The Good Liar

By Catherine McKenzie

 

Book Blurb

Can you hide a secret with the whole world watching?

When an explosion rips apart a Chicago building, the lives of three women are forever altered.

A year later, Cecily is in mourning. She was supposed to be in the building that day. Instead, she stood on the street and witnessed it going down, with her husband and best friend inside. Kate, now living thousands of miles away, fled the disaster and is hoping that her past won’t catch up with her. And Franny, a young woman in search of her birth mother, watched the horror unfold on the morning news, knowing that the woman she was so desperate to reconnect with was in the building.

Now, despite the marks left by the tragedy, they all seem safe. But as its anniversary dominates the media, the memories of that terrifying morning become dangerous triggers. All these women are guarding important secrets. Just how far will they go to keep them?

My Review

Catherine McKenzie can always be counted on to spin a great tale, and The Good Liar is no exception. We meet three women who were present when a large explosion rocked Chicago killing more than 500 people on October 10th at 10:00 a.m.  Theirs are stories of secrets, deceptions, and guilt.  In this character-driven story, Cecily, Kaitlyn (Kate), and Franny find themselves confronting their sins of the past year as memorials for “Triple Ten” approach.  I found them each to be believable and profoundly changed by the events of the previous year.  Were they likable characters?  Cecily was the true victim of the story and I liked her a lot, though I found myself getting frustrated with her from time to time.  Kate was so twisted that I couldn’t understand how she could leave her family thinking she had died in the explosion.  I disliked Franny from the start. She was too conniving, and I wanted to have nothing to do with her.  The story is told in the first person by Cecily and Kate giving us a deep insight into their characters, while Fanny’s story was told in interviews and thus was impersonal.

Just when you think you’ve figured it all out, the author throws another twist at you keeping you engaged in reading.  Full of the unexpected, The Good Liar is a book you should watch for.  It will be published in April 2018.

I am giving The Good Liar 4 stars because I felt it was confusing going back and forth among the three women. While I could grasp Cecily’s and Kate’s comments, I had a hard time connecting to Franny’s interview format at first.

Would I recommend The Good Liar?  Unquestionably!

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine is a partner in a litigation boutique in Montreal, where she was born and raised. Catherine’s novels, SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN, HIDDEN, SMOKE and FRACTURED, are bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages, including French, German, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, Slovakian and Czech. SMOKE was named one of the Top 100 Books in 2015 by Amazon and one of the Best Books of October 2015 by Goodreads. FRACTURED was named one of the Best Books of October 2016 by Goodreads.

Catherine’s first book writing as Julie Apple (the protagonist in FRACTURED), THE MURDER GAME, was released in November, 2016. SPIN has been optioned for a television series. A short film of ARRANGED was made in 2014 and won a Canadian National Screen Institute Award. Catherine was on set while they filmed it. It was one of the highlights of her writing life.

Catherine’s next novel, THE GOOD LIAR, will be published on April 3, 2018.

An avid skier and runner, Catherine climbed the Grand Teton in 2014.

And if you want to know how she has time to do all that, the answer is: robots.

Visit her online at www.catherinemckenzie.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/catherinemckenzieauthor, and on Twitter and Instagram at @CEMckenzie1

Due Out April 3, 2018

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Book Spotlight – THE HEART TO KILL

by Dorothy M. Place

Synopsis

Sarah, a student at Northwestern University Law School, returns to her apartment after a trying day to find two telephone messages. The first informs her that she has not been chosen for a coveted summer internship, a position for which her father had arranged an interview. The second is from her mother, with the news that Sarah’s best friend in high school, JoBeth Ruland has murdered her own son and daughter. To mislead her father about her failure to be chosen as a recipient of the internship, Sarah decides to secure a position on JoBeth’s defense team. Against her father’s vehement protest, she leaves Evanston, Illinois at the end of the term and returns to Eight Mile Junction, South Carolina, a small town in the Appalachian foothills, determined to convince him that the experience will contribute to her future.

