Detective Helen Grace has never seen such destruction. Six fires in twenty-four hours. Two people dead. Several more injured. It’s as if someone wants to burn the city to the ground…
With the whole town on high alert, Helen and her team must sift through the rubble to find the arsonist, someone whose thirst for fire—and control—is reducing entire lives to ashes.
One misstep could mean Helen’s career—and more lives lost. And as the pressure mounts and more buildings burn, Helen’s own dark impulses threaten to consume her…
I don’t like fire, it’s one of those things that has always scared me a little and the thought of being caught in one terrifies me. Liar Liar, then, is probably not a book I should have been reading. However, it was next of my list of books staring DI Helen Grace and – as I’ve loved them all so far – I couldn’t say no, afraid I might be missing out on something good.
One of the reasons I don’t like the idea of being caught in a fire is that feeling that there isn’t much you can do about it once your trapped and M J Arlidge has pretty much convinced me I’m right thinking that. He paints quite a scary picture of just what it feels like to get caught in a fire – the panic people feel when they wake up to find their houses on fire, their bodies in some cases, and the sheer battle they face against the smoke and the heat to escape. Like I said, the idea terrifies me, and even reading about it made me more than a little uncomfortable.
Thankfully for the people of Southampton, the arsons are being investigated by DI Helen Grace who is like a dog with a bone and the force’s best detective. Unfortunately for them, for most of the book the arsonist is one step a head and the fires continue to burn. That’s because they are clever, leaving no clues as to who they are or what their motive is. Helen and her team seem to be on the loosing side for once and, as they scrambled to make sense of what was happening, as a reader I could fee the tensions rise.
I also had no clue who the guilty party might be, which was great as quite often with these books it becomes pretty clear early on and then it’s just a case of understanding the why. When the big reveal came, it was a good one and – I thought – clever to. Not your usual suspects and no one that had been on my radar. Then there was a final twist in the tale which, if you read my reviews regularly, you’ll know I’m not always the biggest fan of but here made perfect sense and was a fitting ending to a great story.
Beyond that there isn’t much else to say other than the things I’ve said about every book in the series so far. I love Helen, she’s a great character and her team are coming to life more and more with each story, making me care for them too. The book is really well written, with short, punchy, chapters that keep you turning the pages and wanting to know what happens next. The only difference with this book to the last three is that this is perhaps more of a slow burn (pun intended) with the arsonist not being revealed until close to the end and not having much of a voice bar a few blog posts throughout the story. This is no bad thing though and didn’t leave me feeling like I was missing anything. I liked this book a lot and would definitely recommend.
Publisher: Penguin Crime
Publication Date: 10th September, 2015
Genre: crime fiction