unit she’s with something else. Yet throughout the novel she narrates each situation and then we get her inner thoughts and criticism of what she really thinks about what is being said.
Questioning someone where Maryanne lived and had some space brings a whole new line of unexpected information and the person she rented from suspect herself and while Cat pursues one line of questioning, Parnell hits with another.
Cat learns about a prostitute named Saskia whose story about Maryanne and why she sublet from her seems suspect. Added in we learn more about her relationship with Gina Hicks and her husband who had a relationship with Saskia.
Cats relationship with her family is anything but loving and dealing with Finn her father and her sister Jacqui
Is anything but sisterly as the author takes us back again to 1998 and how young Cat played detective in her own way.
Cat seems unhinged at times and impulsive when she’s unsure of where she should go in an investigation and her life. Even detouring to work to avoid going for family Christmas lunch lying to her Boss about being broke and using the excuse to rewrap a liquid bottle as a gift. Her personality changes in different company and different settings as the author shares more of her dysfunctional childhood. Meeting them was enlightening and odd as all they wanted to hear at lunch was about Maryanne’s murder.
Cat tries to piece it together as Maryanne/Alice in the present were two different people in the same body and yet there is no definitive answer as to where she disappeared and how Alice came to have more than one duel life in her hometown and London.
Confrontations about the past and Cat corners get father about Maryanne shedding light on why he knew her and lied about it to the Guards. She goes missing, turns up dead 18 years later and five minutes from his door the same time he is off range on the radar. Anger and words that cannot be taken back and Cat might not ever regain her past and lose it all in the present. What was her sister’s relationship with Doyle and why didn’t her mother want Jacqui near her?
Entering Mulderrin to learn more about Maryanne and focusing on some memories then going to her Gran’s house what does she really see?
Hazel O’Keefe and Mandating Moran and someone named Swords she hoped would fill in some blanks as she realizes that Maryanne was with child when she left Ireland. Where is the child? Whose sperm and illegal adoption? Things focus into the present again when her sister turns up at her doorstep and words are spoken as Cat finds something that wound up in the boot of the father’s car but what was it and how did it get there? Things take a wild turn as Cat realizes the link between Maryanne and Saskia and lies in between plus what about Gina Hicks? Both are now in the crosshairs of the police. What Cat realizes and how can pictures speak volumes?
Confrontation between father and daughter and the light will shine but in which direction as Finn’s lies come to the forefront and his relationship with Maryanne comes to light as his admissions change the entire complexion of the situation but what will Cat do with the information and who killed Maryanne Doyle and why is Thomas Lapaine like a token husband who really did not know his wife and what role did her father play? Why?
Author Caz Frear presents in her debut novel a multi-complex plot filled with colorful characters ranging from Cat who is a unique Detective Constable with values, certain morals and yet she become unhinged at times and definitely breaks the rules. Parnell hardnosed yet likeable in his role as one of her Bosses and Steele who seems to want to take her under her wing as a surrogate mother hoping that Cat will follow in other directions besides law enforcement and making it her whole life’s work. The final reveal will entangle many characters that will create unexpected twists when you learn why Maryanne/Alice was killed and the motive behind it. You will understand the desperation of this woman and why Finn was caught in her web in order to protect a secret that she would tell and ruin any chance of rejoining his wife in marriage. Life does not always yield the endplay that you want. Everyone has secrets but what happens when lies come at you and you are forced to tell the truth?
Cat unfolds the hidden lies told and the inner workings of a network that sends her reeling uncovering the truth behind Maryanne Doyle’s death, her father’s connection and the circle of life that unraveled around so many. An ending filled with corruption, graft, greed, threats and deceptions so well hidden that anyone would not realize it was in plain sight. Cat now has to face the demons and choose her loyalties and determine the final fate of those who build their lives telling those Sweet Little Lies. Listen carefully as Cat and Parnell hear the voices of many who have lied, cheated and created something so horrific they actually believe in their own actions and defend their viewpoints. Author Caz Frear’s debut novel reminds us that what they uncover and the lies told can be ripped right out of the headlines today. Sweet Little Lies: Harmless: Dangerous or Deadly: You decide before you tell one yourself! How far would you go to protect yourself and someone you are linked to? Cat’s final revelation will shock readers as truth just might take a back seat.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Network/MJ magazine