Allison Smith is living her dream, attending St. John’s College in Dublin, away from home for the first time and studying literature. Liz, her best friend, is also a student at St. John’s. Then Allison meets Will Hurley, a handsome freshman. They almost instantly become a couple; Allison has not had a boyfriend in high school, so all these experiences of being a college student, finding independence, and falling in love leave her breathless.
This review contains no spoilers. Readers learn immediately that Will has been incarcerated for ten years when the story opens.
Then students and the city of Dublin learn a serial killer is on the loose. And who does this killer attack? Young women attending St. John’s, of course. Four young women’s bodies are found in the canal near St. John’s. Allison is not afraid until her best friend, Liz, goes missing, and is then found in the canal as well.
Adding to her pain, Allison sees the Gardai, the Irish police, arrest Will, HER Will. She cannot believe what she hears. Then she learns that Will has confessed! Because he confesses, Will does not stand trial; he receives five life sentences. Instead of a prison, he is confined to the Central Psychiatric Hospital (CPH). He has been there ten years. During those years, Allison and Will have not been in any kind of communication.
Out of the blue, two Gardai, Shaw, the original detective on the case, and Malone, newly added to a new investigation, appear in the Netherlands where Allison works for Suncamp, a British company. They ask the impossible of Allison: that she go with them to CPH and talk with Will because he has asked for her and will speak to no one else.
The so-called canal killer has resumed his horrible ways and two bodies of young college women have been found in the canal. Does that mean the killer is a copycat or that Will is innocent?
Against her better judgment, Allison agrees to return to Dublin, the first time in ten years, and also agrees to speak to Will. What will she learn? What does she have to confess herself concerning Will’s case? If Will did not kill the girls, who did? And what will it take to discover the truth?
The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard will take readers on a wild ride. Told in present-day and the past, WHEN the original killings were taking place, the story is gripping and will leave readers’ hearts pounding as they quickly turn the pages to learn what happens next.
Catherine Ryan Howard is a well-known crime writer. She also worked for a travel company in the Netherlands and at Walt Disney World, Florida. She has published six books, all described with words such as “twisty, ingenious plotting, chilling, unputdownable, and as good as suspense fiction gets.” I concur!