Liar by Lesley Pearse

My thanks to Megan Denholm at ED Public Relations for sending me an advance copy of Liar. The decision to read was my own, and this review forms my honest opinion.

Blurb

In a Shepherd’s Bush bedsit, 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 truly 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 assumptions made and lies soon to be spread about this poor young woman.

Determined to protect the victim from these smears and help her grieving family, she convinces her paper’s editor to allow her to take up her pen and tell the true story.

But when another body is found and the police investigation stalls, Amelia – uncovering new witnesses and suspects in her search for clues – 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 . . .

Review

I’m just laying this out from the outset. Lesley Pearse is a favourite author of mine, I own everything she has ever written in at least physical, if not ebook too, and she is one of only a handful of authors whose books I have re-read more than once. Quite simply put, I love her books.

During the life of my blog, I’ve read and enjoyed The House Across the Street and You’ll Never See Me Again and I was so excited when an advance copy of Liar arrived on my doormat.

Set in 1970s London, Liar, sees aspiring journalist, Amelia White make a grisly discovery when she finds the body of a young woman. Her unique position allows her access to the girl’s family, and this leads her to become deeply embroiled in an unofficial investigation fueled by her ambition.

Amelia is a character to champion. Damaged by an awful childhood and left hiding from life, the events of the novel take her on a journey of self realisation. There are the usual ‘read through your finger’ moments as she makes some questionable decisions, but I found myself completely and utterly in her corner. There is a certain magic Lesley Pearse weaves throughout her books, I don’t think there is any other author I have come across who is able to draw me into a story so quickly. I find her writing style to be so welcoming to a reader, accessible, open and compelling. Her characters are ones you want to succeed, and I become so pulled into their world, that my own world melts away as I read. I know without doubt that it is her uncanny ability to pluck me from own surroundings that has called me revisit her books time and time again.

I’ve noted a shift in more recent novels, away from the earlier, more character-centric novels to more plot focused novels and whilst the author always excels in storytelling, I have noticed that my connection with the characters hasn’t been quite as strong. However, both Liar and her last novel, You’ll Never See Me Again have, in my opinion, been evidence of a beautifully successful merging of both styles, creating unforgettable characters who have stayed with me.

Liar entranced me from the first page, and had me reading into the early hours of the morning, so invested that there was no need to force myself to stay awake – I just had to know what happened next. Read during lockdown, it has been the perfect antidote to all the anxiety I’ve been feeling. There is something so comforting about spending time with the work of an author you love.

If you haven’t tried a Lesley Pearse book before – where have you been? Never boring and beautifully told – the words for how highly I recommend her books simply do not exist.

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