The Liar's Girl

For the past 10 years, Alison Smith has built a new life in the Netherlands after leaving her home in Ireland. When two Garda detectives arrive at her door, they shatter her existence once again by saying their visit is about Will. As in Will Hurley, her former boyfriend at St. John's College in Dublin and current resident at the city's Central Psychiatric Hospital. Alison and Will were madly in love during their time at St. John's, until female students started turning up dead in the canal--and Will confessed to being the killer. Devastated, Alison fled the country, leaving her past and everything else behind.

Now another young woman's body has been found in the canal, a possible copycat killing. Will claims to have information that could help catch the killer, but he'll talk only to Alison. She agrees to meet with him, ostensibly to help prevent any additional murders, but realizes she must finally ask Will whether or not he's guilty--and if not, why he confessed.

With The Liar's Girl, Catherine Ryan Howard has written an even more sophisticated psychological thriller to follow her Dagger-nominated debut, Distress Signals. In alternating chapters taking place then and now, Howard's portrait of Alison as a bright girl full of hope starkly contrasts that of the woman whose light has been dimmed by tragedy. The exploration of the characters' inner lives--their jealousy, guilt, misguided chivalry--is as riveting as the crime. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

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