The truth hurts…
Erin and Roisin were once friends until a fatal accident ruined both their lives. Now, Roisin has discovered a secret—one Erin has kept for over a decade—and she’s determined to make Erin pay for her lies.
Erin wants nothing to do with Roisin. She has a new life in London and no intention of going back home. Yet when her father is mysteriously and critically injured, Erin has no choice but to return and face Roisin—and her past. Erin knows if the secret of what she gave up got out, the consequences could be devastating.
When Roisin suddenly disappears, suspicion soon lands on Erin. She would do anything to protect her family, but just how far is she willing to go when time is running out…?
I’ve talked before on Being Anne about The Romaniacs. They’re a group of lovely ladies – including Jan Brigden, Laura E James and Catherine Miller whose books I’ve really enjoyed – who are immensely supportive of each other’s writing, as well as being great supporters of other writers and bloggers. I’m quite delighted to be a “sparkler” and part of their street team – in fact, I’m waiting for them to design a t-shirt so I can wear that too!
I was quite delighted when Romaniac author Sue Fortin asked if I’d like to review her new book, The Girl Who Lied, ahead of publication. It will be published for kindle by HarperImpulse on 19th May (available for pre-order for 99p), with the paperback to follow on 28th July.
This was such a good story and really well told. When Erin’s father is critically injured, she returns from her new life in London to her former home in the village of Rossway in County Cork to support her family. It’s not a return she relishes – there are parts of her past, and one enormous secret from ten years ago, that she really doesn’t want anyone to know about. But that secret is already in danger of coming out – a childhood friend, Roisin, has good reason to hold a grudge, and has already been making threats. Erin’s return will give her the opportunity to sort things out face-to-face.
The village of Rossway is brilliantly drawn – the community where everyone knows everyone else’s business, where many are related, and few have ever moved away. Erin helps to keep her parents’ cafe ticking over for its regulars – tackling the full cooked breakfasts proves quite a challenge until Kerry from the motorbike garage steps in to give her a hand. There’s a great sense of family, with Erin’s closeness to her sister and good relationship with her mother. Rather differently, Roisin’s family is falling apart – her mother, the former village GP, has a closer relationship with the bottle, while her father just disappears into another room. There are other family relationships too – Kerry’s background, childhood friends Joe and Bex, sister Fiona and her husband, the family that own and run the garage – that all give extra depth to the story and its themes.
Against all the odds, Erin finds herself relaxing into her former life – her London boyfriend and his friends are wonderfully out-of-place when they visit – but that threat of secrets being uncovered is always there, as Roisin plans her next move. The tension is really well built up – the earlier secrets are revealed through scenes from ten years previously, but with unexpected twists and turns that ensure you keep turning the pages, and a dark edge to the whole story that I really wasn’t expecting.
It’s fair to say, I think, that – although it really does have its moments – this isn’t an edge-of-your-seat hardcore thriller. If you read it with that expectation, you just might be a tad disappointed. But as a piece of romantic suspense, character driven, with a strong sense of place and family, and some real surprises, it’s very well done indeed. The whole story moves at a good pace, there’s sufficient mystery and tension to make you want to find out the full story, and the characters are well drawn and very engaging. I really enjoyed it.
My thanks to Sue Fortin and publishers HarperImpulse for my advance reading copy. Sue will be returning to Being Anne as my guest for her forthcoming blog tour.
Meet the author
Published by Harper Collins’ imprint Harper Impulse, Sue Fortin writes romance, mystery and suspense.
Sue’s second novel, Closing In, became a best seller in 2014 reaching number one in the Kobo Romantic Suspense chart. Her originally self-published debut novel, United States of Love, was awarded the INDIE Brag Medallion and later when published by HarperImpulse was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award (2014). Sue was also short-listed for the Festival of Romance, New Talent Award (2013). Sue blogs regularly with the on-line writing group The Romaniacs.
Lover of cake, dragonflies and France. Hater of calories, maths and snakes. Sue was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex.
Sue is married with four children, all of whom patiently give her time to write but, when not behind the keyboard, she likes to spend her time with them, enjoying both the coast and the South Downs, between which they are nestled.
You can follow Sue on Twitter and Facebook, and find out more about her and her writing through her excellent new website, which also includes her blog.