Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children alone, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. Life isn’t easy, but Judi’s family means everything to her and together, they manage.
Then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t sure … there’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up.
Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children.
The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences.
Kim is the number one bestselling author of sixteen psychological crime thrillers. She has sold over two million copies of her books worldwide. She has also written four Carnegie-nominated Young Adult novels as Kim Slater for Macmillan Children’s Books. Kim has an MA in Creative Writing and lives with her husband in a small Nottinghamshire village.
Publishers: Bookouture, Sphere, Grand Central, Audible Agent: Camilla Bolton at Darley Anderson
Overbearing mother or the obtrusive new girlfriend. The ultimate battle for control of a family.
Recent and lonely widower Ben starts dating beautiful and mysterious Amber. He feels like his life is finally getting back on track. He’ll have more stability for his 2 young sons and thanks his lucky stars. But if it seems too good to be true. Well…you know. Does Amber have an ulterior motive for inserting herself into Ben's life and creating a rift within his family? His mother Judi sure as hell thinks so! But we are left guessing what that motive is. Judi is determined to dig in her heals and fight to save her son and entire family.
I felt anger toward Amber and deep hurt for Judi, intensifying as Amber continued embedding herself into their lives. I don't know if I've ever read a book that has evoked such a visceral response. I absolutely hated Amber! A true sociopath. I actually had difficulty reading it because of my pure loathing for her. My anxiety level was peaking as the book went on. And of course, I couldn't stop reading!
The title of the book includes the dreaded "A gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist" Normally, when I see that header I cringe! Knowing it will never live up to that hype. Well, this time it was spot-on as advertised. Left me speechless. The book pulls you along at an alarming speed. Basically read it in one day, and was kept in the dark throughout most of it. I knew something huge was coming but seriously?! Ahhh!!
A must read for all thriller fans!!
Thank you to NetGalley, K.L. Slater and Bookouture.
Families are complicated. Judi has always been the matriarch of her family. It has always been her way or the highway. Her son Ben has relied on her heavily in caring for his two sons since the loss of his wife Louise. Caring for her family is her reason for living. One day, Ben starts dating a beautiful, vivacious and extremely mysterious young woman named Amber. He falls head over heels. Things move quickly. Judi is not pleased.
You see, Amber is not what she seems, though Judi is the only one who notices, much to Judi’s chagrin. In fact, Amber is intent on tearing Ben’s family apart and it’s working. Judi’s life is in shambles and Amber couldn’t be more thrilled. Don’t count Judi out however, for she has something Amber does not. Life experience.
K. L. Slater has written characters that are so real – it’s as if you either know them or almost as if you are them. Both Judi and Amber evoke a lot of emotion from the readers. My heart rate was up sky high for much of the book (according to my Apple iWatch, that is) thanks to Amber and Judi and the adgita they gave me.
“Liar” is a suspense like no other. K. L. Slater created tension that seeped through the pages into my own body - as if I took a sip of brandy and it slid down my throat and filled my entire being. This book grips you. You feel anxiety, dread, fear, the works.
All I can say is this: If you don’t read it, you are missing out on one of the best thrillers I have ever read. Seriously.
Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and K.L. Slater for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon on 6.25.17.
I loved every second of it. Very clever from start to finish. A twisted battle between a mother in law and a soon to be daughter in law. We have a controlling and obsessive mother named Judi who wraps her own life around her son Ben and his 2 boys. Ben is a widow and enjoys the comfort Judi gives to him and his sons. That is until he meets Amber. Amber is the new conniving girlfriend who wants Judi out of their lives.
Who is the liar?? Ben is being torn between his mom and his new love. What is he to think? Who is he to believe?
The tide is turning and Judi smiles to herself. "How I have hated this woman. Hated her for so long and yet now I feel nothing."
Completely blown away and not expecting the conclusion at all. Can't wait to read more from K.L. Slater. Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the arc.
Wow! Just Wow! This was absolutely insane, twisted, and completely mind-blowing… I loved it! Liar by K.L. Slater is an outstanding psychological thriller that I just couldn’t put down - I was hooked right from the start! This book is about the deep and disturbing hatred between a controlling and proud mother/grandmother and the beautiful and conniving new girlfriend.
How far would you go to protect your family?
Ben is raising his 2 young boys by himself with the help of his loving and dedicated mother, Judi, after his wife passed away 2 years ago. But then one day he meets the beautiful and mysterious Amber and they start dating. That’s when things don’t go so well between Judi and Amber. Ben becomes torn between the 2 women in his life. He just doesn’t understand why Judi hates Amber so much, and Judi is devastated that Ben is allowing Amber to cut him and the boys out of her life.
Both of these women, Judi and Amber, are very unlikeable characters. Judi is extremely controlling and wants to keep Ben and the boys all to herself. Amber, on the other hand, wants to cut Judi out of Ben and the boy’s lives forever. Both will do anything to get what they want. Shocking secrets and lies could change everything for these women. Who is the liar? Will the ultimate decision lead to the most disastrous consequences? A big winner for me... Highly recommend!
*I want to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this book.
4.5 stars for Liar by K L Slater, a book that once I started reading, I was simply unable to put down.
Liar starts at THE END, and then goes back to THE BEGINNING. But don't worry, it gives nothing away. You know what happened, but not to whom, or who was responsible. I kept changing my mind, as I read the book, as to who was the killer and who was the victim.
