Review: Liar Liar by M.J. Arlidge

Title: Liar Liar by M.J. Arlidge
DI Helen Grace Series Book Four
Publisher: NAL
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: 458 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Detective Helen Grace gets caught in an inferno of death and destruction in the red-hot new thriller from the author of Eeny Meeny, Pop Goes the Weasel, and The Doll’s House…

Detective Helen Grace has never seen such destruction. Six fires in twenty-four hours. Two people dead. Several more injured. It’s as if someone wants to burn the city to the ground…

With the whole town on high alert, Helen and her team must sift through the rubble to find the arsonist, someone whose thirst for fire—and control—is reducing entire lives to ashes.

One misstep could mean Helen’s career—and more lives lost. And as the pressure mounts and more buildings burn, Helen’s own dark impulses threaten to consume her…


In Liar Liar, the latest addition to M.J. Arlidge’s DI Helen Grace series, Detective Inspective Helen Grace and her team are hot on the trail of a serial arsonist.

Helen Grace and her team are called in to investigate a chilling case involving multiple fires set simultaneously at different properties around Southampton. Two of the fires destroy local businesses while the third fire destroys a home and claims the lives of some of its inhabitants.  Grace’s investigation has barely begun when the arsonist strikes again and just like the first fires, two businesses are lost and the third fire in a residential area takes yet another life.  Not knowing where the arsonist will strike next, Grace is under extreme pressure to capture the perpetrator before more lives are lost.

Helen continues to be an exceptional investigator who is battling her personal demons at the same time she conducts her investigation.  She has an excellent crew working with her but she a little off balance as she works her first case under the watchful eye of her new boss, Detective Superintendent Jonathan Gardam.  He seems a little over involved with the investigation but Helen cannot figure out whether this is because he is a micromanager or due to the fact that he does not trust her. She also runs up against an antagonistic fire investigator who turns to ambitious reporter (and Helen’s personal nemesis) Emilia Garanita to try to discredit her and her investigation.

The investigation into the fires turns up few clues and many of the investigators are thrust into uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations as they track down leads.  Helen’s close friend and fellow detective Charlie Brooks is particularly affected as she tries to reconcile her job with her need to be home with her daughter.   Helen manages her stress in a rather unorthodox manner and as the pressure builds she makes a decision that could have disastrous repercussions.  DS Gardam is rather enigmatic and Helen remains a little uncomfortable with his close scrutiny.  Helen’s fragile truce with Emilia is no match for the reporter’s career aspirations and she continues to use sleazy tactics to get information her articles.

Liar Liar is another gripping addition to the DI Helen Grace series.  The story is even paced with chapters that alternate between the different characters’ points of view. M.J. Arlidge does an outstanding job keeping the series fresh with another unique crime to solve and the addition of new characters. The perpetrator’s identity and motive for the fires is impossible to deduce until the pulse-pounding, action-filled conclusion. The mysterious revelation in the final chapter will leave fans anxiously awaiting the next  book in this spectacular series. 

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1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, DI Helen Grace Series, Liar Liar, MJ Arlidge, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Suspense

One Response to Review: Liar Liar by M.J. Arlidge

  1. Timitra

    Thanks for the review Kathy