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Sweet Little Lies

(Cat Kinsella #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  23,040 ratings  ·  1,869 reviews
In this gripping debut procedural, a young London policewoman must probe dark secrets buried deep in her own family's past to solve a murder and a long-ago disappearance.

Your father is a liar. But is he a killer?
Even liars tell the truth... sometimes.

Twenty-six-year-old Cat Kinsella overcame a troubled childhood to become a Detective Constable with the Metropolitan Police
ebook, 368 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by Harper (first published June 29th 2017)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,040 ratings  ·  1,869 reviews

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Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
Wowza! What a cracking debut novel "Sweet Little Lies" is! I defy anyone to start reading this and not be hooked after the first few pages.
Cat Kinsella was always a daddy's girl. When 17 year Maryanne Doyle goes missing in the summer of 1998 Cat's dad denies ever knowing her. However, Cat knows he's lying after seeing him flirting with Maryanne and giving her a lift while she was hitch hiking. Cat's relationship with her dad is never the same again. Whilst working as a DC in London eighteen yea
Diane S ☔
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A big sigh of relief!! I am having much better luck with the police procedurals I am reading. Enjoying my break, really who knows if or when I'll go back, from psychological thrillers. Love this debut novel from Frear. Cat Kinsella, is such a great character, flawed but so very genuine, real. A London based DC, when the novel opens, she is trying to recover from a horrifying crime scene, seeing the department's psychiatrist. When a woman is murdered, it brings Cat back into action. This murder w ...more
Larry H
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Some fears can never be shared. Some fears are so cataclysmic that to share them would be tantamount to suicide."

When Cat was eight years old, Maryanne Doyle, a pretty teenager from the Irish town where Cat's family was on holiday, disappeared. Cat and her older sister were both reasonably obsessed with Maryanne, as was nearly every male in town.

While no one could figure out where Maryanne could have gone, Cat knew one thing: her father told a lie when he said he didn't know anything about Mary
James Thane
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
At the center of this excellent debut novel is a twenty-six-year-old London police woman named Cat Kinsella. Estranged from her family, her father in particular, she lives alone in a tiny room, devoting her life to her work as a homicide detective while she's haunted by developments that occurred eighteen years earlier when she was a child on vacation with her family in Ireland.

While on that vacation, Cat and her older sister, Jacqui, struck up a friendship with a budding teenage girl named Mary
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Even though it feels like it took me FOREVER to finish this book, I rather enjoyed it. It was clever with good characterization as well as a compelling plot. It was not as fast-paced as I had expected it would be, but never boring either. I am a fan of mystery books (or books in general) that are really about the characters and the way their story weaves into the plot as a whole, which very much was the case in this one. It reminded me a little of Jane Casey's books, both in terms of the style a ...more
Aug 28, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr-haul-project
**3.5-stars rounded up**

Twenty-six year old Cat Kinsella is a DC with the Metropolitan Police Force, her dream job. After a less than stellar childhood, Cat has made her own way in the world and tries to keep the past just there; in the past.

As we all know though, the past frequently comes back to haunt us and Cat's about to learn that lesson the hard way.

When Cat gets called to work a murder scene very near the pub that her estranged father still runs, old memories get stirred up, throwing Cat'
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Maryanne Doyle was the teenage girl all the others wanted to be. Long raven curls, piercing blue eyes, and a body to die for. When Cat Kinsella met her as a child while on vacation with her family she was in awe of her. She even gave her her most prized possession her Tinkerbell pendant because Maryanne expressed to her how much she loved it.

A few days later Maryanne Doyle disappeared.

Cat's father is questioned in the disappearance but he informs them that he didn't know her. Cat knows he's ly
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-arcs
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.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
Cat Kinsella is a detective. Her latest case has a connection to her past, and brings back old memories. When Cat was a little girl, a teenager named Maryanne went missing. Cat and her family had recently met Maryanne, and Cat has always suspected her father knew something about Maryanne's disappearance. Cat's newest case has a connection to Maryanne, and Cat wants to finally uncover what happened to Maryanne.

