Author: Lesley Pearse
Published: July 2nd 2020
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Crime, Thriller, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
The thrilling new novel from the 10-million-copy, No. 1 bestselling author
Amelia White dreams of being a reporter. The closest she’s come is selling advertising in the local paper – until the fateful day she stumbles on a shocking scoop.
Round the corner from her home, she discovers the body of a murder victim, dumped among the rubbish. When the police and reporters descend, Amelia is horrified at the lies soon to be spread about the young woman.
Determined to protect the victim from these smears, she convinces her paper’s editor to let her tell the true story.
And when another body is found, Amelia discovers that she may be the only one with any chance of learning the truth and stopping more killings.
If only she can work out who the liar is . . .
Liar by Lesley Pearse is a historical drama, laced with a plenty of intrigue, romance, mystery and a touch of crime. Featuring a high driven lead on a quest to uncover the truth behind a series of murders, Liar is a consuming tale from bestselling British author Lesley Pearse.
Amelia White leads the action in Lesley Pearse’s twenty eighth novel. This Shepherd’s Bush based aspiring reporter is thrust into a murder scene by sheer chance, providing Amelia with the ultimate news scoop. However, the more Amelia is involved in the resulting police investigation, she realises that getting to the truth may be incredibly risky. With the case shrouded in scandal and malicious slander, Amelia is determined to uncover the truth and restore of the dignity of the victim involved. This quest to provide the truth behind the perplexing murder case sees Amelia take up full reporting duties. But before Amelia can publish her exclusive story, another murder occurs and the police are clearly at odds over what happened to these victims. Amelia realises it is down to her to help put a stop to this killer before more victims fall.
Historical drama specialist Lesley Pearse returns with another great addition to her expansive book collection. Liar is a story that balances out a social history, with a murder mystery and a dash of romance. I was able to make my way through Liar in just one sitting, which is an indication of my enjoyment of this book, along with Pearse’s writing.
Amelia White drives Lesley Pearse’s new novel forward. A highly independent, curious and determined young woman, I found Amelia to be a lead character that I was able to immediately warm to. We learn that Amelia has strong aspirations to be a fully-fledged journalist, but she is currently working in the advertising field. With her sharp eye and inquiring mind, Amelia is looking for an exclusive scoop. When she is unexpectedly thrust in the middle of a murder scene after stumbling across a dead body, Amelia knows this grim discovery may provide her with the material she needs to compose her first official newspaper report. We follow Amelia closely as she delves into the case, working with her colleagues, neighbours, authorities and the family members of the victim. It is an emotional journey, but Amelia’s tough resolve gets her through the hard times. We are also privy to Amelia’s past, which is relayed via Amelia’s memories of her difficult family life. This back story hints to issues of domestic abuse, alcoholism and petty crime. Despite these early setbacks, Amelia manages to rise above her circumstances.
Although the crime mystery aspect is at the centre of the action in Liar, Lesley Pearse also includes her trademark element of romance. The love story is more of a side piece, but it offsets the intrigue element of the novel. Amelia’s love interest in the tale is a dashing man, who initially appears to be absolutely perfect, but slowly as the story progresses he loses his sheen. I was quite suspicious of Amelia’s lover from the early stages of the novel and I think this was justified. Pearse does an excellent job of illuminating her central romance in suspicion and deception. It adds plenty of depth to the story at hand.
The 1970s backdrop is recreated very well by Lesley Pearse, an adept historical fiction storyteller. Pearse provided plenty of context in terms of the day to day living, social conditions, economic situation, political relations, gender expectations, impact of the Vietnam War, the fall of the flower power generation and the pop culture trends of this time period. Pearse’s historical stage is authentic, but also fascinating. I got the feeling that this was a rather bleak and transitional time period in our recent history. The conditions were ripe for a series of murders of this nature to take place.
I put all my faith in Amelia and although she put her life in jeopardy, the danger she places herself in eventually works in her favour. The culprit didn’t come as too much of a surprise and some aspects of the case were predictable, but I still enjoyed being swept up in this murder investigation.
Liar by Lesley Pearse is a satisfying read that will be sure to strike a chord with fans of the bestselling author and it may earn the British writer some new readers.
Liar by Lesley Pearse was published on July 2nd 2020 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Liar, Lesley Pearse, visit here.
*I wish to thank Penguin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.