Beautiful Liars

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

This book is a great mystery which spans 18 years and has plenty of great little surprises thrown in - in both storylines. Many of which I was not able to see coming.

Martha is a TV presenter who pitches a new series about cold cases, with the first episode to focus on the case of a missing 17-year-old girl from 18 years ago. She was presumed to have run off with an older mentor, who disappeared the next day after being interviewed by police. And she happened to be one of Martha’s best friends, Juliet. Martha wants to solve the case for closure - but things are not at all what they seem, including, perhaps, her friends.

The main “trio” of girls - Martha, Olivia and Juliet - were really great to get to know and the mystery of what exactly happened to Juliet is really intriguing. She literally seemed to be there one moment and gone the next. And the resolution was really spectacular. I did not see it coming at all.

There were, in fact, many moments that I was left open-jawed at some of the twists the author threw in there. It was very well done.

Martha was a great character in that she developed so much over the course of the story: from a hard, cynical person to someone who has opened up and really let us readers and her coworkers into her world. I really grew to be rooting for her as the story went on. 

Also, this was a very accurate description of what it is to be a journalist chasing a story. That is really refreshing, since many depictions have journalists acting as pseudo-detectives or police officers. Martha and her team interviewing people, changing the story as facts became known but still following basic standard-of-practice (using sources, interviews, etc.). I enjoyed that.

Overall, get this book if you’re looking for a great mystery with some intriguing twists and a cast of characters you won’t soon forget.
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4-5 stars!  A very well written book, which was developed amazingly and done in a way that made it completely gripping.  Very intense, shocking, and twisted.  Fellow thriller lovers are sure to enjoy!  
Ill make sure to rave it up!
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A murder from the past is investigated by a television journalist who was once friends with the victim. Isabel Ashdown’s latest has all the right ingredients for a suspense: complex characters, fast-paced dialogue, and multiple twists. Unfortunately, I did find the twists to be predictable and was not at all surprised by anything that happened. Still, a fun, worthwhile read. 3 1/2 stars rounded up.

Many thanks to Netgalley, Kensington Books, and Isabel Ashdown for my complimentary e-copy ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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I've just finished this book and it was pretty much perfect. From the introduction that made me raise an eyebrow at a particularly creepy child to the end that came full circle and made me raise an eyebrow at a creepy grown up. Without giving too much away this story centres on a missing persons case, Juliette vanished at age 17, apparently running off with a man old enough to be her dad. Both vanished within 24 hours of each other, never to be seen again and leaving behind a trail of broken family and friends. 

Without giving too much away (because I hate to give spoilers and because this is the type of book that being unspoiled suits) there are twists and turns in this story. I''m not normally a fan of the twists and turns that seem to be standard for psychological thrillers but they absolutely work in this book. Not only that but the writing is fabulous, characters believable and well developed and the pacing really good. 

I am genuinely delighted to discover that Ashdown is not a new author. Mostly because I am away to see whether I can get her back catalogue from the library!

I received a copy of the egalley from the publisher through Netgalley.
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What an amazing novel! The character development was incredible, the story line flowed seamlessly and I was captivated the whole time. Highly recommended!
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What. A. Book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the different POV's that we see it through. Ashdown succeeds in keeping you strung along, not suspecting what's really going on until it hits you in the face. Definitely recommend!
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It has been eighteen years since one of Martha's best friends, Juliet, disappeared on a trail. Martha, now a famous television personality, has just enough influence to prepare a crime show. This pushes her to find out once and for all what happened to Juliet.

More than Martha and Juliet were best friends. There was also Liv, so Martha sends her a letter to ask for her help. Martha is more than pleased that Liv wants to help, especially since they haven't seen each other in all of that time. However, Liv has moved away and another woman receives the letter, and then decides to act as if she is Liv. 

Martha and another member of the show, Toby, with the occasional help of a retired cop, begin asking questions. Among other people, Martha locates Juliet's father and the wife of the man suspected of kidnapping Juliet. The deeper Martha digs, unfortunately, the darker things become, so much so that her very life just might soon be threatened.

The prologue leads the reader on a rabbit trail, to be sure. All we know is that a child died at the hands of a sibling, but who was it? As the story jumps right into Juliet's disappearance, this very question stirred in the back of my brain while reading this thrilling book. 

