The Liar's Sister

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Sep 2019

Member Reviews


Ten years ago, a boy named Samuel Murray went missing from the quiet village of Buckthorpe and was never seen again.

Rosie Sharpe cried over her missing friend for weeks after. But her little sister Heather knows that Rosie’s tears hide the truth. Because the night Samuel was last seen, Heather watched her older sister climbing back through the window of their childhood bedroom. Her jacket torn, her eyes wild and her body trembling with fear.

Heather never told anyone what she saw, but secrets can’t stay buried forever…

This book started really strong, but as the story unfolds it loses strength, I felt disappointed, I didn't hate the book, I think the plot is a good one but it gets very slow too many times throughout the book. 

Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  #NetGalley #TheLiarsSister
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Combine a good sprinkling of mystery, secrets, grudges, gossip and jealousy and you end up with Sarah A. Denzil's latest offering - The Liar's Sister. 

Told in dual timelines between sisters Heather and Rosie, secrets are revealed at an even pace as the story progresses to the present day, with the revealing chapters dipping back ten years near the end to expose what really happened. 

Neither of the sisters were overly likeable and it seemed that I never got to know who Heather really was. Rosie suffered from addictions to both drugs and alcohol and as a child, was troublesome - she led a very chaotic life.

Enjoyable from the very first page, this was an easy read  It was a family drama at its heart, with secrets and lies aplenty and a very satisfying way of revealing and exposing them.  The Liar's Sister was so well plotted, with each chapter delivering new revelations. The tension built to a point where everything just exploded and an enigma of families, murder, betrayal, abuse and grief were just the tip of the deceptive iceberg that eventually collapsed.

The perfect setting of Buckthorpe - a quiet, small, closed-off village - helped to make the whole story seem very believable, seeing what isolation can do to a small community of people and the lengths to which they are prepared to go in order to hide the truth.

There were a few reveals in the story that I didn't see coming and they completely blew me away. The final chapter was a rather appropriate end to the book. Once started, The Liar's Sister was a story that demanded to be finished and I was only too happy to oblige. This was such a terribly good, heart-pounding, twisted psychological thriller that I have no hesitation in recommending to fans of this genre. 

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Bookouture via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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A thoroughly enthralling mystery/psychological thriller. I liked the way that the many layers of the story unfolded and the way the it flip-flopped between past and present. Sarah Denzil is an excellent writer who manages to maintain the suspense up until the very last moment. I really enjoyed this book and would be happy to recommend it.
My thanks to Sarah Denzil, Netgalley and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to give my unbiased opinion.
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Two sisters and a secret that no-one talks about but has virtually estranged them.  The girls come together as their mother is dying.  The story takes off then to a whirlwind of a finale. So many twists and turns and long buried secrets. A good read.
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I enjoyed this but the ending got a little out of control and silly. Kind of the standard British “gripping thriller” fare. But it held my attention.
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On the one hand when teen Samuel Murray disappeared, life went on as usual. However, this certainly wasn't the case for best friend Rosie Sharpe. She never got over his loss. It is now ten years later, and now Rosie is back home and is facing the real truth of everything.

When Samuel became missing, Heather immediately suspected Rosie because she something that made Rosie look very guilty, but Heather never said a word. Now that both sisters are back home in the village of Buckthorpe, the truth finally begins to reveal itself.

Rosie and Heather do not get along at all, but with their mother being very ill now, they are forced to be together. Things begin happening and as it turns out, Heather is not the only one who suspected that Rosie knew more about what happened. Furthermore, this unknown person is determined to reveal the truth, as well as other hidden facts, but also creates an incredible element of danger that faces them now.

What a story! This certainly was not a family drama, although family had everything to do with it. No, it was full of secrets, twists, danger and murder, and these very things flowed throughout the pages. I found this book to be very interesting and loved how the family dynamics were explored and how the suspense built up until the very end. This is my first read by Sarah A. Denzil, but I love her writing style and cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us readers.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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I give this book a 2.5. 

Heather is back in her hometown taking care of her dying mother. Her sister -- an alcoholic with a destructive past -- Rosie makes it home just in time to say goodbye. Rosie hasn't been home in 10 years, after Heather's boyfriend disappears. Their mother's last words to Heather are that she doesn't regret anything, but Heather doesn't know what that means. After their mother's death, the sisters start receiving threatening letters and are followed. But who is doing it... And why?

