Thursday 30 January 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Liar's Daughter - Claire Allan

No one deserves to be taken before their time. Do they?

Joe McKee – pillar of the Derry community – is dead. As arrangements are made for the traditional Irish wake, friends and family are left reeling at how cancer could have taken this much-loved man so soon.

But grief is the last thing that Joe’s daughter Ciara and step-daughter Heidi feel. For they knew the real Joe – the man who was supposed to protect them and did anything but.

As the mourners gather, the police do too, with doubt being cast over whether Joe’s death was due to natural causes. Because the lies that Joe told won’t be taken to the grave after all – and the truth gives his daughters the best possible motive for killing him…

A gripping suspense novel about deadly secrets and lies. The perfect read for fans of Clare Mackintosh.

What did I think?

Oh this is a very disturbing and emotional book; I experienced a range of emotions whilst reading but mainly those in the anger and rage end of the spectrum.  Claire Allan tackles a difficult subject head-on as we see first hand the long term effects of Joe McKee's terrible actions.

From the start, we are warned not to feel sorry for Joe as the reader is told in Joe's own voice that he deserves the death sentence he has been handed through his cancer diagnosis.  He is released into the care of his step-daughter, Heidi, who clearly doesn't want anything to do with him but Joe's own daughter, Ciara, can't stand the sight of him either.  It's not hard to work out why his two daughters hate him but what really got to me was reading about their past and the devastation that Joe left in his wake.

My heart went out to both Heidi and Ciara.  Heidi for losing her mother at such a young age and being left with a virtual stranger to bring her up, and Ciara who idolised her father and was crushed when he left.  It's no surprise that Ciara was jealous of Heidi when they were children as, in her mind, Heidi had replaced her in Joe's affections.  Ciara's tormenting of Heidi was pretty despicable and I don't know how Heidi could even bear to be in the same room as her childhood bully; she's a better woman than I am, that's for sure.

Joe's death shouldn't come as a surprise but it would appear that someone in the house helped him on his way a little earlier than expected.  As the police are called in and the family line up like characters on a Cluedo board, each of them with motive, it is for the reader to work out 'whodunnit'.  

The Liar's Daughter is a disturbing portrayal of a family hiding the darkest of secrets.  With heightened emotions they turn on each other before realising that they are stronger together, and only by sharing their pain can they ever find some kind of peace.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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