This appears to be a fantastic new crime fiction series. At least, I hope it is going t
Rachel (not currently receiving notifications) Hall
As family Christmases go, asking your father if he has an alibi before the turkey has even been digested might seem a little ill-advised. For everyone but DC Cat Kinsella that is, whose relationship with her father, Michael McBride, saw him go from hero to zero when as a trusting eight-year-old and the apple of his eye she discovered he had lied. Seventeen-years-later it is this single event that has influenced the course of their relationship, left Cat with a boat load of hang-ups and ensured t ...more
Ova - Excuse My Reading
It took me very long to get into the story with this, the start was long and untidy I think, however the last half of the book gets the tension up and story gets very interesting.
I wish I could give 3.5 stars or (7 out of 10)

I loved the ending.

Full review soon! (fingers crossed)
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers-uk
Sweet Little Lies is my first audio book for 2020. The story was aptly set in London over the Christmas period.
DC Cat Kinsella is quite new to the job of DC and had a bit of a tough time during a previous case she worked on. Reluctantly she has agreed to seek help from a therapist.
Just before Christmas, a body of a woman is found in Leamington Square gardens near to the public house her estranged father runs. After days of investigating they get a tip off that there is a link to an old case, e
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Caz Frear for writing my kind of mystery! I absolutely loved this debut police procedural. Sweet Little Lies brought to mind Tana French and her Dublin Murder Series. Frear’s book takes place in London, with glimpses of Mulderran, Ireland, where an alleged abduction and murder took place decades ago. Met Police Detective Constable Cat Kinsella was a child when Maryanne Doyle disappeared from the Irish vacation spot. Cat, now in her mid-twenties, has always been convinced that someone v ...more
Crime by the Book
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 stars for this masterful procedural from a talented debut crime writer. There’s something about the tried-and-true police procedural that always keeps me coming back for more—and finding an author who can write a police procedural in as fresh, modern a way as can Caz Frear is a genuine treat.

Read my full review on the CBTB blog!
Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
Here's a slightly different than normal review. Because this is a very different from normal police procedural crime novel.
I won't go through the synopsis because you can read it for yourselves, but I recommend this to ALL MY FOLLOWERS WHO LOVE BRITISH CRIME.

Wow! Was this really a debut?
How can a 'first timer' be this good?
How long did it take to establish such awesome characters for a first book? Very impressive.
Is Caz Frear writing another?
And if so, when?
This doesn't read like a debut
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Caz Frear, forgive me.

I walked backwards into this series. Sorta like putting your socks on over your shoes. I grabbed Shed No Tears #3 when it came out and was smitten with Cat Kinsella. The Book Angels slid a copy of Stone Cold Heart #2 my way and I was delighted. And after much searching, Sweet Little Lies #1 made its way to my shelf. All caught up and waiting anxiously for #4.....just picturing you finalizing that one.

Here's the deal with Cat Kinsella. She's a twenty-six year old detective c
Book of the Month
Why I Love It
by Louisa Luna

As the author of a mystery-thriller with a tough but damaged female protagonist, I thought this story about a detective with a troubled past was familiar territory and was confident I would see the twists coming a hundred pages out. Um, not the case. Sweet Little Lies surprised me over and over again.

While investigating a seemingly routine murder case in London, Detective Constable Cat Kinsella is drawn into a maze of cover-ups reaching all the way back to the disappea
Young Detective Constable Catrina (Cat) Kinsella hasn't had the easiest of lives--she didn't get along well with her father and her mother has since passed away. At twenty-six, Cat is in counseling after a traumatic incident while on the job, and she spends most of her nights alone, plagued by insomnia. She isn't close to her family, including her father, sister, or brother. Her latest case is that of thirty-five-year old Alice Lapaine, who is found murdered and dumped in Leamington Square. Alic ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had heard good things about Sweet Little Lies so of course I had to check it out to see what it was like.
Sweet Little Lies is the winner of the Richard & Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and I can see how it won. Packed with unreliable narrators, twisty and with plenty of diffferent themes and avenues explored it definitely follows the psych thriller rules in that sense!

