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The Liars

The Liars

By Petronella McGovernpaperback30 August 2022
$32.99
or 4 payments of $8.25 with Learn more
Booklovers earn $1.60 in rewards
From the bestselling author of Six Minutes and The Good Teacher comes a compelling family drama of marital secrets and family tensions set within an investigation of sinister unsolved killings.

'One of my favourite Australian writers! Petronella McGovern consistently delivers smart, twisty page-turners guaranteed to keep her readers coming back for more!' Liane Moriarty

'Compelling, contemporary crime fiction at its best. McGovern fully captures the soul of an Australian small town overdue a reckoning.' RWR McDonald, author of the bestselling Nancy Business

What if your search for the truth puts your family at risk?


The close-knit community of Kinton Bay is shocked when fifteen-year-old Siena Britton makes a grisly discovery in the national park. She believes it's a skull from the town's violent colonial past and posts a video which hits the news headlines.

Her parents, Meri and Rollo, aren't so sure. In 1998, their classmate went missing after a party in the Killing Cave. They're horrified to discover the destructive teenage parties are still happening, and Siena was there last weekend.

While Meri is trying to keep her daughter out of trouble, she doesn't realise her son, Taj, has his own problems. And none of them foresees the danger that Siena's actions will create for the whole family.

As more secrets are exposed, the police investigate whether multiple murders have been committed. If so, by whom? And is the killer still living in Kinton Bay?

The Liars is a heart-stopping cocktail of family secrets, sinister unsolved killings and a community at war with itself.

A wife burning with resentment. A husband hiding the past. Their teenage daughter crusading for the truth. Who can we trust?

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: The Liars
  • Author: Petronella McGovern
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin
  • ISBN: 9781760879242
  • Length: 234.0 millimetre
  • Width: 153.0 millimetre
  • Languages: English
  • Format: PaperBack
  • Category: General Fiction
  • Publication Date: 30/08/2022
  • Pages: 432

RATINGS & REVIEW

8/08/2022 8:10:52 PM - Marianne
Atmospheric and topical, this is a gripping page-turner.
The Liars is the third novel by Australian author, Petronella McGovern. When fifteen-year-old Sienna Britton and her indigenous friend Kyle Cooper find a skull near a cave in Wrecking Point National Park, the nearby resort town of Kinton Bay speculates: it can’t be the toolie who disappeared the other day; might the skull belong to a local teen missing for over two decades? One of various other persons gone missing over the years: a Swiss backpacker, a Brisbane nurse? A local businessman who received threats? But the teens are convinced that the skull belongs to one of the victims of a nineteenth century massacre of indigenous families carried out by the town’s founder, Geoffrey Kinton. Needless to say, Kinton Bay’s business people, those reliant on the tourist trade, would be very reluctant to draw attention to the town’s dark history. But instead of taking the information to her mother, Meri, a journalist at the Coastal Chronicle, Siena posts it on her YouTube channel, making it a moot point: soon the whole country knows, and not everyone is willing to accept the adverse publicity with equanimity. Some have long-held secrets they don’t want exposed. Then, more bones are uncovered… The story is carried by five narrators, one of whom is initially anonymous, observing what is happening in Kinton Bay and having a more intimate knowledge of the fate of those missing than anyone else. Flashbacks to 1998 gradually reveal a town in the grip of toxic masculinity, homophobia, sexism and racism. DCI Doug Poole is determined not to sweep allegations under the carpet as an apparently corrupt predecessor had done. His investigations and interviews with residents also expose not-exactly-innocent victims, false leads and shameful secrets, guilt over trust betrayed and long-held resentments. With popular culture references and evocative descriptive prose, McGovern conveys her setting and era with consummate ease. Her characters feel familiar, exactly the sort of people you run into in a town of this type, all the more credible for their very human flaws. Her journalist frustrated by her editor’s unethical stance, the tourism dollar taking priority over honest reporting, will likely strike a chord with residents of resort towns. The story also touches on bullying, plagiarism, the conservation of whale species, and the recognition of the mistreatment of indigenous peoples by colonisers. The final chapter offers a delicious irony that will leave the reader wondering how a certain character of integrity will handle the dilemma about to land in their lap. Atmospheric and topical, this is a gripping page-turner. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Better Reading Preview and Allen & Unwin
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