Review: Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear


Release date: August 14, 2018

Publisher: Harper

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


What happens when the trust has gone?

Cat Kinsella was always a daddy’s girl. Until the summer of 1998 when she sees her father flirting with seventeen-year-old Maryanne Doyle.

When Maryanne later disappears and Cat’s father denies ever knowing her, Cat’s relationship with him is changed forever.

Eighteen years later, Cat is now a Detective Constable with the Met. Called to the scene of a murder in Islington, she discovers a woman’s body: Alice Lapaine has been found strangled, not far from the pub that Cat’s father runs.

When evidence links Alice to the still missing Maryanne, all Cat’s fears about her father resurface. Could he really be a killer? Determined to confront the past and find out what really happened to Maryanne all those years ago, Cat begins to dig into the case. But the problem with looking into the past is that sometimes you might not like what you find.


Nothing really excites me more than when I read a debut that knocks my socks off, and Sweet Little Lies was one hell of a stunning first novel. It’s mostly a police procedural with a psychological thriller feel to it and it’s also part dark family drama which made for a combination I couldn’t get enough of.

Cat is a detective who has made her job her life, nothing earth shattering there, but the complexity with which Frear developed her made her a standout character, the type I won’t soon forget. Her past is intriguing, especially her relationship with her father and trying to decide if her memories from her childhood related to her current case was so fascinating. You have the recollections of an eight year old child, isnshe even remembering things exactly as they happened or is it all muddled up with time and age? A constant guessing game and one that I totally failed, Frear delivered in the end and totally pulled the wool over my eyes.

This does require a tiny bit of patience for readers who only enjoy fast paced narratives, I love a good old slow burn when the payoff is worth it and it totally was here. Just when I thought things were all wrapped up with a neat bow Frear shook me up again and delivered a new shock, she’s GOOD not only at characterization and plotting one hell of a story but also at writing, plain and simple. There’s some sardonic humor and wit sprinkled in to a mostly sharp style, a lethal combination that gets me every time. I see Goodreads says this is the first in a series and I couldn’t be happier, I would love to read more about Cat!

Sweet Little Lies in three words: Assured, Cunning and Authentic.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

17 thoughts on “Review: Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

  1. delphinethebabbler says:

    Wonderfully written review, as always! This one sounds absolutely amazing! I’ve really been in the mood for a good thriller lately to end my summer and this one has been under my radar for quite some time, noticing so many reviews floating around, all praising the novel

    Liked by 1 person

  2. homesweethouser says:

    I’m reading this one right now and honestly I’m struggling. I think I was expecting more thriller and less police procedural. The story seems very slow moving. I’ve got an hour and a half left on audio so I hope the end blows me away, but so far it’s not as good as I thought it would be.

    Liked by 1 person

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