Book Review: Liar by Lesley Pearse

There are twists galore in Lesley Pearse’s pacy page-turner of a thriller set in 1970s London

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I received a copy of Liar* for review purposes

Liar is set in London in 1970. The Summer of Love is a distant memory, the UK is preparing for decimalisation, and rolling power cuts are bringing daily life to a halt.

Amelia White escaped her abusive family home and now lives in a bedsit in Shepherd’s Bush. She sells newspaper advertising but dreams of becoming a reporter. When she literally stumbles across the body of a young woman, she finally gets her chance to write a piece for the paper.

Soon afterwards, another young woman is murdered, and Amelia is sent back out to report on this crime. She becomes convinced that the murders are linked, and is determined to find the killer before they can strike again.

Meanwhile her private life is also turned upside down when she is swept off her feet by her neighbour Mark. He seems too good to be true, but could she really have found her Prince Charming?

I love a good thriller and this story had me hooked from the start. Amelia is a very appealing character, keen to make something of her life yet sometimes quite naive. The years of abuse at home have left their mark on her, but she’s got a tough streak in her as well.

Lesley Pearse has written several bestselling books, and often sets her novels in the past, whether that’s a war-time setting or the Swinging 60s. Liar’s 1970s setting means that Amelia doesn’t have the luxury of being able to look people up on the internet. She has to rely on her own investigative skills and gut instinct.

As you can imagine, this sometimes leads her into some tricky and sometimes dangerous situations. Again the lack of modern technology means that she has to figure her own way out of them.

I really enjoyed the setting of 1970s London, and Lesley Pearse adds in plenty of cultural references which make the city a character in its own right. In some ways the 1970s doesn’t seem that long ago, for someone of my age anyway. And yet, in other ways it feels like a completely different world.

The storyline has plenty of twists and turns, and every time I thought I’d worked out who the murderer was, something happened to make me doubt my hunch. Eventually the murderer is revealed, and yet Liar still has more surprises in store!

Liar* is a real page turner of a novel. You’ll keep wanting to read just a few more pages before you can bring yourself to finally put it down. Eventually, Liar reaches a satisfying conclusion that ties up every loose end.

If you like a thriller with a gutsy female lead, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy this novel.

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The 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 . . .

A fast-paced, page turner of a novel with a strong female lead – 8/10

Liar* is available in hardback, paperback, audiobook and Kindle formats

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