• The Dark Room

LIAR by Lesley Pearse

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller | Women’s Fiction

By Swirl and Thread

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LIAR is the 28th book published by global No. 1 bestselling author, Lesley Pearse. Described as ‘a gripping page-turner full of suspense, a masterclass in unputdownable storytelling’LIAR is published with Michael Joseph and has all the expected hallmarks of a Lesley Pearse read.

Lesley Pearse’s own personal story is a fascinating and very uplifting tale.

‘Told as a child that she had too much imagination for her own good. She left home at 15 and headed to London where she worked her way through many jobs – from corsetry sales, to musician’s muse, to nanny; from gift shop owner to dressmaker – finally finding her true vocation when she became a published author age 49.’

Now Lesley Pearse’s novels are loved across the globe due to her ability to captivate her readers and completely immerse them in the minds of her characters.

In LIAR it is into the world of Amelia White we are taken. Amelia had a very difficult upbringing and made a decision to walk away from her dysfunctional family. At home Amelia had been subjected to verbal and physical abuse from a father and mother who were disillusioned with life and the hand dealt them. After one particularly traumatic event, Amelia never went home. She turned her back on her old life and, with charitable assistance, took baby steps toward a better life.

With dreams of being a writer, she now works on a newspaper selling advertising. She very much keeps to herself with the occasional love interest but Amelia is very careful about any relationship she undertakes. She has seen the control that a man can exert and wishes for better choices in her own life.

Amelia sets off for work one day very much aware of the stench from the rubbish piling up in corners, due to the delayed bin collections. Her eye is brought to a pair of very stylish white boots amidst a pile, but on closer inspection, Amelia makes a horrid discovery. There is a body attached to the boots, a young woman who was very obviously murdered. A neighbour comes to Amelia’s aid, a young man who Amelia had never paid much attention to up to now. A spark is ignited during that distressing day, giving Amelia a glimpse into a different future. But Amelia is cautious and treads lightly in the relationship that follows.

Amelia, while traumatised by the discovery of such a brutal crime, is also very much concerned with how the public and the media will portray this young woman. With her boss’s approval, Amelia interviews the family of the victim and writes a piece for the paper. Amelia is a talented writer and her ability to portray the real personality of this young woman is evident by all. Something awakens in Amelia and she decides to delve further into the mystery surrounding this case.

When another body is discovered and, after Amelia herself becomes the victim of an unwarranted assault, she is convinced that all are connected in some way. After a third body is discovered, Amelia starts to fear for her own safety, yet her journalistic instincts urge her to keep searching, to uncover the truth behind these heinous attacks.

A Lesley Pearse book is always one that has a very easy flow to the writing. The characters are a mix of personalities bringing many relevant themes to the fore, in this case focusing on domestic abuse, bullying and dominating behaviour. As Amelia pieces together clues, the reader gets an insight into lives lived and the long lasting impact of actions taken in the past. Amelia has always doubted her own ability and, at times, her vulnerability exposes her to very confusing and very challenging situations. She questions herself many times, doubting her judgement, unsure of who and what to believe.

LIAR is not a typical murder mystery. There are none of the graphic descriptions of violence we now expect to read as standard in many crime fiction books. Lesley Pearse ‘does’ crime in her own gentle way.

‘A natural storyteller, Lesley has lived an eventful life but is also inspired by others’ stories of courage and adversity, often giving voice to women lost in history and people damaged by their childhood experiences.’

While murder is central to the plot-line of LIAR, it really is more about the personalities depicted and their individual stories. Amelia takes on the role of super-sleuth, searching in between the cracks for the truth behind these macabre discoveries. With little care for her own safety she does put herself into some very precarious and, at times, rather unwise, situations. But Amelia is strong-willed and is not one to listen to the advice given.

In parallel to her detective work, Amelia’s personal life is also facing difficulties, leaving Amelia with more than one battle to deal with. One thing we learn as readers is that Amelia is very courageous and fearless…but can she come out of this unscathed?

LIAR is a novel that is sure to please Lesley Pearse fans around the globe. With a gutsy heroine as it’s main protagonist, LIAR has an old-school charm that will captivate and appeal to all looking for a compassionate and emotional tale.

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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