Sweet Little Lies by
Caz Frear is a police procedural that overlaps with the psychological
thriller genre. This story follows Met detective Cat Kinsella
who is investigating why and how Alice’s body is found
close to her father’s pub.
Frear never had any police experience. “However, a friend
put me in touch with a great police officer who has been invaluable.
He keeps me on the straight and narrow when it comes to procedure.
I wouldn’t say I’m an absolute slave to accuracy
when it comes to procedure, but when writing a page-turner,
I simply can’t wait a week to get a DNA test result
back. But it does need to feel authentic.”
Cat’s troubled past comes into play as it becomes obvious
that Alice was murdered and it is related to another woman
vanishing eighteen years earlier. She wonders if her dad had
something to do with Maryanne’s disappearance? Memories
flood Cat, as a child of eight on a vacation in Ireland, she
had to deal with why Maryanne had gone missing and her dad’s
denial of ever knowing the seventeen-year-old girl, creating
tension between Cat and her father. She is wondering if her
father could have murdered both Maryanne and Alice. Through
her investigation she confronts secrets about the women, her
father, and her family life.
Cat is a tough but damaged female protagonist who has become
very cynical. She is strong, smart, loyal, and brave, but
also funny and kind. Readers can easily identify and relate
with her. Because of her desire to over-empathize with the
victims her supervising officer requires that she continue
with her department-mandated therapy. But she finds that the
discussion often leads to issues mostly connected to her father
and past events.
“I hope readers are invested in my character Cat. I
know I am attached to her. Cat is flawed, a bit overweight,
and down on herself. I do not consider her a Superhero, but
just a detective trying to do her job. I’d describe
Cat as an everywoman. She has some really big issues that
she’s dealing with but she tries to get along with people
and she wants to be liked as well as respected. There’s
an element of her that is still that eight-year-old girl in
Ireland who has just found out that the world isn't a safe
This debut novel delves into dark family secrets full of lies
and revelations. It is interesting how Frear combines the
two genres to write a gripping story.