Told from multiple POV, Liar is very well written and very clever. It is simply written, which only adds to the suspense.
Judi's beloved daughter-in-law, Louise, died when the children were very young. Judi stepped in and has cared for her son Ben and his two sons, Noah and Josh, ever since. They are her world, and her world is threatened when Ben brings home a girlfriend, Amber. Judi should be happy that Ben has another chance at love, but Amber unsettles her. Is Judi just unwilling to let go, or is there more to Amber than meets the eye?
If you enjoy psychological thrillerso, I can heartily recommend Liar.
Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Liar by K.L. Slater for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Another superb thriller from Bookouture! This is a must-read for thriller lovers. Wow! Just so utterly mind-blowing. There are lots of twists and turns and one crazy twist at the end. K.L. Slater has written a masterpiece of a psychological thriller and I loved it. Right from the get-go you will have great difficulty putting it down so I advise you to clear you diary and spend some time with this winner of a novel. There are many 5-star reviews such as mine on Goodreads and Amazon - so many people cannot be wrong!
This psychological thriller is based around the workings of a family and the family dynamic. When I first started reading the mystery/thriller genre I always thought that a thriller based around a family set-up would be very boring - no killing, kidnapping etc and mainly mind games between a family. I now know that these mind games and psychological manipulation can be just as riveting as any other thriller novel. LIAR explores the question of how far an individual would go to protect their family and loved ones - would you kill for them if you had to?
Single father Ben is raising his two young sons with the help of his dedicated and supportive mother, Judi. Life is difficult but Judi is devoted to helping Ben and the children and they mean more to her than anything. Then one day he meets Amber. Everyone thinks they are perfect together - the only person who is wary of her is Judi, who thinks there's something off about her somehow. Could it be that Judi is just jealous as Amber is beautiful and she could see her as taking her sons attention away from her... Or is something more than that?
Ben doesn't understand why Judi hates Amber so much, and Judi is extremely upset that Ben is allowing Amber to cut him and the boys out of her life. Amber just wants Ben and the children. Ben then becomes torn between the two women in his life who both appear to want him and the boys all to themselves.
Judi and Amber are both completely unlikeable characters but they are both very realistic as I certainly know of some women acting like this. Judi is controlling and wants her son and grandsons all to herself, Amber, wants exactly the same by severing Judi's relationship with Ben and the boys. Both women are filled with jealousy over the other and are possessive to an extreme. It becomes clear that both women will do anything to get what they want.
The further Judi delves into Amber's personal life, the closer she becomes to shocking secrets and lies that could change everything. Judi must make the ultimate decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences.
Highly recommended, a fantastic book and a fabulous publisher. I will not hesitate to pick up a tonne more books from them in the near future.
I have been eagerly waiting for Kim's next book after reading her fantastic thriller Blink!
Just when I thought Kim's books couldn't get any better....she writes Liar and I'm simply blown away.
Extremely clever piece of writing, I was so hooked I stayed up all night reading it. I was left completely spellbound. Left me gripped, enthralled.and frantically turning the pages desperate to uncover what I thought was the truth! But wow oh wow, how wrong was I!!!
I'm really unsure how to write the rest of my review as I really don't want to give anything away. It's far too good!
So I'll try to sum it up a little bit. Ben has recently lost he's wife. He has two adorable young boys. Ben is very close to he's Mum Judi. Well that is until Amber comes into Ben's life.
Judi and Amber don't get on at all!!. Judi believes Ben is moving way too fast.
Amber is hiding something... But what can it be? Why is it that Amber just slots into Ben's life, why does she know so much?
The opening chapter is called The End... Wow what a way to open a book. Just from the first few pages I was hooked. It dragged you in, teased you, then fast forward to the present. Leaving you wanting more.
Kim has this way of creating strong female characters that come across as unstable and disturbed slightly. She has this way of knocking the reader off balance. Just when you think you know something... It's not what it seems.
If you read this book and you think it's somewhat predictable, believe me you will be shocked... I was!
I loved the dynamics between Judi and Amber. It has very sinister undertones, you never know what is coming next between the two of them. One thing they have in common is the need to get Ben and he's boys to themselves. With very very dangerous consequences.
My opinions about Judi and Amber flip flopped the whole way through. Which you will understand once you delve into the story.
I loathed Amber, she was manipulative, devious, twisted, controlling and determined to fit in with Ben's life no matter what.
Judi on the other hand came across as over protective, if not at times a little suffocating, determined, a little unbalanced. Her marrige life really isn't perfect and her husband devalues her opinions the whole way through the book. He has lost all respect for Judi. But He's no Angel it comes out he has had numerous affairs along the way!
Ben comes across as very weak, but he is still grieving and is lost in the lust of finding someone new. But he really did frustrate me and at times I wanted to shake him and shout "open your eyes" ... I know they say love can be blind....but Wow!!!
Liar ensnared me, played with my emotions, kept me guessing, kept me reading all through the night, made me question my thoughts, it's gripping,and truly is the perfect physiological thriller!!!
The story is told by Judi and Amber, which is perfect as you really get to delve into their thoughts and actions. Very cleverly written.
The title really sums up the whole book.... someone is a Liar..... But who and why....and how far will they go!!!!
Would I recommend this book......100% ......YES!!!!
This is by Far my favourite physiological thriller of 2017..... I have a strong feeling Liar is going to be a hit!
