Monday 3 August 2015

Book ~ "Once Upon a Lie" (2013) Maggie Barbieri

From Goodreads ~ Maeve Conlon's life is coming apart at the seams. Her bakery is barely making ends meet and one of her daughters spends as much time grounded as the other does studying. Her ex-husband has a new wife, a new baby and a look of pity for Maeve that's absolutely infuriating. Her father insists he's still independent but he's slowly and obviously succumbing to Alzheimer's. And now, her cousin Sean Donovan has been found dead, sitting in his car in a public park, shot through the head.

There was never much love lost between Maeve and Sean and she's not exactly devastated by his death but suddenly the police are poking around asking the family questions. It's just one more hassle Maeve doesn't have time for, until she realizes that her father, whose memory and judgment are unreliable at best, is a suspect in the murder. Maeve is determined to clear his name but is she prepared to cope with the dark memories and long-hidden secrets that doing so might dredge up? 

Maeve is a divorced mother of two teenage daughters.  Her ex-husband, Cal, had left her for her best friend and now they have a baby.  Maeve owns a bakery in a small town and her friend, Jo, is her only employee.  Her father, Jack, is a former cop and is now in an assisted-living home suffering from dementia ... some days he can remember things, some days he can't.

Maeve's cousin, Sean, is found murdered.  When Maeve was younger, Sean used to babysit her.  But what no one knew is that he abused her.  Needless to say, Maeve isn't grieving.  The police suspect that it was Jack in one of his lucid moments who killed Sean.  Maeve turns to Cal, who is a lawyer, to help her keep her dad out of jail.

In the meantime, Maeve discovers that a customer and her daughter are getting abused by the husband/father.  Not wanting the daughter to end up emotionally battered like she is, Maeve becomes obsessed with letting him know she is onto him.

This is the first in the Maeve Conlin series and it works as a stand alone. I enjoyed the writing style ... it is written in third person perspective.  I found it started out slow and picked up about halfway through.  As a head's up, there is swearing, adult activity and violence.

I liked Maeve and her dad and their interactions.  He's funny and she has a lot of patience with him.  I found Jo a bit annoying.  She is a slackass at work yet Maeve doesn't chastise her and lets her get away with a lot, despite the fact the bakery is struggling and Maeve is working crazy hours.

This author has also written the Murder 101 series.  I've read most of them and enjoyed them.  I found this one darker and I look forward to reading others in the series.

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