While it is a good premise, I was bored through about two-thirds of the book. I kept reading to find out the end, but it dragged more than this kind of book should. Not to give away the end, but you definitely need to suspend a fair amount of disbelief to get through it. And while I didn't guess the exact ending (which was a positive,) it also wasn't super far off from where I landed early on. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book on exchange for my honest review. It did not influence my opinion.
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What’s it about:  Heather's sister Rosie has many secrets. A neighbor boy, Sam, disappeared when they were kids, and the shocking truth is discovered when they visit their hometown as adults. 

What I liked about this book: The two points-of-view/timelines, (Heather in the current day and Rosie as a child) creates a great deal of mystery about what happened to Sam. This book captures the realities of sibling rivalries and provides some shocking moments near the end. 

What I disliked: This is minor, but the sisters feel cliche at times, Heather = the good one, Rosie = the bad one. 

Overall impression: Solid thriller that is well written. 4/5 stars. 

Special thanks to Net Galley for providing advance review copies in exchange for my honest review.
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Wow, I don’t really know where to start with this review. The Liar’s Sister starts off being your everyday psychological thriller and then it goes along seemingly following a normal path and then BAM! You realise that you stopped breathing a couple of minutes ago and you can’t read fast enough to find out what actually happened ten years before.

I quite liked Heather as a character, although I never really felt as though I got to know who she really was, but by the end that all made a lot more sense. I wasn’t sure about her sister Rosie, she seemed to be so consumed by guilt that it was impossible to work out what exactly she felt guilty about, although again that all became clear.

With The Liar’s Sister, Sarah A Denzil has weaved a clever story, one that gradually builds up the tension as more and more is revealed but it is hard to know who to trust.

The setting of Buckthorpe village was perfect, it felt claustrophobic and remarkably unfriendly, but why were the villages so contained, were they also keeping secrets too?

I feel as though I need to process this book a lot more to work out exactly what happened and why and also how I feel about it. It is one of those books that I will think about for a couple of weeks after finishing, a sure sign of a great read that kept me wondering and guessing right until the very last page.

I’ve really enjoyed previous books by the author but I think that this one is probably her best one yet.
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Quiet,reserved Heather and boisterous,wild Rosie have always had a bit of a passive/aggressive relashionship. The sisters were polar opposites in looks,demeanour and behaviour but despite their differences they did enjoy spending their time together riding their horses and exploring the woods near their childhood home. But then everything changed the day that Samuel Murray entered their lives. Samuel lived on a farm near their home and was the victim of bullying by the children at their school and treated with disdain by the local residents because of his gothic attire and love for reptiles. Rosie was horrified and maybe just a tiny bit jealous when Heather and Samuel became very good friends. Then one night Heather witnesses her dishevelled sister creeping in through their bedroom window and the next day learns that Samuel has disappeared.

Ten years later, the estranged sister's are forced to return to their childhood home because their mother is dying. They are shocked by the hostility and animosity that they are subjected to by the locals. After they start receiving threatening letters and items go missing from their cottage, Heather is convinced that the strange events are in some way connected to Samuel's disappearance and is determined to uncover what happened all those years ago.But Rosie and the locals insist that the past is the past and should be left alone. Heather is torn between her loyalty to her sister and her desire to uncover the secrets of the past. What happened to Samuel? Why don't the locals want Heather digging into the past? How much does Rosie know about what happened on the night that Samuel disappeared?

The chapters alternate between the sisters with Heather's chapters being set in the present day and Rosie's starting off in the past and then eventually being set in the present day. I really liked Heather both in the past and the present day. I loved how she was prepared to be friends with Samuel despite the bullying and the prejudice that he was subjected too just because he chose to be different. I also admired her determination to uncover what has happened to him despite the possibility that Rosie might have been involved in his disappearance. Rosie was a complex character who I had mixed feelings about throughout most of the book and I was never really sure what her motives were. I also had mixed feelings about Samuel due to the allegations that were made about him before and after he disappeared. Because the story is set in a small rural area, there is only a small cast of characters many of whom were not very likeable or trustworthy. I loved the settings that featured in this story, Ivy Cottage where the girls grew up,Buckbell Woods,the gorgeous bluebell field and the ramshackle cottage in the woods which was allegedly were mysterious Buckthorpe Jack lived. It sounded like a wonderful place to grow up and spend as much time as you can having adventures out in the woods.