I received this book from the Publisher in exchange for a honest and fair review via Netgalley.
Well this was a twisted story, if ever I read one! What an ending! I think people will be torn between loving and hating this book, because of the ending, but I enjoyed it:-) The story moved quickly, and I do think with a psychological thriller, pace is really important. I also enjoyed that it was told from two POVs. Again, something some people love and others hate, but I fall firmly into the former category. I did feel the male characters were not very strong, however, this could be intentional. I won't go into the plot too much, because I do not want to spoil anything, though I will say, it kept me on my toes since, as far as I could see, this was a mystery without a murder. I will definitely keep an eye on this author for future reads!
This book starts out bloody. You're not sure who is hurt, and how they got to that point. My curiosity kept me reading. I went back and forth several times trying to figure it out. While some of my suspicions were correct, I'm starting to think K.L. Slater is a master of surprises. I never figure quite everything out until she clues us in. Her short and snappy chapters are another thing I love about her writing. Just one more chapter never fails to turn into another four or five... or just finishing the book! She also manages to shift perspectives often without making it confusing. My final rating is a 4.5.
Ben and his two young boys have made it on their own since their mother (his lovely wife) passed away. ...Well, maybe not quite. His mother is a large part of their lives. A loving grandmother is a great thing, but she crosses the line into overbearing. She cleans their house twice a week, washes and irons all of their laundry, picks them up from school, and often cooks for them. Sounds like a heavy workload, especially combined with her part time job at the doctor's office. But Judi lives for it. She genuinely seems to enjoy catering to the men in her life. Just reading about everything she does is exhausting!
The whole family has settled into a comfortable routine, making the best of their situation. Until Amber arrives and changes everything. Beautiful and confident, it doesn't take her long to have Ben wrapped around her little finger. Judi is not so keen. She's convinced they're moving too quickly, and worries over the boys. She's clearly right to be a little concerned, because Ben is fairly oblivious and entirely too eager to share responsibilities with his new girlfriend. Used to being taken care of by a woman, he is happy to let Amber discipline the boys and make some changes in their lives. Judi is not.
We know right away that Judi is right to be suspicious of Amber. Her "chance meeting" with Ben was actually carefully orchestrated. She's the perfect girlfriend, but she's playing a part. Why is she so eager to insert herself into their lives?
This is an easy to read story full of tension and twists. The characters are realistically flawed, and I love that it touched on some important topics, like gaslighting, changing family dynamics, and the changes you experience as you become older. K.L. Slater is definitely on my list of authors I watch for new releases from!
I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley and Bookouture, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
LIAR by K.L. Slater is a gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist. I have read all her other novels and knew I was in for another special treat. Well, all I can say is WOW…for me, she blew it out of the ballpark! This was one amazing twisted read, that while I raced ahead to find out how it was going to end…I didn’t want this book to end. It was that good, and I was totally involved in the story line.
This story explores the lengths a devoted grandparent might go to protect her family, a battle of hatred between a domineering mother and her son’s scheming new girlfriend. It explores the negative controlling effects of a mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.
This book is set in Nottinghamshire, UK, the home of the author and starts at the “END” and then goes back to the “BEGINNING.” The book is told from multiple POV’s, the chapter headings highlight each narrative.
How far would you go to protect your family?
Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his two young sons alone, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. Life isn’t easy, but Judi’s family means everything to her and together, they manage.
Then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t sure … there’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up.
Does Amber have a motive for entering Ben’s life and family? Judi doesn’t trust her and feels Amber is there to break up the family. Judi wants Amber “out of the picture.”
Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children.
Not having any children, I was surprised with the passion that I felt for the characters. I despised Amber, and wanted to get rid of her myself. I felt compassion for Judi and all that she had to endure. The men (Ben and Henry-Judi’s husband) played minor roles in the novel. Ben is somewhat of a mummy’s boy, so naïve and totally under Amber’s spell. I wanted to shake him and have him wake up and smell the roses. Henry was arrogant and always sided with Ben and Amber.
Judi sets out to investigate Amber’s personal life, and the shocking secrets and lies she discovers could change everything for these women.
WHO IS THE LIAR? WHO IS THE KILLER AND WHO IS THE VICTIM?
Read this well-written fast-paced psychological thriller to find out. You will not be able to put this book down.
Many thanks to K.L. Slater, Bookouture and Netgalley for the ARC.
I finished Liar by K.L Slater last night & I must say I loved it , I could feel the tension start to buold early on & it didn't stop, the characters were well written yet flawed but again it made the premise that bit more interesting.
MOTHER IN LAW V THE FIANCE WHO WILL WIN!! Judi was an over bearing mother who wanted to control her son Bens life as well as her 2 grandsons she was happy until Ben meets Amber then everything changes forever, things start going missing, Her grandson Noah ends up in hospital, Ben thinks the sun shines out of Amber but IS SHE ALL WHAT SHE SEEMS!!
Judi will stop at nothing to prove to Ben that Amber is no good for Ben but Ben hates Judi's Meddling she sees daggers every time Amber is around the tension is at peak limit every time Amber & Judi are around each other which I think made the story even more addictive, at times I just wanted to strangle Judi & slap her she was irritating but enjoyable at the same time.
