Liar Liar is the fourth book in Arlidge's DI Helen Grace series, and begins with a series of arson attacks which sweep across Southampton. It falls to Helen Grace and her team to find whoever is responsible, for these are not random attacks, these are cold, calculated acts of murder. Despite the fact that there is no obvious link between the victims, it is clear that the perpetrator has specifically chosen them, and the officers are locked in a race against time to discover the identity of the murderer, and prevent them from striking again.
I recently discovered that Arlidge has a background working in television, particularly high-end drama productions, and the influence of this industry is evident in Liar Liar. It is incredibly fast-paced, and full of suspense, which gripped me throughout. There are several twists and turns to the investigation, which adds to this effect, and means that the novel will stay with me for a long time after reading. All of the DI Helen Grace books are based on unusual crimes and the innovative plots set them aside from other novels in the same genre.
When a plot is as immersing as this one, I often find it difficult to appreciate the language, but in Liar Liar, Arlidge's descriptions are vivid, and the imagery is very striking, which helps the reader to build up a picture of what is happening, and in turn increases the tension. Arlidge also creates a strong sense of location, and whilst I am not familiar with the areas of Southampton about which he writes, I am certain that readers who are will be able to place the events of the novel and relate more closely to them.
Although I enjoyed the fast pace of Liar Liar, I found that at times, the quick changes of scene were a little confusing. This was particularly noticeable when a new character, especially a character who would later become a victim, was introduced, as it is not always immediately obvious where they fit into the plot.
Liar Liar is my favourite DI Helen Grace novel so far, and I am looking forward to the next instalment, which is released in paperback next month.
Liar Liar is available from Amazon.