The Liar`s Sister is a extremely well written psychological page turner that hooks the reader in from the first page. The reader is drip fed the events of the night that Samuel disappeared,what happened in the woods and who was involved. There was twists and turns,lies,deceptions and unexpected betrayals throughout this gripping story that keeps the reader guessing and frantically turning the pages. This is the first book that I have that was written by this obviously very talented author and most definitely will not be my last. Very very highly recommended.
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Ten years ago, Samuel Murray went missing from the village of Buckthorpe, never to be seen again. In a village where everyone seems to know everyone else’s business, someone must know something. Heather Sharpe knows that her sister, Rosie, does – on the night of his disappearance, she saw Rosie sneaking back into her house, via her bedroom window, dirty and with a torn jacket. Now, a decade later, the sisters have returned to Buckthorpe to look after their dying mum, but the past has certainly not been forgotten. With the villagers convinced that the sisters know something about what happened, they make it clear that they are not welcome, and soon, Rosie and Heather find themselves in terrible danger…

This is one of those books that grabs you straight from the start as we read a letter written by Heather to her sister. In this letter, not meant to be read, Heather accuses Rosie of murder, and so the tone for the rest of the book is set. Throughout the book, Heather is incredibly suspicious of her sister who she believes was involved in Samuel’s disappearance a decade ago. It is obvious that something happened that night and that Rosie certainly knows something about it, but what was it that changed the relationship of the sisters all those years ago?

For me, it is the setting that makes the book. Buckthorpe is the sort of village where people bear a grudge and outsiders are not welcome. Even though the sisters spent their childhood there, they are not treated as though they belong and were actively encouraged to move away. It soon became apparent that there is more to Samuel’s disappearance than meets the eye and that there is a conspiracy of silence in the village with regards to what actually happened.

When we finally discover what secrets have been kept, we find out just how far this conspiracy of silence has gone. As the story drew to a close and the shocking revelations kept coming, I found it very hard to put the book down as I was desperate to know what had happened to Samuel and also how it would all end for Heather and Rosie.

This is a great thriller that had me on the edge of my seat. A brilliant read!
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I've read a number of books by Sarah Denzil and will continue to read, if she continues to write. Her books are engaging and well plotted and The Liar's Sister was no exception. Recommended!
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The last 25% of this book is an absolute brain freak! The beginning is a little slow but woah did the ending make up for it!
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★★★★ 4.5 stars

Having thoroughly enjoyed both "The Silent Child" and "Only Daughter" , I of course had high hopes for THE LIAR'S SISTER. I was not disappointed. Sarah Denzil has the ability to draw you into an isolated existence where there is just you and the handful of characters with all their secrets and lies unraveling before you. It's chilling and yet it's completely riveting.

Ten years ago, local boy Samuel Murray went missing in the small Yorkshire village of Blackthorpe, never to be seen again. On the night Samuel disappeared, 16 year old Heather awoke to her 17 year old sister Rosie stealthily climbing in through their bedroom window, her clothes muddied and her appearance disheveled. Heather watched her sister through the thin cover of her bed sheets, never once letting on that she had seen.

The next morning Samuel's mother came over in tears to tell them that he was missing. Heather was shocked. Samuel was her friend; her best friend; her secret boyfriend...and now he was missing. But then as she was riding her pony through the woods...until a glint of something catches Heather's eye. Rosie's bracelet. Heather knew she'd been wearing it when she went to bed last night. Pocketing the bracelet, Heather made her way back home and quietly walked into their bedroom where Rosie sat on the bed with her headphones in. Rosie watched as Heather crossed to her sister's chest of drawers and without a word, placed the bracelet on top of the cabinet. Neither said a word.

But Heather always remembered that day, replaying it over and over in her mind and leaving her wondering - did Rosie have something to do with Samuel's disappearance? Did she kill him? After all that had happened, she wouldn't be surprised if she had. But the guilt continues to eat away at her and Heather her sister a murderer?

Whatever took place that night changed their lives forever. Things were never the same between them again. They went off to university but the sisters drifted apart and Rosie spiraled into a world of addiction of alcohol and drugs. She only returned home when their grandfather died and then their father's funeral five years earlier. Now their mother is dying and is asking for Rosie but Heather isn't sure how to contact her. Her mobile has been disconnected and all she has is an old email address that Rosie never seemed to check with any kind of regularity. But she sends one off anyway and is surprised to receive a response almost immediately. Rosie is coming home.

But neither sister receive a warm welcome from villagers, and when their mother quietly passes shortly after Rosie's return, things take on a more sinister turn. They receive an unwelcome visit from the local police outlining that it might be best if they sold up and left the village. Their presence apparently was distressing the Murrays given the history between their families. But then they receive a threatening note and someone breaks into their house, steals a few items as well as their father's shotgun with which he used to kill himself five years before. Why would their mother even keep that??