We also find out towards the end of the book about Henry her devoted husband but he wasn't what I thought he was, Judi's past as well as Ambers was surprising to say the least, over all this was yet another winner for K.L Slater 4.5 stars
Most definitely one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever read. I have enjoyed this author's previous two books and in my opinion her work goes from strength to strength. I picked this book up at 10% on Sunday afternoon and resurfaced only once I had devoured every last morsel of this brilliant story. The novel is full of twists and turns and expertly drawn complex characters that you won't be able to decide if you love or hate. The writing is, as ever, evocative, tense, tight and accomplished. I am now a confirmed fan of this author and will read every book she releases. Highly recommended.
Well this author has done it again, shes written unputdownable psychological thriller that has kept me on tender hooks all the way through and although I got a whiff of dirty misdemeanours, some were never confirmed by the author leaving [me] the reader totally in awe and captivated long after I read the last page.
Judi was a likeable person. I admired how close her grown son Ben was to her, and of course, she helped him look after his two sons after his wife died. Cleaned house, did the washing and ironing and fed them.
Ben meets Amber. Its never easy for us Mums when children fall in love and meet someone. But Ben had been married and Judi got along with her previous daughter-in-law so seeing that she wants her son to be happy then she would befriend Amber. But the author lead us down another route which I didn't expect or see coming.
Then there is her husband. Then there are Ambers secrets and past. Judi's other son had died but we don't know how. But Judi's grief is very much at the forfront within these pages.
Judi is also going through the menopause and gets hot flushes. I know first hand how that can affect a woman, sleepless nights, mood swings, forgetfulness and sometimes being just darnright unreasonable. So most times she just came across as a middle aged woman who adored her son, grandkids and just resented having to take a back seat now that Amber was on the scene.
Is that the reason why Judi dislikes Ben's new girlfriend? Maybe her grief has got her to the point of focusing on Ben and her grandsons, after all, apart from her job, who else needs her.
There are rapid movements within this tale that will get your stomach twisted in knots, you won't know if you are coming or going.
I took one evening to get to 90% and finished it off the following morning whilst eating my breakfast, this was definitely a book I personally couldn't put down.
I loved this authors previous psychological thrillers, her last one BLINK had me on the edge of my seat.
I shout yeahhhhhhh when I see she has another book, so I'm sure to do the same on her next published book.
I was chatting to my husband about this book this morning, eventhough I have started another book this one will stay with you.
Judi has been doing what any devoted mother would after her son's wife passed away two years prior, helping raise his two young sons and take care of them all. But when Ben meets a new woman, Amber, and brings her home to introduce her to his parents Judi can't help but feel there is just something a bit off with Amber and wonder of her intentions.
Ben doesn't understand why Judi dislikes Amber but feels that it is time for him to move on with his life. Shortly after the meeting though Judi finds herself being pushed out of her son and grandsons lives as Amber moves in and takes over the family. Judi decides she will not be pushed out with only their best interest in mind so she prods into Amber's life to find out just what is going on.
Liar starts off with a rather interesting prologue that certainly gained my interest in this book rather quickly with someone apparently being killed in the opening pages leaving a reader to wonder who and why it had happened. The book then begins the tale of Amber entering Ben and Judi's lives by switching the POV between mainly Judi and Amber with Judi telling most of the story but a few chapters with others also telling the story.
Judi is aging and has already lost one son along with a daughter in law that she loved dearly so her over-protectiveness was completely understandable. She's also suffering from menopausal symptoms and trying to cope with those during these trying times for her so she became a character that was easy to get behind when her family was shutting her out. For those reasons along with learning Amber really did have ulterior motives from her chapters I was easily hooked into wanting to know just how that prologue would tie into the story and what would happen with this book.
With plenty of twists and turns to keep captivated this became a book that I just didn't want to put down until it was over. And then the ending with this story was completely not what I was expecting to read at all and made the book that much better. Definitely would recommend this one to the fans of psychological thrillers.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Ah! Nearly a very good read. A book of two halves. 2.5 stars from me.
Ben is a widower with two young sons having lost his wife to cancer a couple of years previously. He still calls around to his parents every Sunday for Sunday lunch and his mother Judi plays a huge part in his life, does the house work in his house, his washing, collects his kids from school and looks after them when needed. She loves her grandkids to bits and of course her son Ben. Her only child now after his brother died in an apparent accident when they were teenagers.
We are then introduced, and this is no spoiler as it's becomes apparent very quickly in the book, Amber. We know straight away from her narrative that all is not what it seems with her as she tries to manipulate a meeting with Ben so she can seduce him even though she has no feelings for him. She wants to become part of his family for some reason. Judi of course is not overly impressed by the arrival of Amber and Amber seems to take great pleasure in upsetting Judi. Judi doesn't trust her one bit as she wriggles her way into the hearts of her son Ben and also her own husband. She's determined to find out what she's up to but Ben and her husband think she is paranoid and becoming obsessive with both protecting her grandchildren and discrediting Amber. What secrets does Amber hold? Why is she obsessed with this family? Why can't Ben and her husband see through her?
This starts off as a really interesting premise. We get the end at the start and so know two women fight and one is killed(again no spoiler, it's in the opening chapter) then we get to know Judi and the family and finally get into Ambers world before they all come together. There is intrigue as we are wondering what Ambers motives are and what her end game is. We are rooting for Judi as she seems to be the only one that sees through her facade. We go through chapter by chapter as this scenario is played out. Judi doesn't trust Amber. Amber does something sneaky to annoy Judi. Judis husband and son don't see anything wrong and think Judi needs to see a doctor. Rinse and repeat for a large chunk of the book and the story starts to become of course repetitive, wafer thin and irritating.
