Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

 

Just finished this by Liane Moriarty.  Similar to her other books, this one also explores complex relationships made more complex by secrets, lies and hidden agendas.  The cast of characters include Madeline, her husband, her ex-husband and his new wife Bonnie and all the attendant children, a mousy single mother Jane and her quirky son, Ziggy, Celeste  and Perry, the outwardly perfect socialite power couple and many others.

The book begins with an incident between two of the children that spirals out of control as it escalates through the book, much in the manner that these things do in parent and school groups.  Meanwhile, other families are simultaneously having their own issues and imploding messily.  Issues across the span of the book include child sex trafficking, teenage rebellion, domestic violence, and bullying.  All these elements weave together for a surprising conclusion, the murder of one of the characters at a school event.

The writing was well done and I liked the flash forward in the beginning.  It created tension as you waited for the murder to occur and to find out who the victim would be.  I felt the resolution of the bullying storyline was a little too “easy” and pat but still okay.  Very satisfying women’s fiction.

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Back From Brief Hiatus

I have been having some issues based on my ankle surgery/leg/foot problems that have not allowed me to read…pretty severe restless leg syndrome. It has been very depressing to not be able to sleep, read or even focus too much on watching full shows on TV. Anyway, seem to be showing much improvement thanks to these:

Being able to read again I dove into these two:

 

 

 

I loved both of them!  S. J. Bolton’s Lacey is trying desperately not to stay on the force, but she is drawn into an investigation of missing and murdered children almost inevitably.  Lacey is a great character and really drives the book, but the other characters and the mystery are well done as well.

I didn’t guess who the villain was until the reveal, I had eliminated other suspects but still the ending was a surprise.  I really enjoy the dark moodiness that Ms. Bolton’s books evoke through her use of settings and description.  I have read several of her other books and will continue to read her work.  Highly recommended!

I love Ken Bruen’s character, Jack Taylor, and have watched all the episodes available to me on Acorn TV, including the Magdalen episode.  There were a few differences from the book and the TV show but I enjoyed them both.  I liked the literary references that seem much more prominent in this book than the previous ones in the series. There is even reference to this being a pathology of Jack’s, retreating into examination of the literary world.  This book centers on the infamous Magdalen laundry, the nuns and the women imprisoned there.  Jack has a favor called in and investigates what happened there.

Jack is a great character and I am always drawn into his world in these books and in the TV show.  The setting, characters and mystery are always superbly done.   I would definitely suggest reading the books in order to see Jack’s changes over time.  Great read!