The atmosphere in the village is no different. All eyes are on the sisters as everyone seems to pass judgement on them and their presence there. But Heather cannot escape the past. Her memories of what she saw, what she suspected, what she feels - all of it is tied to Samuel's disappearance. Heather knows she must find out what really happened to him, and she believes Rosie holds the key. But how to unlock her sister's resistance is another matter. Rosie appears reluctant to give up her secrets. But Heather needs to know. appears someone else in the village may not want Heather to uncover the truth. Someone is following her, stalking her, frightening her. Is it Rosie? Or is it someone else? Can she trust her sister?

There are so many secrets and lies buried in the past that when the shocking revelations start to surface, they just don't stop. The tension builds to a point that everything just explodes and enigma of families, betrayal, incest, murder, suicide, abuse and grief are just the tip of the deceptive iceberg that eventually crumbles under the weight of all its secrets and lies.

While some aspects of the mystery may seem obvious, there were a few reveals that even I didn't see coming that just blew me away. The final chapter, which I think would have best been titled as "Epilogue" was an appropriate end to the story...and while it was obvious that it had played a part of that night, all those secrets were finally unveiled within those final pages.

Told in dual timelines between Heather and Rosie, THE LIAR'S SISTER unveils its secrets at an even pace as we progress to the present day, with the revealing chapters dipping back ten years near the end to expose what really happened. The final chapter from a surprising perspective uncovers the remaining truth that will leave you breathless.

Overflowing with secrets and lies, THE LIAR'S SISTER is well plotted and moves at a good pace to keep the reader engaged. With each chapter delivering new revelations, this compelling read will have you so intrigued as its end that you will not be able to put it down until the final pages.

THE LIAR'S SISTER is a heart-pounding twisted psychological thriller that will have you devouring every word on every page until the very end. I have no hesitation in recommending it to fans of this genre - both domestic and psychological thrillers.

I would like to thank #SarahADenzil, #NetGalley,/b> and #Bookouture for an ARC of #TheLiarsSister in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a gripping and well written psychological thriller that I read in one sitting because I couldn't put it down.  I kept wondering what would happen next and before I knew it, I was finished reading!  I highly recommend it!
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Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Rosie is summoned by her sister Heather and returns to the village where she grew up just in time to say goodbye to her ill mother before she dies. Rosie accused a local boy of rape 10 years ago and he later disappeared. Heather believes her sister killed him. 

3.5 stars

I had trouble getting into this book and trouble sticking with it until about the last third. There were lots of people in the village that wanted the sisters gone thanks to what had happened in the past and sometimes I had trouble keeping their stories straight. Also, I was frustrated with Heather for beating around the bush with Rosie. Ask her what happened that night!! Of course is she he done that, there would have been no book. The final third redeemed the book somewhat because there were a lot of people that were guilty of something and there was one last unexpected twist at the end. I wish the build up had been as good as the end.
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Sarah has done it again! This book is a ripper! Gripped right from the start, I couldn’t race through the pages fast enough to see how this was all going unfold. It has everything that you want in a psychological thriller and more. Be prepared to be hooked and buckle up, as Sarah takes you on a wild ride that is full of twists and turns that don’t stop until the unexpected thrilling conclusion.

Sarah has created a chilling and intricate, tale that is told from the perspective of two sisters Rosie and Heather. Alternating from each ones persepctive over different timelines, we see Heather wanting to get to the bottom of what really happened the night Samual disappeared, while Rosie tries to keep what she witnessed that night buried. But not all secrets can be kept buried and as the story progresses each one is unraveled leading to the most shocking of all jaw dropping revelations.

The characters are very well developed and are brought to life through the pages perfectly. I really resonated with both Rosie and Heather and could feel both of their pain, not only over what happened to Samuel but also dealing with death of their mother and judgement of the small minded townsfolk. I really like how this story was not just a mystery but also about family and after having been estranged for so long, we get a really great insight in to how the events of the past have changed them into the women they have become in the present while they try and rebuild and repair the bond they once shared as sisters.

This is a slow burn, but not in a way where you are wanting it to move along. It is done to build tension, which Sarah does really well here and she gives you just enough throughout to keep you wanting more and more and more!…It is emotive, pulls at the heartstrings, is captivating, engaging, thought provoking and completely addictive, which is all encapsulated through brilliant writing. This is a first class psychological thriller and a five star read that I can not recommend highly enough!