Both Judis husband and son seem completely stupid as Ambers antics escalate and they see no wrong. The only two male adult characters in the book and they are very two dimensional, dislikeable and frankly stupid. That's another issue I had with the book. Amber obviously is a dislikeable character as "the baddie" and Judi being the central character was the one I had empathy with at the start and the one I was rooting for. As the book went one she became more and more irritating. Having no characters that you like or at least remain curious and interested in doesn't bode well for a book.
How it played out became fairly obvious quite early on. Not a problem for me usually as that shouldn't be the be all and end all of a novel like this but, when there isn't the characters or intruiging story there then that's the only hook left for me.
This started off really interesting and the author had me for the first half of the book but as it went on, for reasons stated above I lost intetrest and the book I felt lost it's way.
It's 2.5 stars from me unfortunately. Not one I could personally recommend.
Thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture and K.L. Slater for an ARC.
I had resolved to reduce my reading of (domestic) psychological thrillers this year. I have however read K L Slater’s books before and liked them. This book is extremely typical of the genre, but it was published 5 years back, and just maybe it is books that followed that have started aping the style.
Ben is a widower with two young sons. His mother Judi is very possessive of him and the kids. Amber enters Ben’s life, and they soon get to be very close. Judi is convinced there is something fishy about Amber and feels she is taking Ben and his sons away from her and her husband Henry. There is a tension between them all the time and much against Ben and his dad trying to get Judi to change her opinion, she is constantly aggressively confronting Amber.
The tension between Judi and Amber builds up very well. The character development of Judi and Amber is very typical of this genre. The pace is slow and as expected the last sections have twists. Since there are a limited set of characters, I could sense where the story would go early on.
I found this boring for the most part, and the twists in the last sections did not surprise me too much or make things better.
I listened to this on Audible, and the narration was very good.
This story was filled with the thoughts of a fifty-something year-old woman who experienced anxiety issues, loved reminiscing about her earlier years in motherhood, and who was dealing with menopause-related discomfort on a regular basis. But ultimately? Judi was a nag and an attention demon. She desperately fed off the complimentary commentary from her husband, son, and grandsons in order to feel whole. When they stopped focusing on her, she created other ways to draw them back and there was increased competition for attention when her son brought home the woman he was dating.
This story started off very strong but then promptly took a nosedive! Judi's overbearing need to be the star of her family along with the slightly interesting side characters (seemingly thrown in for the fun of it) did not make for a thrilling read! Amber was supposedly the villain of this story, but she wasn't villainy enough for me. She was condescending and antagonizing, but underwhelming and a lukewarm villain at best. While the beginning chapters gripped me, the majority of the story felt chick-lit-ish and I grew bored very quickly.
▣ This book was written in third person and featured multiple POVs. I was hoping for a more animated, creepy, and chilling read with an intensely unreliable narrator, but this book didn't deliver strongly enough. The upside? The last ten percent of this book took a most noteworthy turn.
**ARC kindly provided by Bookouture via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
“There’s a point at which you may might realise the journey isn’t really for you any more. But every time you get a chance to change paths, you just stay put because it’s easier". ― K.L. Slater, Liar
Liar is a perfectly fine book. The problem is I have read it already.
I have read it in "The girlfriend". I have read it in "the perfect roommate". I have read it in "the perfect girlfriend". I have read it in "the mother-in-law". Shall I go on?
I used to love this type of story. But it's been done so much and these days it takes a really unique book to get me into this genre again. Liar was not it.
It has a great premise and the writing is good. I just have read this book. Again. And again. And then again.
I think it might appeal more to people who are still new to the genre. Or have not yet burnt out on it. Believe me there is a girlfriend in this one you will love to hate and you will most likely want to scream to the clueless boyfriend "what's wrong with you"?!! Well we know what's wrong with him. He's pu##ywhipped.
In this genre, all the men are painted as sort of being dolts. But this guy Ben has a special place in the dolt club. He was so clueless I wanted to jump through the book and yell "moron"at him. That would not have been to nice I guess....
So to sum up...... Honestly, this is not a bad book. And this is a good book to read if you like books about crazy girlfriends but methinks I have had my fill.
Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review “Liar” is the third novel by British novelist K.L Slater. In “Liar”, single dad Ben is raising two children on his own, with the help of his doting mother Judi. When Ben starts dating Amber, Judi begins to doubt her son’s new lover. As Judi’s doubts and paranoia grow, she begins to delve into Amber’s past and slowly, hidden secrets begin to reveal themselves. Judi is now faced with a dilemma- will she risk it all to save her son and grandchildren? This novel was incredible! Addictive and suspenseful, I couldn’t put it down for a minute. Each short chapter (told from the points of view of Judi and Amber alternating) ended in a cliff hanger, making the novel super easy to read. The ending took me by complete surprise- as a fan of the psychological thriller genre, I normally am able to wager a good guess on who the culprit is but this one was such a shocker! The characters of Judi and Amber were both likable and unlikable, both trying to vie for the readers’ trust and support. The creativity of this author is second to none, and it’s obvious that she has honed her writing skill to a finely turned art. This novel has everything readers of psychological fiction could want! “Liar” is about the relationship between a mother and her grown son, and the intricacies that arise when a new partner enters the picture. For anyone who knows a “possessive, slightly crazy Mother-in-law type” ( Looks around, “wow look at that distracting thing” “man I don’t know any crazy mother-in-law types, I promise…everything is great….I love you”…whistles loudly) this novel will have you double checking your locks at night. A five-star read from an author I should’ve checked out long before now, and who I will now actively keep an eye out for.