Caz Frear has a great writing style, and a knack for creating characters that the reader will love to hate I think.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review now completed. Well done! A Highly satisfying read!

Cat Kinsella is a young woman now in her 20’s, and a Detective Constable with the Metropolitan Police, who tries to abide by the police procedures and rules, but sometimes being both human and being police, finds it hard to do just that. Her childhood and family and upbringing may have had something to do with that ingrained behavior. She reflects much on her younger years; is stubborn in believing what she believes, but over time and in
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
3.5 stars, rounding to 4 for Goodreads.

I always love the father/daughter dynamic in books since I have a very close relationship with mine. This one isn't as loving, but still the bond is there - even if Cat does know her father is lying about the disappearance of her friend and is now suspicious about the death of another woman.

This is slightly different than most police procedurals as we have a team that actually works well together without any misogynistic undertones and there are more dynam
If you are in the mood for a slow burn police procedural with a kickass female lead, look no further than Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear. This is a debut novel to boot, and I was very impressed by both the mystery and Frear's writing. I thought the whole thing had a very slow burn quality, but as I listened to the audiobook I didn't mind one bit. I LOVE police procedurals, and you definitely get all the things that come with one in this book. I really liked Cat and found the dynamic between her ...more
Krista Regester
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 because rounding up is my aesthetic.

This is 352 pages long and definitely worth it. Cat Kinsella is interesting, intelligent, and real. She doesn't fuck around and I love that. Also, there's a sequel??!!
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
It took me forever to read this debut
I’d read it
Put it down

Cat kinsella

A body in the square
Who is she

The past is haunting
Your present is the reflection of the past

I may read the second book
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caz Frear won The Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition with Sweet Little Lies. This was enough to intrigue me.

This is very much a police procedural story, with a dash of the psychological. We follow a rather funny little girl aged eight in 1998 and then eighteen years later, when she is a cynical police officer. Her name is Cat. She has a rather a way about her, with a strong voice and gallows humour. As a child, her world is full of the Spice Girls and spying on those around her
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.

I was expecting Sweet Little Lies to be suspenseful, but it was more of a police procedural. Although I thought the mystery was rather intriguing at times, ultimately I did not find it all that compellin
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this quite a lot. Michelle and Larry H wrote excellent reviews for this title.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cat Kinsella was always a bit of a daddy’s girl. But when seventeen year old Maryanne disappears and Cat’s father lies about having known her, their relationship changes forever. Now, years later, Cat is a DC working in London. When the body of a woman is found near her father’s workplace, all Cat’s fears about him being a killer return.

Cat is flawed and carries around a ton of baggage. She’s currently in therapy after suffering a bit of a meltdown at a crime scene but her issues are mostly conn
Nadene  (Totally Addicted to Reading)
Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear was an in interesting read. It took a while for me to get into the story, and there was a time I considered giving up on it. There was so much family drama, which I monopolized the story. However, I stuck with it, and I am glad I did, because the story got better and once it did, there was no turning back. I had to know who did it and why.

The author weaved a complex tale where we see the past colliding with the present. It goes to show that actions from our past al
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maryanne Doyle went to buy hairspray and never came back on 31st May, 1998... Murdered???
In the present time, a woman is found murdered and dumped at Leamington Square close to the pub, McAuley's...
The first line caused me to pick up the book and the second, to continue with it. Both these lines created such a high note of suspense and mystery in my mind that the pages turned all by themselves.
The entire story is written solely in the voice of DC Catrina Kinsella in two timelines 1998, when Mar
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Caz Frear grew up in Coventry, England, and spent her teenage years dreaming of moving to London and writing a novel. After fulfilling her first dream, it wasn’t until she moved back to Coventry thirteen years later that the second finally came true. She has a degree in History & Politics, and when she’s not agonizing over snappy dialogue or incisive prose, she can be found shouting at Arsenal foo ...more

Other books in the series

Cat Kinsella (3 books)
  • Stone Cold Heart (Cat Kinsella, #2)
  • Shed No Tears (Cat Kinsella #3)

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