Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear, the first book in the Cat Kinsella series. I’ve had this on my list for far too long so have taken advantage of the working from home and my daily walks to catch up with the audio version of the book. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Audible

About the Book


In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it?
Maryanne Doyle was never seen again.


In 1998, Dad lied about knowing Maryanne Doyle.
Alice Lapaine has been found strangled near Dad’s pub.
Dad was in the local area for both Maryanne Doyle’s disappearance and Alice Lapaine’s murder – FACT

Trust cuts both ways . . . what do you do when it’s gone?

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books | Hive

My Thoughts

I’ve had this on my TBR shelf for far too long. I picked up a copy after hearing the author at First Monday Crime lord knows how long ago and have been meaning to read it ever since. Wel, working from home has allowed me to delve into a few audio books so what better opportunity to catch up, and boy am I glad I did.

Sweet Little Lies introduces us to Detective Cat Kinsella, a woman with a rather complicated past and a family she has worked hard to forget. Well … It’s probably more accurate to say a father. When a woman’s body is discovered, having been beaten, strangled and dumped from a car, Cat is part of the investigating team. So far so good – until she realises that she knows the victim, a girl from her past she thought had vanished years ago, one who links back to her family and a visit to Ireland two decades earlier.

This is a really complex story and the investigation takes many a twist and turn as they learn more about the victim and the stories she has told to lead to where they are today. Secrets and lies all play a part in the investigation, none more so that from Cat herself who fails to disclose her links to the victim, or that of her family. That layer of personal conflict really adds to the tension, the will she won’t she be discovered element, putting Cat on edge throughout. The discoveries that they make about the victim and the events leading up to her death though make everything else pale into insignificance – nearly – and certainly surprised me. Although you knew that so many of the suspects in the case were keeping secrets, it was hard to know who to fully trust and the links back to Cat’s families shady past added the extra edge of mistrust. As the story progressed, the conclusion – the reason the Maryanne was killed – does make sense and has it’s groundings in events from twenty years earlier, but perhaps not what you think, and the who essence of the story, the implications, are a little uncomfortable.

I liked Cat as a character. Despite her conflicts she is a pretty straightforward and quite moral character, determined to do right after years of watching her father bend the law. The tension between her and her father was off the charts, the revelations that happen through the course of the book surprising and yet fitting. Her father, Michael McBride, is the typical East-End type, fingers in many pies, most of them dodgy of course. It is easy to see why Cat is so distrustful of him and why there is such a chasm between them, yet they are more alike than they think, even if they do operate on opposite sides of the law. The conflict that exists within Cat as she tries to deflect attention away from her family, was well written and completely drew me to her as a character. I love the banter and the relationship between her and Parnell, and the tension between her and her DCI Steele serves to make her more alert and focused. She has a real way with the witnesses and suspects and although she can allow emotions to boil over occasionally, she gets the job done and I enjoyed spending time with her.

This is a great start to the series that really sets up the characters and the North London setting of the action. Full of intrigue, long standing secrets and building tension, this is a series I know I am going to enjoy and characters I am looking forward to getting to know better. The benefit of being late to the series means I am straight on to book two now. Can’t wait.

About the Author

Caz Frear grew up in Coventry and spent her teenage years dreaming of moving to London and writing a novel. After fulfilling her first dream, it wasn’t until she moved back to Coventry thirteen years later that the writing dream finally came true.

She has a first-class degree in History & Politics, which she’s put to enormous use over the years by working as a waitress, shop assistant, retail merchandiser and, for the past twelve years, a headhunter.

When she’s not agonising over snappy dialogue or incisive prose, she can be found shouting at the TV when Arsenal are playing or holding court in the pub on topics she knows nothing about.

Author Links: Twitter

8 thoughts on “Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

  1. I met Caz at Harrogate last year. She was table host on the Murder Mystery night we went to. A bonus from that was getting a copy of Stone Cold Heart, which I loved. Got a copy of Sweet Little Lies for my birthday in Feb, and it’s now sitting next to my bed along with the pile I bought at the Orenda gig in Southwell. Since lockdown, I haven’t been able to get home, so it’s still waiting there for me. So thank you for reminding me that I’ve got a load of great books I can’t get to!

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