Single Dad Ben has been bringing up his two young boys on his own since his wife died two years ago. He's close to his Mum Judi who helps a lot, popping in to clean his house and do the laundry and looking after the boys after school. But when Ben meets and falls in love with a beautiful young girl called Amber all that changes. The two women do not like or trust each other and Amber gradually pushes Judi out of their lives, preventing her from seeing Ben and the boys. Judi is not prepared to let her get away with that and starts to look into Amber's background, finding that she has told a lot of lies. So what is it that Amber wants and how does Judi get the besotted Ben to open his eyes?
This is a slow burning psychological thriller as Amber gradually weasels her way into Ben's world, isolating him from Judi. Judi comes across as overly possessive and a bit of a martyr, doing so much for Ben and suffering from symptoms of menopause in silence but Amber is clever and conniving and initially has the upper hand in this struggle for dominance. Is Judi right to be fearful for the safety of her two young grandsons? You'll just have to read it to find out!
With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Bookouture for a copy to read and review
This is a an excellent psychological thrillers and having enjoyed the authors previous books I can honestly say they are well worth reading. Excellent twists and turns, strong believable characters and expertly paced.
The story features two women, Judi is a proud mom to single dad Ben and grandmother to his sons, Noah and Josh. She's been taking care of all 'her boys' since Ben's wife died three years earlier. But then Ben meets Amber, the perfect woman for him, everyone is happy that Ben has found someone except Judi. She is very suspicious of Amber, but is her concern well founded or is she just an over protective mother. Ben tries his best to keep his two favourite women happy but does he face an impossible task. Judi tries to discover the truth about Amber but the more she digs the more shocking secrets she uncovers. The two women are very strong characters and make excellent reading, Judi is a controlling mother who is desperate to keep her family together and Amber is determined to cut Judi out of Ben's life. Something will have to give but what.
I would like to thank both Net Galley and Bookouture who just keep turning out great novels.
What do you get when you mix a dash of suspicion, a splash of unreliable narrators with a batch of twists and turns you will never see coming? The answer is a perfectly paced thriller that you won’t be able to put down! This was my first K.L. Slater book, but definitely won’t be my last. If your looking for an intense thriller with extreme family drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then I highly recommend this page turner. The line separating victim and villain is creatively blurred in this suspenseful, entertaining story of love, revenge and deception. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Back when I read Slater’s second book, Blink I said that her novels should come with a warning label and I still think this is true! Liar was every bit as addictive, engrossing and twisted as her previous books and Slater is quickly becoming one of my favorite psychological thriller writers and her books are total must reads for me.
The beginning of the book is sharply clever as it starts with The End, as in the first page is labeled as such. It’s a shocking opening chapter filled with violence and terror, and then it flips back to The Beginning when Amber and Ben first meet. It’s mainly told by Amber and Judi, though there are a few important chapters from other key players, but the twisty battle between the two women had me absolutely hooked.
This was such a compulsive read, I kept flipping the pages faster and faster as the tension mounted and the web of lies was untangled. The pacing is breathless as the chapters are very short so it’s quite easy to talk yourself into just one more. (Or ten more. Oh fine, the whole book.)
Slater really has a knack for developing wholly unlikable characters that are utterly fascinating in the way they behave, but also in the way they justify their abhorrent behavior. She also does a terrific job at bringing a heavy sense of unease and dread the entire time as she takes the reader down dark paths full of surprises.
I like to think that I’m a pretty sophisticated reader of this genre so I always try and figure things out along the way, but the author always manages to pull one over on me a time or two by the end, and the ending here was pretty unpredictable. I really should know better by now, but I absolutely love the fact that her books always keep me on my toes. If you haven’t read any of Slater’s books I highly recommend them, they are hugely entertaining and shrewdly plotted.
Munchausen’s syndrome is a difficult to detect and treat condition where one deliberately contracts or fakes an illness to receive treatment and sympathy. There is also Munchausen’s by proxy, where the illness is caused in someone else, such as a patient or a child by a caregiver or parent. Often those possessed by Munchausen’s are very intelligent as well as highly manipulative and believable. And such is the case with a character in this novel. Almost to the end, I found Liar to be indeed ‘A Grippping Psychlogical Thriller’ but the promised ‘Shocking Twist’ in the final 10 percent struck me as confusing and overly complicated. That was a shame, because up till then the conflict between the doting grandmother and new fiancée was indeed ‘gripping’; it was hard to decide which I detested more, the possessive and jealous Judi or the scheming manipulative Amber. Altho’ but in her mid-50s, Judi has all the symptoms of a senile old idiot, obsessively devoted to grandsons Noah and Joshua. (I do wonder why parents who seem totally devoid of any acquaintance with the Old Testament give their children names that would have sounded a trifle old-fashioned to a New England Puritan.) Amber is a compulsive liar with a wonderful repertoire of nasty tricks. (I’d love to try the one with the shrimp on a rack-rent landlord but the doggy-poop was a bit much.) And there are some other artistic faults, such as setting up interesting minor characters and then not being able to do anything interesting with them, especially as with Fiona we have the only example of Judi’s behaving like an admirable human being. Tho’ the moral that one’s sins find one out could have been drawn, there were no signs in this story of any moral or spiritual meaning. With a better executed denouement, this book would have been a solid four-star disposable-one-timer, but the messy ending costs another star. If you’re having mother-in-law trouble, tho’, read this book for something to feel grateful about.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
OMG I have to say that I couldn’t personally have chosen a better week to read this chilling third book by Kim Slater! I’ve loved both of her other books but this one shocked the hell out of me and has now become my most favourite book of hers so far! It had some totally unexpected plot twists and that ending! I defy anyone to see that coming!!