To make the best of the situation, Sarah sets out to become a vital member of the defense team and to regain favor with her father. But she is not well-prepared for the shock of leaving her sheltered academic life and working in a community rife with chauvinism, malice, and betrayal. Her struggle is met with the benevolent amusement of the senior law partner, John-Two who, despite her objection, insists on calling her “Little Lady.” The criminal trial expert on the team, Al, a tense, disciplined young attorney, resents the intrusion of what he believes to be a know-nothing law student, and treats Sarah as if she is incompetent. The folks of Eight Mile Junction close ranks in the face of Sarah’s inquiries, hiding the town’s complicity in JoBeth’s degradation from the eyes of “outsiders” by finding her guilty before the trial begins. And finally, her father, on whose judgment Sarah has relied her entire life, rejects her efforts to placate his ill-humored response to her decision that summer.

In the end, Sarah discovers the underlying issues that precipitated her friend’s murderous act. Through interviews with JoBeth, her mother, her former lover, and her work associates, her ex-husband’s mistress as well as the testimony given during the trial, the horrifying events that shaped JoBeth’s life are revealed, helping Sarah understand how a person can be driven to extremes that defy ordinary reasoning. Sarah and her friend, it is the betrayal by those they love and believe in that changes their lives forever. Ultimately, it means disgrace and imprisonment for JoBeth. But for Sarah, who decides against returning to law school, it is the beginning of a life in which she, not her father, manages her future.

Meet the Author

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, Dorothy M. Place now lives and writes in Davis, California. A principle investigator of a research group at Sacramento State College, she began creative writing, first as a hobby then as a second career, ten years ago. Since 2005, ten of her short stories have been published in literary journals and magazines, two of which were selected for prizes. At present, she is putting together her first collection of short stories, Living on the Edge, and working on her second novel, The Search for Yetta

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From the Author

THE HEART TO KILL is a novel about love, murder, and small-town politics. Sarah, a second-year law student, returns home to serve on the team defending her high school girlfriend who has murdered her two children. The story is an immersive dive into the human psyche, peeling back layers of deceit and shame until the unvarnished and terrifying truth is revealed. Titan Book Awards gave this novel a gold, the San Francisco Book Review gave it five stars, and Train of Thoughts book reviews named Sarah one of the five best heroines of 2016. To read about the book, learn how it came to be written, and to take a virtual tour of Eight Mile Junction, the town in which the story takes place, please visit the author’s website www.dorothymplace.com. To order the book from Texas A&M Press and take advantage of the 30% discount they are offering, click on this link: www.tamupress.com/Basket/ShoppingCart.aspx.  The discount code is 3B.

 

ANOTHER BORING DAY IN PARADISE

By Malcolm Roscow

Another Boring Day in Paradise

When John and Lisa decide to move to the Bahamas to look for investment property, they go into partnership with Sybille.  They had been warned that she would do anything to own the property, but to what extent would she actually go?

ANOTHER BORING DAY IN PARADISE is not a title I would have picked up to read.  It just didn’t sound like the book for me.  When the author contacted me to review his book, I agreed with some misgivings. But I am so glad I did.  The story is a delightful read, perfect for relaxing on the beach or by the pool.

I give it 4 stars because of the predictability of the outcome of the book.

Genre:  General Fiction

Page count:  217

Published:  January 30, 2015

Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd of Canary Wharf, London. www.austinmacauley.co

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook

Sample chapters are available at Amazon.com.  Click on the following link and use the Look Inside feature.  Link: ow.ly/JJkWx

About the AuthorMalcolm Roscow

ANOTHER BORING DAY IN PARADISE is Malcolm Roscow’s debut novel. He spent 35 years in the pulp and paper industry, which took Roscow to 68 countries on five continents. He lived for a total of 7 years in the USA, where he and his family gained green card permanent resident status and his daughter Laura was born, making her an American citizen. He also lived for a year in the Bahamas. Now living on the south coast of England, the author spends his time writing novels and keeping fit at the gym.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MalcolmRoscow.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MalcolmJRoscow

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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