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Her first love confessed to five murders… But the truth was so much worse.

Dublin’s notorious Canal Killer is ten years into his life sentence when the body of a young woman is fished out of the Grand Canal. Though detectives suspect a copycat is emulating the crimes Will Hurley confessed to as a teen, they turn to him for help. Will says he has the information the police need, but will only give it to one person – the girl he was dating when he committed his horrific crimes.

Alison Smith has spent a decade building a new life. Having moved abroad, she’s confident that her shattered life in Ireland is finally behind her. But when she gets a request from Dublin imploring her to help prevent another senseless murder, she is pulled back to face the past, and the man, she’s worked so hard to forget.

‘In this second novel, Howard’s emerging talent could not be clearer … expertly plotted, with a series of stunning twists.’ Daily Mail

‘The Liar’s Girl is a tightly structured, highly suspenseful follow-up to Howard’s excellent CWA Dagger-nominated debut, Distress Signals.’ Irish Times

‘Solid plotting … propels The Liar’s Girl forward at a terrific pace. In this, only her second book, Catherine Ryan Howard has certainly pulled off, with remarkable confidence, the notoriously difficult task of surpassing a debut novel that was met with critical acclaim and garlanded with awards.’ Irish Independent 

‘[A] sharp and modern thriller, cleverly plotted and completely immersive. Catherine Ryan Howard has delivered another sinister, sly and addictive read. Magnificently murky.’ Sunday Independent

[A] terrific read … the plotting is faultless and the writing assured. Catherine Ryan Howard is as good as early Val McDermid. For those who are always on the lookout for a good new crime writer, look no further.’ RTE

‘[An] exceptional thriller … Howard keeps the reader turning the pages right through to the shocking and satisfying resolution.’ Publishers Weekly starred review

‘[A] satisfying and tightly wound tale. Readers of Paula Hawkins, Tana French, and Ruth Ware will love this exceptionally well-crafted thriller.’ Library Journal starred review

The Liar’s Girl has … pacey, visual writing, a creepy atmosphere, believable dialogue, and a tight plot that keeps the mystery right until the end.’ Evening Echo

‘Catherine Ryan Howard has written an even more sophisticated psychological thriller to follow her Dagger-nominated debut, Distress Signals. The exploration of the characters’ inner lives–their jealousy, guilt, misguided chivalry–is as riveting as the crime.’ Shelf Awareness

‘Howard toggles smoothly between past and present, and between Alison and the perpetrator, revealing the extent of the lies only in the final pages. [An] impressive writer to watch.’ Booklist

‘An absolutely cracking and thrillingly creepy read. So clever, so captivating … crackles with dramatic intensity.’

‘Gripping’ Elizabeth Haynes

‘A clever and intriguing tale.’ Liz Nugent

‘Absolutely terrific.’ Pat Kenny

‘Dark, yes, but tender too. The Liar’s Girl is tightly plotted and crackles with suspense.’ Ali Land

‘An absolute belter of a book … [A] stand-out book in the thriller genre. Real and sympathetic characters, a flawlessly-paced plot and a genuinely original premise. I finished it at 2:00am last night, my heart pounding!’ Gillian McAllister

‘Slick, smart and stylish suspense. Characters so real I felt I knew them personally, a plot so taut it squeaked and deeply poignant nods to the loss of innocence that every teenager craves and despairs. Really clever.’ Holly Seddon

Absolutely fantastic. Was gripped the entire way through, can’t recommend it enough. The bath water went cold.’ Jenny Blackhurst

The Liar’s Girl is heartstoppingly brilliant – a completely convincing, expertly plotted tale. The pace is unrelenting. With her second book, Catherine Ryan Howard proves she is an extraordinary talent.’ Jane Casey

‘Incredibly pacey – what lifts Catherine’s work above many others in the genre is the quality of her writing and the strength of her characterisation. Dublin comes alive in this slice of Irish noir.’ Sinéad Crowley

Catherine Ryan Howard is such a skilled storyteller  – every setting was evocative, every hook well-placed,  every twist expertly-timed. I flew through it! Astonishingly good.’ Jo Spain

‘Another thrilling page-turner from a natural born storyteller.’ Mark Edwards

The Liar’s Girl is brilliant. [Catherine Ryan Howard has] outdone herself… It’s even better than the Dagger-nominated Distress Signals and that’s saying something!’ Michelle Davies

‘It’s so hard to stand out in this space right now but The Liar’s Girl offers a killer premise that 100% delivers. Catherine crafts a creepy, claustrophobic tale  that never lets up on the tension while also managing to strike a truly tender note  – I felt deeply for Alison’s plight all the way through.’ Caz Frear

The Liar’s Girl is an incredibly compelling tale of guilt, secrecy and murder. Gripping from the start, Catherine Ryan Howard lures readers in from page one and brings every girl’s worst nightmare to life. Unputdownable!’ Phoebe Morgan

The Liar’s Girl is an addictive page-turner… The set-up is horribly believable as we toggle between the past and present lives of two adults reconciling themselves to the consequences of their teenage immaturity. Catherine Ryan Howard ladles out the suspense like spoonfuls of sugar, building to a heady rush of tension – and a heartbreaking final twist in the tale.’ Jo Furniss

A meticulous, devious plot, superb writing, and vivid, sympathetic characters would be enough to make The Liar’s Girl a stand-out read, but its dark, sad, inevitable ending makes it a triumph.’ Eric Rickstad

‘Read The Liar’s Girl with the lights on. A thrilling whodunit with a shocking final twist.’ A. J. Banner

‘[A] haunting thriller about one woman’s attempt to escape a horrific past…and her inability to fully do so. I found myself continually surprised and even shocked by the twists and turns in the plot. This is a fast-moving, crackling good novel.’ David Bell

‘An astonishing new voice in thriller writing.’ Liz Nugent on Distress Signals

[A] highly confident and accomplished debut novel, impeccably sustained, with not a false note … We will hear a great deal more of this author.’ Irish Times on Distress Signals


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Have you read Distress Signals? Find out more about my debut thriller here.