I devoured this book like I devour chocolate at the moment, greedily and very quickly indeed!! I couldn’t put it down, no scrap that…..I was TOO SCARED to put it down! I was so emotionally involved with Judi and Ben and The Boys that I couldn’t bare to leave them in the middle of their dealings with the formidable Amber. Now Amber is the girlfriend from hell-the one you hope you’re son NEVER brings home to meet you, especially if you’re an overprotective mother with issues of your own! Every time we are smuggled back into Ambers head, her thoughts and plans for the future scared the hell out of me, especially as they involved Bens small children. Those poor boys had lost their mother but this woman seemed determined to carry out her twisted scheming, involving them all in her undisclosed plans for the future.
From a personal point of view though, there was a HUGE amount of soul searching involved for me in watching Judi struggle with her life changing experiences. As a woman of a certain age approaching my own empty nest, I felt every hormonal and overcharged emotion that flooded through Judi’s mind and body. There were some quite socially relevant observations here, especially for me, regarding growing older within a long term marriage so I actually found it tough reading at times. I can tell you now, those menopausal emotions and hot flushes can hit you hard just when you are least expecting them and it can affect all of those who are closest to you. I found it so terribly sad reading the paragraphs where Judi is mourning the loss of the closeness she used to share with her husband and how middle age creeps upon us without us realising where the time has gone. But menopause can affect women’s mental health in very different ways which meant that Judi was the perfect unreliable narrator for this thriller! And she was matched every step of the way by Amber!
This book uses the complexity of family relationships in a way that we can all relate to. And that’s what makes it so terrifying!! That your family can fall apart so quickly with the wrong sort of outside influences. Liar will stay with me for a very long time and K.L. Skater has cemented herself onto my list of must read authors. I need more from her NOW!!!!
This story focuses on the unique relationship between mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws and highlights the friction, discontent, competition, and rivalry that can exist between the two.
It is, ultimately, a story about control, power, manipulation, deception, obsession, and revenge.
The writing is fluid and smooth. The characters are desperate, devious, damaged, and consumed. And the plot, although a little predictable, does a good job of creating tension, suspense and strife as it methodically unravels revealing all the personalities, complex relationships and dark motivations within it.
Overall, this is a compelling, entertaining psychological thriller by Slater with an opening that will make you think twice, a few twists, and a narration style that will have you rooted to your seat from the very first page.
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
After his wife’s death, single dad Ben has been doing his best to raise his two young sons, Noah and Jake, alone. When Ben meets Amber, he’s immediately enamored with her. She could be everything that’s been missing in his life, and it appears she feels the same way about him. The only problem is Ben’s mother, Judi. Judi feels confident that something is off about Amber. Things are moving too quickly, and Ben only sees what he wants to see. In order to protect her son and grandchildren, Judi will do whatever it takes to make Ben see the truth about Amber.
The more Judi learns about Amber, the more lies she uncovers, and secrets are revealed that may just break her family apart for good.
I’m a big fan of K.L. Slater’s books, and this was no exception. Liar starts off with a bang, and ends with an even bigger one. Unlike many of the thrillers I’ve read lately, this book was not focused around a murder case, rather it told the story of a complicated relationship between a mother and someone who could potentially be her daughter-in-law. Setting aside the aspects of the mystery, it was really interesting to me to read a story where the mother sort of wants her son to choose between her and his partner, especially since you hear so many horror stories about terrible in-law relationships!
Liar is primarily told through Judi’s point of view, however there are chapters from both Amber and Noah’s perspectives mixed in as well. Amber’s chapters especially added to the tension, as we know she’s set on making Judi’s life hell, but we don’t know why. Each of the characters have definite flaws – Judi is over involved in her son’s life, and often doesn’t understand the line between parent and grandparent and where her role ends. Amber has ulterior motives for being part of Ben’s family, and Ben is so wrapped up in Amber that he doesn’t notice any red flags.
While I did manage to figure out a few small pieces of the twists that came as part of the final resolution, there was one piece that came as a total shock, which completely solidified my 5 star rating for the book after I read it! I absolutely loved it, and was left with my mouth hanging open by the time I put the book down!
All in all, I recommend Liar for fans of the thriller genres, especially if you’re looking for a break from the many thrillers that feature murders and/or kidnappings. K.L. Slater is a force to be reckoned with in the thriller genre, and has quickly made her way onto my list of “auto buy” authors! I can’t wait to read more from her in the future. A huge thank you to Netgalley, K.L. Slater, and Bookouture (who really can do no wrong when it comes to publishing!) for an advanced copy of the book. It was my pleasure to provide an honest review. Liar is out now, so be sure to pick this one up!
