Alyson Read's Reviews > The Liar

The Liar by Jane Adams
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it was amazing

I remember writing at the end of my review for book 3 in this excellent series featuring DI Mike Croft, "Their Final Moments", that I wished there were more Mike Croft books. And now my wish has been granted, ten years on from book 3, we return for book 4 and find Mike happily married to psychiatrist Maria and working out of Wymondham HQ in the same area near Norwich. This story takes him back to the setting of book 1. Close to Happisburgh village, the Greenway is a path through woodland connecting two areas of open fields, one end leading to a housing estate and the other end near the village by the beach. It provides a shortcut for walkers and leads around what was rumoured to be a fairy hill, and was where Mike solved both an old and a new crime with the help of ex-DI John Tynan. He and Maria remain great friends with John who is almost like family to them now. A woman called Martha Toolin has been introduced by a family member to John as a distant relative and has been staying at a B&B researching his mother's side of the family. Although reticent at first to have anything to do with that side of his family, John is soon won over by her charm and personality and finds himself taking a great liking to her. So it comes as a huge shock that, after taking her to dinner one night and dropping her off safely at her lodgings, she is found stabbed to death in her room the following morning. A teenage boy had been looking for her earlier and may have been involved in her death. As DI Mike Croft starts to investigate, he delves into her past and finds that nothing about the woman was what it seemed. She was a con woman and the police discover no end of people with a grudge against her. John helps the investigation by digging into his own family history since the woman seemed to be so interested in it, but starts to unearth secrets that may be better left buried. When another body turns up on the beach, the pressure is really on the police but as the story progresses, it seems like everyone except the detectives are liars and the truth is in very short supply. All the characters are so well described that I came to know them very quickly, and Mike, Maria, John and the other detectives are very likeable. Keeping the great partnership of Mike with ex DI John Tynan is a real winner as the older man has a wealth of wisdom and local knowledge, and makes a great sounding board for Mike when he struggles with a case. There is lots going on the book, both with the main story which is swimming with suspects and motives, and also the side story of John's, but it was never overcomplicated. The ending was one of those which I didn't see coming but which all made perfect sense when explained. I can thoroughly recommend this book and would love to see more in this series. I would say read the earlier ones first, not only to get a good feel of the characters and the history involved but also so as not to miss out on some very good stories. 5*
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 23, 2019 – Shelved
November 23, 2019 – Finished Reading

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