Liar City

A Novel

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Pub Date 28 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 30 Mar 2023

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A murder has Seattle on edge, and it falls to a pacifist empath—and a notorious empath hunter—to find the killer before it's too late

It’s the middle of the night when part-time police consultant and full-time empath Reece gets an anonymous call warning him that his detective sister needs his help. At an out-of-the-way Seattle marina, he discovers that three people have been butchered—including the author of the country’s strictest anti-empathy bill, which is just days from being passed into law.

Soon, Reece’s caller arrives: a shadowy government agent known as The Dead Man, who is rumored to deal exclusively in cases involving empathy. He immediately takes over the investigation, locking out both local PD and the FBI, but, strangely, keeps Reece by his side. 

As the two track an ever-growing trail of violence and destruction across Seattle, Reece must navigate a scared and angry city, an irritating attraction to his mysterious agent companion, and a rising fear that perhaps empaths like him aren’t all flight and no fight after all…

"Readers will be yearning for more the minute they finish the final page." —Library Journal, starred review, on Starcrossed

Sugar & Vice

Book #1: Liar City

A murder has Seattle on edge, and it falls to a pacifist empath—and a notorious empath hunter—to find the killer before it's too late

It’s the middle of the night when part-time police consultant and...

Advance Praise

"Therin blends fascinating mythology with tight action sequences and shifting perspectives that keep tensions high. The result is a taut magical mystery that will get readers excited for the next in the series." --Publishers Weekly

"Therin blends fascinating mythology with tight action sequences and shifting perspectives that keep tensions high. The result is a taut magical mystery that will get readers excited for the next in...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781335621948
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 124 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you Allie Therin and NetGalley; I got to read the ARC of this novel!

Wow. My ideal story type is worldbuilding via characters and plot, and Therin never disappoints. Great characters, unpredictable action, really creepy bad guys. I am very curious how this series will turn out, and must wait to find out! Which is exactly what book 1 is supposed to do.


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This book kept me up until 4.45am because once I started reading it, I simply couldn't stop until I knew what was going to happen to Reese, his half-sister Jamey and the mysterious Evan Grayson.

And one thing I can tell you is that never, not if I'd sat and thought about it for yonks, would I have come up with this ending.

It's a trilogy, so of course there's ends left open and this one has no romantic relationship between Reese and Evan yet, but you can feel the palpable tension and mysterious connection which grows between them.

The murder mystery element of this paranormal is really clever and creepily disturbing, Allie Therin has a fantastic ability to take something commonplace and switch it into something deadly.

There'll be no spoilers here though, you need to experience this book alongside Reese and Jamey as they get dragged into the seriously scary world of The Dead Man.

There's also a side order of sarcasm, snark and spikey banter between Reese and Evan each time their paths cross and while Evan's Dead Man status makes him impossible for Reese to read, it's pretty obvious to me that the sparks are there to completely ignite a fire that's unlikely to ever burn out.

With some fabulous side characters including Jamey, her boyfriend Liam, Evan's Medical Examiner colleague, some really horrible villains - and a serial killer that actually raises an element of sympathy - this opener delivers on all fronts.

Honestly the only thing I didn't like about reading this book is how long I'm going to have to wait to get the second one!

I am so in love with this alternative reality Seattle that Allie has created and the fascinating characters she's populated it with.

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Reece is an empath, one of the very (arguably unfortunate) few with the ability to 'read' peoples' feelings with a touch - a group of people being persecuted in this alternate current day USA much in the vein of the X-Men. Grayson is an "empath specialist" who manages to terrify every single person around him except Reece (who should probably be terrified by him, but who has basically zero survival instinct). Serial murders ensue, Grayson and Reece both get involved, as does Reece's overprotective sister, and various misadventures proceed to happen while the ticking clock to even more massive destruction slowly runs out.

I have been a massive fan of this author's work since I discovered the Magic in Manhattan series last year, and I absolutely was not disappointed with LIAR CITY. The character dynamics between Reece and Grayson were a little on the trope-y side but I mostly mean that in a good way because the tropes were used to realistically maintain tension between the two. While many books with queer characters focus on found family (and we love it), it was really great to see a strong family relationship between Reece and his sister. Overall, this is a masterfully told story that manages to trick the reader in to predicting twists - and than adding an additional, bonus twist you never saw coming. The focus is on the action and mystery rather than romance; even the villains have an incredible amount of nuance.

Although I'd recommend this mostly to adults who are aging out of the "new adult" range, I would also argue that this is a strong crossover title for teens looking for a more mature Cassandra Clare type read, especially any Magnus/Alec shippers.

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I have been struggling with a way to convey how much I LOVE this book that isn't just a sequence of keyboard smashes ala a 2012 Tumblr blog and then only other way I can think to express myself is that HOLY SHIT THIS BOOK IS AMAZING.

I will say right now that this is the best book I have read this year, maybe in the last two or three years, and since it releases in 2023 it will probably be the best book I read next year too. It's like the book was handwritten with me in mind.

It's like X-Men, but you add a lot of bisexuality and the Sentinels aren't giant murder robots but instead there's only one and he's gorgeous southern man who doesn't outwardly display emotion but it's somewhere deep under the surface. The world building is brilliant, in the story itself and ingeniously done in small asides from various corners of the universe at the beginning of every chapter, you learn so much about the world from small 1--

Reece is probably one of my favorite main characters I've read in a long time. He's a pacifist by genetics, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have bite. He may not hut people physically but his sarcasm should be registered as a deadly weapon. I thought it was a brilliant way to create a pacifist character who is non-violent by design but isn't afraid to fight with his words. He's adorable, he's spicy, and he made my heart swell.

