Who ever heard of a support group for compulsive and pathological liars? Well, this is how the characters in this novel all know each other.
The meetings are held by a professor who studies this kind of behaviour, and many of the attendees are there due to a court order. And this sets the stage for what’s about to follow.
The story begins through the POV of Marnie, one of the attendees at the meeting. But she isn’t really there to get better. She’s there to suss everyone out.
Marnie offers to give a lift home one day to flighty air-head Claire, another attendee, who has just announced to the group that she is newly pregnant. But when they approach her apartment, Claire ducks her head down and shouts for Marnie to keep driving.
Claire ends up staying at Marnie’s place that night. But when Marnie gets up, Claire is gone.
Marnie doesn’t hear from Claire for the next week, so she decides to go to Claire’s apartment to check in on her.
To Marnie’s surprise, she is met with another attendee of Liars Anonymous, a neighbour of Claire’s, who is clearly stoned and hasn’t seen Claire for some time.
Marnie decides to call in at Claire’s place of work, and discovers that her “Claire” doesn’t work there – another similar looking Claire does.
Another time, Marnie decides to try Claire’s apartment again, and this time neighbour Eddie comes with her. But they find her dead body.
Marnie appears to suspect the boyfriend, who others from Liars Anonymous seem to know about. Marnie tries to get Eddie to persuade people to speak out to the police.
But then the novel changes, and instead of seeing things through Marnie’s eyes, the story is then retold from the eyes of someone else in the group, Naomi.
It gives an entirely new feel to the novel, and starts to shed more light on the Liars, their lives, and what they get up to.
Everyone suspects everyone else or is angry at being lied to. Marnie and Naomi both think the other knows something they’re not telling, and they do some digging of their own. But with their background, you have to ask whether they need to keep quiet, whether they would frame someone, or whether they have something to hide.
A suspect is eventually called in for questioning. And you would think that means the case is closed. But, the story keeps going with several twists and turns that I did not see coming. These people are not just liars but tricksters, imposters, criminals, and there’s a murderer in the mix to boot.
There’s a satisfying conclusion to the story in the epilogue, which is written first from Claire’s POV, and then from her neighbour, and the murderer is finally revealed.
I really enjoyed this book, especially the last quarter of it when more insights and truths about the characters just kept coming. It became quite the page turner, and I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next.
Some of the scenes felt more drawn out than was necessary, and it may not have started terribly well, but the end of the book more than made up for that, and I would definitely recommend it.
Link to Liars Anonymous by Marissa Finch on Amazon
Book review from Cari Mayhew