There is no surprise as to the name of this book, Beautiful Liars, as there was a large net of doubt cast as to more than one character. Having unreliable and quite nutty characters definitely worked for this book. Things being the way they were most certainly led to sharp twists, along with a few surprises, in this story. It was a compelling read and I love the fact that I was shocked as to who the killer was.

Many thanks to Kensington and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Perfect psychological thriller!  It moved at a fast pace with twists and turns throughout!  I couldn’t put it down!  Highly recommend!
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I was originally drawn to this book by the cover. I am glad that it caught my attention as the author is a new one to me.

Martha Ben is a television personality who is starting a new show regarding cold cases. The first case she wants to cover is of an old friend, Juliet, who disappeared as a teenager. She doesn’t agree with what the police decided happened to her and wants to get answers for Juliet’s ill father.  Martha was the last known person to see Juliet alive, and she still has no idea what happened after the two said goodnight on a towpath beside London’s Regent’s Canal. The next day, Juliet’s abandoned bicycle was discovered, but no sign of Juliet. Without witnesses or clues, the investigation fell apart.

Martha reaches out to her and Juliet’s other best friend, Liv, to try to find more answers. The book alternates between the past and the present. It is told from mainly the perspective of Martha and a woman named Casey. The book has a lot of twists and turns and is great for any fan of suspense.
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I was origianlly pulled in by the cover and the title of the book, as Isabel Ashdown is not a name I recognized, but as soon as i started reading Beautiful Liars, I couldn't put it down. The story flips back and forth between present day, where Martha and her team are investigating a cold case murder of her childhood best friend for a possible new TV show, and the past where Martha recalls painful details that were forgotten or intentionally blocked.  As the story develops, there are more pieces brought into the puzzle - people from the outside who want part of the action and people from the past who are not quite as innocent as they seem. The investgation seems to be moving along nicely, but can the team trust all of the breaks they are getting? 

I am happy to say that the ending was a complete surprise to me, and that is rare when reading this type of book.  There are details that I did guess early on that were confirmed, but what iIreally enjoyed is that every question I had written down was eventually answered.  There were times I was angry at Martha for her lack of follow up or follow through, but even that was acknowledged in the storyline by other characters. 

This is a satisfying read that makes me want to read more of Ashdown's books.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the way the author gradually revealed what had happened in the past, until those secrets collided with the present.

The book is told through two viewpoints - those of Martha who is an investigative journalist, going back to look into a cold case which happened when she was just seventeen and involved the disappearance of one of her best friends. The other narrator is the mysterious Casey - who I loved! - but it takes a little while to work out where she fits into the story and the, Wham! the story really comes alive. So stick with the slow beginning, the gradual unravelling of clues, the remembering of the past. Because everything speeds up once we know who Casey really is!

The writing is wonderfully descriptive and flowing, the emotions real and the tension is wound up at a perfect pace. The character come alive, the more we know about them and the ending is a corker!

I say to the author, stick with the psychological thrillers, because you've made a brilliant job of it!
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* I was given an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. * 

Originally the title of this book is what drew me to it. I've also been really into books about missing teenage girls as of late (which sounds really creepy now that I put it down on paper), so it was a no brainer that I would pick this one up. As of today, Beautiful Liars  was published eight days ago, so if my opinion isn't enough, be sure to check it out yourself. Also, this is the second book of Ashdown's that I have read. 

The back story to this novel involves three teenage girls who go out one night, but only two of them return. No one knows what happened to the third friend, or who her secret relationship was with, though it was assumed an older man had something to do with it, but he is gone as well. So technically we don't even know if the friend is dead. Years later, Martha, one of the original three friends is preparing to host a crime show, and their first case is going to be her missing friend Juliet. (This show reminded me of Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke's series with the same premise-- not a bad thing just a similarity.

I won't go into too much detail for fear of spoiling the story. I will say though that I figured out the secret relationship pretty early on, and while the twist at the end threw me for a minute, I can't necessarily say that Ashdown didn't sort of give it away-- and whether or not you catch it is up to the reader. I was a little unsure about how the same sex relationship in this book was handled. For the time period it was written in, I understood the premise, but I still don't necessarily feel like the whole "if you don't come out to your friends you'll die" message was the best one to send. I have however seen it handled way worse though. 