Having only been introduced to Sarah’s work this year, this is only the second book I have read of hers, but she is one that is now on my radar and I am looking forward to many more books to come from her.

Thank-you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Sarah A. Denzil for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Liar’s Sister which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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and the twists keep coming!!!

   Sarah A. Denzil has written another fast paced twisted thriller that left my head spinning! First of all I want to address how hard it is to please a thriller Reader these days (myself included). We want a book full of twists and turns that we don’t see coming, Full of tension that keeps us on the edge of our seat. We want an ending that will completely shock us, and we want it to be entirely believable. On top of that we want likable characters that we can relate to, that are completely nuts, that do unthinkable things, but are never over the top. Damn we are a tough crowd! This book will check almost all a thriller lover’s boxes, with the exception of believability and being over the top. But I’m here to say I’m OK with that and I’m here for it! This book kept me engaged and absorbed from first sentence to last. There were plenty of twists and turns that I did not see coming and an ending that definitely shocked me. Was it over the top? Was it slightly unbelievable? Yes! But I don’t care because I enjoyed every single minute of it!

   The book completely sucked me in from the very beginning with a letter written by Heather to her sister Rosie confessing that she knew she was a murderer. The story then bounces back-and-forth between Heather in the present day and Rosie in the past. Something happened 10 years ago that completely impacted the sisters lives in a negative way. Something neither of them have ever completely gotten over. The truth was slowly revealed to us through the alternating perspectives, but then at about 75% BAM! Things went sideways and it was twist after twist after twist after twist. If you read this and were able to puzzle this entire mystery together, my hats off to you! This is an addictive thriller you can definitely read in one sitting!

This book in three emojis:  🧩 🚨 ✉️
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The story is based around 2 sisters, quiet, level headed Heather and her older, wilder sister Rosie. Opening with a letter written from Heather to Rosie and we immediately establish that they have a troubled relationship and there are secrets here to be uncovered. This hooked me in right away.

Reunited after their mother passed away, Heather wants to find some answers from her sister Rosie. Her friend Samuel went missing 10 years ago and she suspects her sister has something to do with it. But will she get the answers she is looking for after all these years or is she better off leaving the past where it belongs?

Set in a small village almost cut off from the rest of the country by being surrounded by woods, this book has a creepy setting. There are lots of scenes involving stumbling around in the dark, tripping over branches, it's very atmospheric and has probably put me off living in a small village for life! 

Told from Heather's point of view in the present day and Rosie's in the past, slowly everything is revealed to us. A little too slowly for me, at one point I did feel like it was dragging on a bit and I felt myself slightly losing interest. However, the action definitely picks up towards the end and when everything is revealed (and there is a lot to be revealed) there were a few bits that caught me by surprise.

In fact, it's the ending that bumped this up to a four-star book for me, before that I would have rated it a three. It's a good psychological thriller based around family secrets. Nothing new and groundbreaking but gripping and interesting enough to keep you turning the pages. 

Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for a full honest review.
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The Liar’s Sister by Sarah A. Denzil is a psychological thriller that’s full of family secrets and lies. There are twists and turns throughout and once started you will not want to put this superb thriller down until the final page has been turned.

The book starts with a letter: a letter from Heather to her big sister, Rosie. But it’s a letter Heather never has any intention of sending as she hasn’t seen her sister since their father’s funeral five years ago and has no idea where she is.

But now their mother is terminally ill and has asked to see Rosie, so Heather has no other choice than to try to contact her sister and ask her to come home. But the last thing Heather wants is for Rosie to come home. She is convinced that a decade earlier Rosie killed their neighbour, sixteen year old Samuel Murray who went missing and was never seen again. You see, Heather saw something that night that can’t be explained. And now that Rosie is back, she wants answers…

The story is told from the points of view of the two sisters, both in the past and in the present. As the long hidden story slowly unfolds, Heather and Rosie soon come to realise that someone doesn’t want them there. But who? And does this have anything to do with what happened to Samuel all those years ago? As the lies of the past begin to unravel, the tension builds to breaking point as the sisters begin to fear for their lives. But are they able to trust each other? And is Rosie telling Heather the truth? Or is the truth even more shocking than Heather could ever have imagined?

The Liar’s Sister will keep you guessing right up until the final page has been turned, which is the kind of book I love. It’s an exhilarating read that takes you on a rollercoaster of a journey that is as exciting as it is thrilling, with twists and turns to keep you on your toes throughout.

Sarah A. Denzil has written a superb psychological thriller that I would highly recommend.
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