I’m absolutely delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Carla Kovach’s “The Liar’s House”. A huge thanks to the author and to Bookouture for inviting me to take part and for the ARC to review.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
Samantha stumbled out of the party and on to a busy street only ten minutes away from her home. But she never made it home…
Seven years after Samantha’s disappearance, on what would have been her thirty-fifth birthday, her best friend Diane is shocked to find a letter addressed to Samantha on her doorstep.
Opening the envelope, Diane pulls out a birthday card and a finger nail painted in dusky pink nail polish. The same shade Samantha always wore. The same shade she was wearing the night she went missing.
When police analyse the nail, they don’t get the result they expected. Instead of linking them to Samantha, the nail belongs to another woman, Jade Ashmore. And Jade was murdered the night before the envelope was delivered….
Well, that blurb enticed me to read the book and then the prologue just dragged me in and deposited me right inside the twisted mind of the killer. I was trapped, there was to be no escape until the final page was turned!
This is the fourth in the DI Gina Harte series. I have to confess that I have only read the first one, The Next Girl. However, this did not in any way detract from my enjoyment of the book. It only served to remind me that I need to get myself over to Amazon to buy the other two to read!
The Liar’s House opens in 2012 with a murder before swiftly jumping to the present day. Murder is not the only theme explored in this darkly disturbing novel. Coercive relationships and emotional abuse are all covered in a heart-stopping, nail-biting narrative that will make your skin crawl at times. I won’t say too much about the plot but it left me feeling heart sorry for the women involved in the story, watching them being pushed into a seedy life they did not want to be a part of. It was haunting.
Let’s talk characters though. DI Gina Harte, I bloody loved her in book one, and although I’ve a slight gap in her story, I bloody love her even more after reading The Liar’s House. She is flawed but strong, determined but complex and I found it difficult not to get caught up in her life. She has many secrets from her own past, her life with an abusive husband, that continue to haunt her in the present in the shape of his family; her relationship with her daughter teeters on the brink of disaster and her personal life is a mess. But still she rises, still she focuses and still she fights for justice every day. We learned more about her relationship with her late husband Terry and it is a tough read at times. Exploring the very real impact that domestic abuse can have long after it has ended.
Relationships with her colleagues are also intriguing and in The Liar’s House, we watch as she struggles to deal with the feelings she has for one of the team, a relationship she believes will push all professional boundaries. I found myself screaming at the pages, wanting her to let down the barriers and find herself some happiness.
There were plenty of characters in this novel who made my blood boil and my skin crawl and when Gina’s personal life becomes embroiled in the current investigation then the tension became unbearable. So many suspects and so many creeps and I didn’t work out who it was until the very end!
A tightly knitted plot, full of suspense and a whole lake full of red herrings swimming around, The Liar’s House, kept me hooked from start to finish. Perfectly paced and engaging characters meant that I was wholly invested in reading to find out what happened next and now I’m just dying to read book number five (and I am going to go and catch up with books two and three!).
The Liar’s House is available to purchase from:
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About the author:
Carla Kovach is a crime and horror author from the UK. The Next Girl, Her Final Hour and Her Pretty Bones are the first three books in the DI Gina Harte series and are published by Bookouture. Her earlier works include, Whispers Beneath the Pines, To Let, Flame and Meet Me at Marmaris Castle.