‘HER FIRST LOVE CONFESSED TO FIVE MURDERS… BUT THE TRUTH WAS SO MUCH WORSE.’
The Liar’s Girl is the second novel from Irish Writer Catherine Ryan Howard. Just published to high acclaim with Corvus Books, The Liar’s Girl is described as ‘An unmissable, utterly compelling thriller.’
I had the pleasure of attending the Cork book launch in Waterstones, where Catherine Ryan Howard did a short reading and was interviewed by Cork’s 96FM Deirdre O’ Shaughnessy, in a very intimate setting. A lovely evening!!!
Please do read on as I share my thoughts of The Liar’s Girl…..
Dublin’s notorious Canal Killer is ten years into his life sentence when the body of a young woman is fished out of the Grand Canal. Though detectives suspect a copycat is emulating the crimes Will Hurley confessed to as a teen, they turn to him for help. Will says 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 a decade building a new life. Having moved abroad, she’s confident that her shattered life in Ireland is finally 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.
Alison Smith has spent the last ten years trying to forget, trying to move on. Now living in The Netherlands, Alison has, for the most part, managed to keep a part of her life very private. She has a job, has made some very close friends and is relatively content, except for one thing…..Alison will never ever forget that her one and only love, her college sweetheart, the man she expected to spend the rest of her life with, is locked up behind bars in the Psychiatric Hospital in Dublin for murder…..
Alison, as a fresher, arrived in Dublin ten years previously from Cork. Having accepted her place in a Dublin college, Alison and her best friend Liz leave their school days of Cork behind them and travel to the capital with high hopes, dreams and aspirations. Within weeks Alison meets Will Hurley. Swept off her feet by this confident young man, Alison falls hard and fast for him. A couple on campus and beyond, Alison became completely infatuated with Will. He was her everything. Life seemed wonderful for Alison. Liz, her best friend since childhood, did appear a little off but Alison soon put it down to jealousy and immersed herself in the college lifestyle with Will by her side.
Alison had gone to St. John’s College with the enthusiasm of many a first year student away from home. She wanted to learn and she wanted to have fun but ‘by the time December dawned, I was skipping lectures, going to only some classes and was lucky to find a tattered notebook and a single working pen in my bag when I got there….Because I was distracted. By him…Our lives dramatically and suddenly melded together. He was just always there now’
Alison’s life changed forever when a body was discovered in the canal, a student from the college. This was followed by another and another….. With fear now rife on campus, girls were concerned for their safety and a curfew was imposed. After the fifth body was discovered, the police narrowed their search and the finger pointed at Will Hurley. Alison is in complete shock and, for reasons she could never quite fathom, Will confesses.
Now, ten years later, Alison opens the door of her home in The Netherlands to two Irish police officers. They need her to travel back to Dublin with them.
With a suspected copycat Canal Killer on the rampage, the police are under pressure to catch their murderer, before more bodies of young girls are fished out of the murky waters of the canal.
Will Hurley has information which may assist in these new developments but he will only reveal his thoughts to one person…Alison Smith.
Alison must make this journey home but she is afraid. She is afraid of meeting Will again. She is afraid of the path her memories will take. She is afraid to expose herself and open up her mind to the inevitable panic that will ensue.
Catherine Ryan Howard takes the reader on a journey between then and now, seamlessly executed with her excellent narrative. The opening pages of The Liar’s Girl grabs the reader right into the story, taking you into the mind of a psychopath, with chilling descriptions ‘He can’t let her go by herself. And he won’t, because he’s a gentleman. A gentleman who doesn’t let young girls walk home alone…..Mr Nice Guy, he calls himself. He hopes she will too.’
The Liar’s Girl is a tightly woven tale where Catherine Ryan Howard had me completely perplexed until the final pages. I genuinely thought I had the case solved when..BANG..an unexpected twist caught me right out.
The writing in The Liar’s Girl is very concise. Catherine Ryan Howard has developed a very unique style that makes for quite an addictive reading experience. The Liar’s Girl is a sinister thriller that gets right under your skin from the get-go, with a well-paced build up of suspense to the final pages.
Purchase Link ~ The Liar’s Girl
Catherine Ryan Howard was born in Cork, Ireland. Prior to writing full-time, Catherine worked as a front desk agent in Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently was a social media marketer for a major publisher.
She is currently studying for a BA in English at Trinity College Dublin.
The Liar’s Girl is her second novel, following on from the very successful Distress Signals.
Website ~ https://catherineryanhoward.com/
Twitter ~ @cathryanhoward