Where to start with this review. It’s been over a week since I finished The Good Liar and I am still thinking about it and still feeling in awe of Catherine McKenzie and her ability to take me outside of myself when I’m reading her books.
This is now the fifth book of hers I’ve read and the fifth one I’ve fallen in love with. Why? Her characters mainly. They are so well written – so messily real – that I can’t help getting completely caught up in their lives.
Here, there is Cecily, a grieving widow the world has fallen in love with; Kate, a wife and a mother who is trying to outrun her past; and Franny, Kate’s given-up-for-adoption daughter, who has found her mother only to lose her again.
Their stories play out over the course of several weeks, but all were shaped by a tragic accident a year previously. Through alternating chapters, you read about their past and present lives and how they have ended up where they are. Along the way, secrets are revealed (because what’s a book without secrets), and there are some surprising twists that meant I couldn’t stop turning the pages.
Another thing I like about Catherine McKenzie’s work is that there is a moral ambiguity. Things happen, but judgements aren’t made. Not everyone who you think should get their comeuppance does and you are left – sometimes – keeping your fingers crossed for the “bad guy”. I like being able to make my own decisions about how I feel about things. And it always make me ask myself how I would have behaved in a given situation.
The last thing I love about Catherine McKenzie’s books (or the last one I’ll mention today) is how different they all are from each other. While the core of characters having to make difficult decisions in difficult circumstances is there in each one, the settings, the people, the stories are each so different, I don’t ever get a sense of deja vu, something I have experienced with other authors. Each book feels fresh and new and is exciting to read – and we all need a little excitement in our lives.
I really can’t say enough about his book – there is nothing I would change – and I recommend it to anyone out there who is in need of a good read.
About the book…
When an explosion rips apart a Chicago building, the lives of three women are forever altered.
A year later, Cecily is in mourning. She was supposed to be in the building that day. Instead, she stood on the street and witnessed it going down, with her husband and best friend inside. Kate, now living thousands of miles away, fled the disaster and is hoping that her past won’t catch up with her. And Franny, a young woman in search of her birth mother, watched the horror unfold on the morning news, knowing that the woman she was so desperate to reconnect with was in the building.
Now, despite the marks left by the tragedy, they all seem safe. But as its anniversary dominates the media, the memories of that terrifying morning become dangerous triggers. All these women are guarding important secrets. Just how far will they go to keep them?
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: 3rd April, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Number of Pages: 380
Rating: 5 out of 5
Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.
My other Catherine McKenzie reviews…
The Murder Game (writing as Julie Apple)
I have read a couple of this author’s books and totally agree with you. She really can write. I’m looking forward to reading this one before long. Glad to know that it worked so well for you!
She really can! I am in love
With her style.
I always love Catherine’s books, too, and this one was my favorite read for March. I can’t stop thinking about it, either. Can’t wait to see what she brings next! Thanks for sharing.
They are all so different aren’t they and all so engrossing x
This one sounds impressive – thank you for the email – I also have some questions and I’m really sorry that you have been poorly:(. I hope you are feeling a lot better now.
It was a very good book. She seems to be a writer who knows her voice. I have to say I am so tired of being ill. Five days and counting! 😷
It sounds very much like the lergy that smote me last autumn – strong advice – don’t get up and start rushing about the moment you feel less than absolutely dreadful as you’ll merely find yourself back to square one:(. So sorry to hear you are feeling so ill – and don’t worry, there’s no rush. I’ve received your email and I will be sending you my questions, too:). But let’s wait until you are fighting fit – I don’t want you finding yourself relapsed!
I’m so sorry you are smitten:(( Wishing healing thoughts at you!x
I haven’t read anything by this author but she’s been on my TBR for awhile. This sounds so good and I like the sound of her writing and non-judgement style