Liar Liar M. J. Arlidge

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Liar Liar, book four in the Helen Grace series by M.J. Arlidge continues the tale of this unorthodox and absolutely riveting detective series. Helen Grace is as intriguing off the job as she is on the job. Her personal life or the lack there of and her chosen method of release begin to threaten her career and focus as she faces a killer unlike any other she has ever faced before.

“…What are we looking at? Any chance it could have been accidental? An electricity short? Discarded cigarette?’
The exhausted firefighter cast a withering look in her direction.
‘Three major fires on the same night. All starting within a hour of each other. This wasn’t an accident.’ He fixed her with a fierce stare. ‘Someone’s been having a bit of fun.”

Detective Helen Grace has never seen destruction on this level. Six fires set in the space of 24 hours, a mix of commercial and residential properties. Several people injured and two are dead. But what ties all of these together? What is the connection between the or the victims. Or is there simply no connection at all. Could this just be a killer who wants to see the city burn?

The situation complicates when the investigation goes from the criminal element to possibly being a firefighter himself setting the blazes. Now the firefighters must not only battle the fires, but the press and the public.

Grace must navigate the politics between the police and the fire department, as well as a press that is intent on getting a story no matter the cost to lives and safety. All while trying to take control of her own dark desires.

Arlidge has created a character that is as compelling and complicated as the cases she faces. Grace’s past and her need to be a submissive as her means of coping with stress and release begin to interfere with her ability to do her work. Her single minded vision when it comes to solving the murders does not always work in her favor and after the events of the prior books, she now finds her own crew short handed and now Helen must work with a crew that is new to her. As well as a new supervisor who seems intent upon inserted himself into the investigations. A partnership she is unused to and uncomfortable with.

The story itself is one that is told in layers, unfolding until the true motive ad arsonist are revealed. Unlike the prior novels, when the antagonist is revealed, it is tough to feel anger toward them.

Liar Liar is a tale of revenge and pain and the tortured results of a life living on the edge.

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