Judi lives a pretty quiet and not very exciting life as she hits the trial of her menopausal years. She has a job at a doctors' office which takes her away for a time from the loveless marriage she's in. But her biggest joy is her son and grandchildren. After losing her first son David many years ago, all her energy has been thrown into the lives of her widowed son Ben and his two boys. Not having any attention at home, she thrives on every part of her life with them. Until Amber.
All of a sudden there's Amber; who has captured the heart of Ben and even Judi's husband seems to be under her spell. But the two women are at odds almost immediately. Amber seems intent on cutting Judi out of Ben's life and controlling Ben and his boys and there seems to be nothing Judi can do about it. Judi is sure there is more than meets the eye with Amber; something just isn't right and it seems the lies are piling up. If only Ben would see it; but try as she might, Ben and Amber's relationship is moving quickly. What does Amber want? What's her purpose in being so mean and spiteful towards Judi?
This is the second book I have read of K L Slater and I enjoyed this one even more than Blink. The storytelling is so engrossing, I didn't want to put the book down, it had me hooked on. The writing is done so well, so detailed, I could feel the emotions and frustration of Judi. I wanted revenge on Amber at the injustice of how she was treating Judi. I felt helpless with how Ben was so clueless and how Henry sided with Ben and treated Judi like she was some hysterical woman he was so annoyed with.
As the reader I went through so many scenarios trying to figure it all out and this thriller had quite the twists! I did not see them all coming and enjoyed the way this book shocked and surprised me. I look forward to reading the other book K L Slater has written.
I received this book free from the publisher and net galley in exchange of an honest review.
K L Slater is one terrific author. Her uncanny ability to use people around us to instill fear in our hearts is exceptional. Judi is a grandmother whom we know.Someone who loves helping her son and grandchildren, some one who wants to feel useful and needed especially at an age where she is also enduring menopause, suffering from unknown emotions and imbalances. The equation of mom-in-law and daughter-in-law is very tricky, some of us are lucky to find the perfect balance while others mostly lose the race and always the man is caught in the middle. The characters have been drawn perfectly with Ben as the clueless son/ boyfriend, Amber with her need to wrest control from Judi and Judi who would never let go of her grandchildren.
The story takes a very interesting path and ends with a surprising bang. Brilliant!
Devoting herself to her family has always been the most important thing to Judi. When her son Ben’s wife Louise dies from cancer, she is only too happy to take over the reins and look after her two young grandsons Josh and Noah whenever required, as well as help with Ben’s household chores. Every Sunday, her “boys” gather around Judi’s table to eat the sumptuous feast she cooks for them. This is all Judi has ever wanted – to spoil her loved ones and to feel needed. But life is about to change when Ben falls head over heels in love with Amber, a pretty young childcare worker whose presence is like a thorn in Judi’s side. Not only has Amber installed herself in Ben’s household, but she is also usurping Judi’s rightful place in the family. Sunday gatherings are no longer the carefree affairs Judi has treasured for so long, and she is dismayed to find that her help with the children and the chores is required less and less. Worst of all, Judi has her suspicions that Amber may have an ulterior motive, but both Ben and her husband Henry think she is being paranoid and jealous of the young woman. How can she get her rightful place back in the Jukes household?
The theme that inspired the author, the interesting dynamics of the daughter-in-law / mother-in-law relationship, and the potential to turn this into a riveting mystery saw me requesting this book as soon as it appeared on Netgalley, and I was overjoyed when it was approved. Slater makes it clear right from the outset that in this family, things may not be as they seem on the surface. Judi, the loving grandmother, who is also a bit of a control freak. And Amber ... well, we know very early on that Amber has her own agenda. As tension between the two women grows, I could not help turn the pages, interested to see how this doomed relationship would play out.
My biggest disappointment with the story was that the author gave away too much too early for my liking. I have said it before, and I will say it again, I am fussy with what I call a “psychological thriller”. For me, to qualify for the term, a story must mess with my mind, play me like a yo-yo. I want shades of grey, not obvious black-and-white. I love an unreliable narrator, or one whose motives are so well disguised that I am in a constant dilemma as to whether I can trust them or not. I want the author to manipulate me, make me question all my preconceived ideas, vacillate between doubt and belief and generally addle my brain to an extent where the book stays in my thoughts even when I am not reading it. Unfortunately in this case – and this is not a spoiler, as it is revealed very early on – we know pretty much from the start that Amber has an ulterior motive when she engineers her meeting with Ben, to make him fall in love with her. There is never any doubt that she is a scheming little minx with her very own agenda. The only mystery here is her reasons for this, which, to be honest, was not quite enough for me.
How much better this would have worked had I (as the reader) been able to give her the benefit of doubt, to constantly question myself whether she was innocent or guilty of deceit and whether Judi’s hate and suspicions were justified or not. As it was, I felt forced to root for Judi, who I equally disliked, but with Amber cast as the villain I couldn’t very well stand and cheer in her corner, could I? So, whilst the family dynamics kept me turning the pages, there was no mystery and no suspense, except for a few surprises along the way, which did not make up for the mental manipulation I had hoped for. Looking back, I realise that this was my main gripe with Slater’s previous book, Blink. Seeing that it worked well for other readers, I am conceding that perhaps her writing style just isn’t for me.
In summary, Liar was a fast and somewhat predictable read with moderately interesting family dynamics that kept me turning the pages but didn’t quite capture my imagination enough to make it memorable. 2.5 stars
Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.