Friday, 14 July 2017

BLOG TOUR: Sweet Little Lies - Caz Frear

I am thrilled to be on the blog tour for Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear.  I must admit that it keeps making me sing the Fleetwood Mac song every time I pick it up, but I'm really enjoying it so far and you can look for my review in the next week or so.

For today's stop on the tour, I have a tantalising extract for you.  Enjoy!



WINNER OF THE RICHARD AND JUDY SEARCH FOR A BESTSELLER COMPETITION

WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW

In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it?

Maryanne Doyle was never seen again.


WHAT I ACTUALLY KNOW

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

Connection?

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



SWEET LITTLE LIES - EXTRACT

For a second I don’t recognise her. She’s wearing a khaki funnel coat zipped up to her nose and her hair’s scraped back tight, not swishing around her shoulders in all it’s usual caramel and honey-blonde loveliness. The frown-line gives her away though. That, and the expensive shopping bags arranged neatly around her feet like pets - Liberty, Symthson, Penhaligon, Cos. She’s staring into space - completely oblivious to the shit-faced chanteur in the snowman onesie, now adding another charge to his sheet by belting out a racist version of Deck the Halls, peppered with the odd shout of ‘No Surrender to the IRA’. She startles when she sees me, as if she’s forgotten where she is and why she’s here.
Mrs Hicks.”
She stands up quickly and the pull-down chair snaps back against the wall, making her jump. She apologises, gathers up her bags, flustered.
Gina, please. I’m so sorry to drop in like this, are you busy?”
I swipe my pass and push the door. “Of course not, come through.”
I try the squishy room first - I’ve got a feeling this could be a squishy room conversation - but there’s an engaged sign slapped across and a horrible keening noise coming from inside. Some poor soul on the rough end of something. I show her into one of the main interview rooms and resist the urge to thank her for instantly making the room smell nicer.
She takes her coat off. Turns down an offer of tea.
So what can I do for you, Gina?” My mind’s throwing out a hundred hypotheses, the main one being that she’s not a complete imbecile and she knows it shouldn’t have taken her husband ten minutes to steward us safely out of the main gates last night, and if she can’t get answers from him, she wants answers from me. “I assume you weren’t just passing?” I say, nudging the Smythson bag with my boot. “Or is there any chance that’s for me? I’d die for one of their notebooks.”
She glances down. “Oh these.” Again that slight sense of disorientation. “Have it. I’m serious. I’ve bought them enough already, more than they deserve.” She actually lifts up the bag and offers it to me. I shake my head a little embarrassed. “I just needed an excuse to come into town. To come here.”
I say nothing and study her face. It’s less remarkable than I’d built it up to be. Attractive but in a commonplace way. The lighting in these rooms are a great leveller.
She let’s out a deep breath. “I knew her, you see. Alice.” She pauses, rephrases. “Well I didn’t know her, not really. Our paths crossed in the past – briefly but intensely, you might say.”
Not what I was expecting. There’s a pulsing at the top of my head. A frontal lobe reminder that now’s the time to use good judgement and go and get Parnell.
But she asked to speak to me specifically.
I don’t want to panic her before we’ve even got going.
It’s also for that reason that I hold back the words, ‘lying to a police officer,’ although I do let her know I need to record everything and then I caution her, in my least cautionary voice possible.
God I don’t know where to start.” She arches her head right back. I hear the tension crunching through her neck. “I just tried to do a good thing and now I’m caught up in all this. I’m so sorry I lied, I truly am. I just...”
“Just start at the beginning,” I say, my voice as soft as a coo. “It’s fine, you’re doing the right thing, Gina.”
Ok.” She lays her palms flat on the table, steadies herself like it’s a business pitch. “About four years ago, Nate and I were in a bad place. Really bad. We’d been having IVF and it just wasn’t happening and well, it was tearing us apart. I think it’s because we’d both had kids with other people.” My face says it all. “Oh right, sorry, Leo’s mine, Amber’s Nate’s. I mean, Amber was only four when we got together and Leo was only seven so we very much consider them our own.” She gives a sad little sniff. “Nate’s wife died a year after Amber was born, you see. An undetected heart defect.” Suddenly, her features harden. “And my ex is a complete waster who’s never bothered with Leo so it was perfect, we became an instant little family.”
But it’s natural to want children together,” I say.
She lowers her gaze, nods at the table. “And we just assumed we would. Took it for granted, as you do. And when it didn’t happen….well it’s cruel and it’s not logical, but when you’ve made a baby with someone else, but you can’t make a baby with your current partner, it kind of does something. It makes you view them differently, view your relationship differently. It did us anyway, I can’t speak for everyone. But we ended up resenting each other, I suppose. It was just an incredibly bad time.” She twists her wedding ring, a surprisingly discreet gold band. “Anyway, Nate ended up burying himself in work, which means burying himself in client dinners, and I was on my own night after night with my grief.” Her eyes will me to understand. “I know it sounds dramatic, but that’s what it felt like, grief.”
I understand,” I say, as soothing as I can. “And Alice, where does she come in?”


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