There isn't much I can say about Grayson without getting too spoilery, and I think people really need to read for themselves and find out. But what I will say is that I love him, I need to know everything about him, and that I love him.

The breakout star of the book to me though, was Reece's sister Jamey. I would read an entire book about her. She's fearless, she's a bad ass, and I'm terrified and in love with her. So much about her was a mystery through the book, but the things you learn are such a great payoff and the unique dynamic she has with Grayson is amazing. I would 100000% read a dysfunctional buddy cop book about them and love every minute.

To make a long review short, buy this when it is out, read this when it is out, and fall in love with this when it is out just like I did.

I need the second book yesterday kthnksbye

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I loved every moment of this book! It’s fast-paced, action-packed, and entertaining. The characters are so fascinating and I was completely invested in this world that Therin created. would recommend this book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series once it comes out!

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A huge a** thank you to Allie Therin, Carina Adores and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. Liar City comes out February 28, 2023.

Liar City is the first of a Sci Fi, fantasy, and mystery trilogy, based in world where empaths or individuals have the ability to read people's emotions through touch, are feared and regulated. Reece is one of these individuals, recently he has been a part-time police consultant at the police department his sister, Jamey, works at. One very early morning Reece gets a call from, The Dead Man (real name Evan), a mysterious individual who handles cases where empaths are involved. During this phone call The Dead Man tells Reece that his sister is in need of his help on a homicide case. When at the scene of the crime Reece instead finds out his sister did not need him and that all empaths were banned from the case. Reece's ability to very poorly follow directions causes Evan to come to Seattle, and what ensues after is a race to figure out who and why there is a murder spree going on in.

There are not enough words to say how much I absolutely loved this book. The writing is fast paced and intriguing, from the moment I started the book to the moment I finished and even to this moment as I am writing this review, I did not want this book to end. I am equal parts sad and excited that there will be more installments in this story and world, sad because I don't have the last two books and excited to immerse myself in Allie Therins Seattle. Reece was funny, smart and sassy: he was not what I expected him to be in the best possible way. Evan was mysterious and information was revealed piece by piece that makes me excited to see how his character develops. The side characters brought their own humor and personality's that made the book what it was. I cannot wait to see where this story goes and how everything develops. If you are looking for a fast paced, funny and mysterious novel Liar City is for you.

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An intricate and engaging plot, like the best kind of action movie, with fun and compelling characters that clash and mesh in interesting and entertaining ways, and an interesting take on empath powers and the way their existence shapes the world around them that I'm excited to explore more in future installments.
Super fun book, can’t wait for more!

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I’ve been waiting to talk about Liar City for weeks!!!!! Allie Therin writes wonderful queer urban fantasy, and I would love for more people to start reading her books. I have enjoyed her historical fantasy series and was intrigued to see what she would do with a contemporary alternate universe. Folks, I loved it.

Liar City opens with a mysterious phone call at 4 am in a Tuesday morning. Nothing good happens at 4 am on Tuesday morning, and Reece isn’t the kind of person who is going to look for the bright side. What we learn in the first few pages is, Reece is one of two empaths in Seattle and empaths are distrusted and feared by the public. His sister is a police officer and currently at a crime scene – a murder. His caller is Evan Grayson, a power unto himself and known as The Dead Man. The stakes and the angst are high. Reece’s sanity, freedom, and life are stake. Everyone Reece cares about is in danger.

This is the first of a three book series and the romantic relationship isn’t articulated in this book. Reece and Evan bicker for almost the entire book, with Evan frequently threatening to arrest Reece, while also doing his best to protect him. Their banter has claws and sometimes they draw blood while they ratchet up the sexual tension.

There are some genuinely frightening and heartbreaking moments.

CW: murders – off page, but some gruesome details shared, violence, mental torture threatened and implied

I received this as an advance reader copy from Carina and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.

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It's not too often anymore that a book interferes with real life these days- I pretend to be a responsible adult, performing my daily duties and sticking to my routine. But this book kind of blew that out of the water as I found myself trying to shave time from my "real life" in order to read it, even stealing time from my sleep (and trust me, that hardly ever happens).

Therin has managed to craft quite the page turner here with this genre mashup, borrowing from scifi, mystery and suspense tropes with just a hint of romance thrown in. Her setting of an alternative reality Seattle is quite unsettling as it extrapolates just enough from our present day politics to show a world in which empaths are persecuted and closely monitored despite their gentle nature. However, it appears that at least one empath has managed to overcome their natural tendencies in order to wield their powers as a weapon.

It's in this setup that Reece Davies, empath, and his sister, Jamey, find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation (she's a detective for the Seattle Police department) only to find that it's part of a greater conspiracy as Evan Grayson, AKA the Dead Man, arrives for his own enquiry. And great characters they are as they attempt to ascertain the truth of what's going on. Some other supporting characters also stand out, particularly Liam and Cora.

There's a bunch of twists and turns, with a few of them unexpected, including some revelations about Evan and Jamey, and some real moments of dread as Reece faces an enemy determined to use every means at their disposal to hold onto power. At a couple of points, particularly in the second third of the story, I thought the plot was getting a little too obtuse, but it managed to straighten itself out in time for the finale.

And one word of warning, the romance here is the ultimate SLOW burn, which makes sense considering the circumstances, with the two men just starting to make a tentative connection in this book. All in all, an incredible story in this dystopian world that's scarily plausible. I can't wait for the next installment.

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