The Liars Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard | Book Review | Blog Tour |#TheLiarsGirl

Published by Corvus Books
Available in ebook, audiobook and paperback (3 January 2019)
336 pages
Source: Review copy

My thanks to Anne Cater and the publisher for the copy to review and for the place on the tour. Having reviewed Catherine’s debut thriller, Distress Signals in 2016 (was it really that long ago!) I was looking forward to this and I wasn’t disappointed. I’m delighted to share my thoughts below, but first here’s a little about the book.


Her first love confessed to five murders. But the truth was so much worse.

Dublin’s notorious Canal Killer, Will Hurley, is ten years into his life sentence when the body of a young woman is fished out of the Grand Canal. Though detectives suspect they are dealing with a copycat, they turn to Will for help. He claims he has the information the police need, but will only give it to one person – the girl he was dating when he committed his horrific crimes.

Alison Smith has spent the last decade abroad, putting her shattered life in Ireland far behind her. But when she gets a request from Dublin imploring her to help prevent another senseless murder, she is pulled back to face the past – and the man – she’s worked so hard to forget.


29 year old Alison Smith has spent the last 10 years living in the Netherlands trying to forget that she was once the girlfriend of a serial killer.  Nobody there knows about her past and that’s how she would like it to stay until she suddenly finds two Irish detectives at her door, with a request that she accompany them back to Ireland to talk to Will; the man she hasn’t seen or spoken to for 10 years after he had been jailed for killing five young women.

Another woman has been found dead, killed in what looks like the same manner, however Will has been incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital. Will lets it be known that he has some information but insists that the only person he will speak to is Alison.  The last thing she wants is to return to the past but if it will stop other girls being killed, she feels she has no option other than to at least speak to him. 

The story moves between the past to when Alison was a student at St John’s College in Dublin and how she came to meet Will, and the present time. Will appeared to be the perfect boyfriend and I can quite understand why Alison never suspected that he could be a killer. She has never really recovered from that period of her life, she thought that her and Will would have a life together and then it was taken away so brutally, it’s not surprising that she has trust issues and keeps people, even female friends at arm’s length.

I really enjoyed this. It doesn’t have a fast moving plot but there is tension and intrigue, both with the current killings and also from the story of Will and Alison.  There are also chapters from the killer’s perspective which racks up the suspense. As much as I felt sympathy for Alison, she did frustrate me at times. Despite her earlier protests about not wanting to be involved, she did actually involve herself a bit more than she should have done and at times you just knew she was about to do something that she absolutely shouldn’t! Just don’t go there Alison!

The Liar’s Girl is a story of murder, manipulation and deceit and of course there is a twist in the tale!  I was a fan of the author after reading Distress Signals, and this has certainly made sure that I will read her next book.


Photo Credit: Steve Langan

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982. Prior to writing full-time, Catherine worked as a campsite courier in France and a front desk agent in Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently was a social media marketer for a major publisher. She is currently studying for a BA in English at Trinity College Dublin. Her debut novel Distress Signals was published by Corvus in 2016 and was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger

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