 All in all this was a pretty good book that I can see being a hit among the thrill lovers in our library.
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Eighteen years ago Martha said goodbye to best friend Juliet on a moonlit London towpath.
The next morning Juliet's bike was found abandoned at the waterside.
She was never seen again.
Nearly two decades later Martha is a TV celebrity, preparing to host a new crime show... and the first case will be that of missing student Juliet Sherman. After all these years Martha must reach out to old friends and try to piece together the final moments of Juliet's life.
But what happens when your perfect friends turn out to be perfect strangers...?

This was a wonderfully told story of toxic friendship.
The story is told from the perspective of the various characters chapter by chapter. 
The suspense was amazing and kept me gripped til the very end.
Love the characters that have been created.
The storyline and plot are dark and twisty and superbly written.
The revelations that happen at the end are explosive.
Recommend reading.

With thanks to NetGalley and Trapeze / Orion for the ARC of Beautiful Liars.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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This is the story of 2 remaining friends after the mysterious disappearance of a third friend. Martha has decided, as part of her investigative reporting career, to try and find out what happened to Juliet. Through her research, the reader is given snippets of the past. Meanwhile, Martha is communicating with the other woman of the trio, Liv. Too bad a nutjob, Casey, has purchased Liv's house and decided to impersonate the friend! This is but the first of several solid twists in the story, some of which the reader can easily figure out ahead of time and others that are good old surprises! The book makes for some good reading!
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A good suspense novel. very good storyline about  Martha a tv personality that is doing a show on a cold case that she was involved in when she was younger. One of her close friends went missing and nothing was ever found. This book kept you reading to see what had happened the characters were well written but I could have done without so much bodily functions info. Had some twists near the end that made the beginning more understandable. all in all enjoyed it.
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Beautiful Liars is an engrossing read that Isabel Ashdown has constructed. Will keep you turning pages until the last one.
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This was one of those books where I knew I was going to finish it quickly! Isabel Ashdown did a fantastic job at making those words come to life and also the fact that the characters were fantastic. The story line was one for the ages!
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This was an intriguing story. I greatly enjoyed the premise of the book and the overall story line itself. Beautiful Liars is more of a mystery than a thriller for me. It moved along at a steady pace, building evidence and giving your opportunities to think about what was coming together. Great if you are looking for a thought provoking mystery. 

Martha seems to only readily remember the happy parts of her past. Mentally blocking the ugliness that consumed most of her life. When she decides to revisit old wounds she isn't as prepared as she thought she was. Learning new information and remembering bits of her own, she really needs Liv to help pull everything together. To help her remember the events leading up to Juliet's disappearance.
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I received an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review 

This book as crazypants. The first half a bit slow, then flying of the rails. I just felt tired after. The antiheroine protagonist did win me over it’s her creepy ass self. Solid three
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“How the mind plays tricks, Martha thinks now, the way it effortlessly reveals useless snippets like this while so often concealing the memories we seek.” 
But what happens when your perfect friends turn out to be perfect strangers...?
Eighteen years ago Martha said goodbye to Juliet never to see her again.
Juliet it turns out went missing but may also have been living a double life? Who knew she might just have had a 'secret' and 'shocking' relationship?
Meanwhile David Crown is all up in the news lately as Martha is now an investigative journalist seeking answers.
Was he somehow involved in her disappearance? If so what about his wife and daughter Katherine?
David's wife is another firecracker you might say as she too is somehow caught up in circumstances. 
There's many twist too numerous to mention but safe to say it's near the water's edge that is most concerning.
Allegations and alleged activity is coming forward against David so perhaps that'd be a great starting point if nothing else as he has been under suspicion for quite some time.
Janet is one tough gal and boy oh boy she knew her stuff so well that she was practically 'hidden' in this plot.
You know the golden rule that most killings are caused by those closest to us.
When one goes missing it's almost always the spouse, the lover, the friend.
In this case it reigns true and perhaps Janet is not who she claims to be....
I don't know about you but I might just re-read this one as it truly was that magnificent!
A thriller that must be read!
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