The Liar

September 26, 2019 Book Reviews 4 ★★★★★

The LiarThe Liar by Nora Roberts
Published by Berkley on April 14, 2015
Genres: Romantic suspense
Pages: 501
Format: Hardcover, Kindle or ebook
Source: my personal collection
Purchase: Amazon | Bookshop | Barnes & Noble | Audible
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Also by this author: Dark Witch, Shadow Spell, The Collector, Night Moves, Whiskey Beach, Jewels of the Sun, Tears of the Moon, Stars of Fortune, Tribute, The Search, Three Fates, High Noon, Identity, Gabriel's Angel, Inheritance

Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions …

The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed.

Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning …

This book contains mature content and may not be suitable for younger readers.


The Liar is one of my favorite Nora Roberts novels. The book’s blend of slow-building suspense; a sweet-but-feisty, down-to-earth heroine; an adorable little girl; a strong, loving family; and a fundamentally kind, decent, and protective hero add up to a highly readable mix, especially when flavored with the cadence of Tennessee speech and the honeyed sweetness of life in the Smokies.

Shelby is one of the most attractive and enjoyable heroines Roberts has written. Through the course of the novel, we see her reclaim the family, the confidence, and the inner strength she had before her ill-fated marriage, growing from an overwhelmed, naive, isolated widow to a determined, vibrant young woman. Griff is perfect for her, and perfectly smitten by both Shelby and her adorable daughter. I loved their romance. But I also loved the fact that it’s only part of Shelby’s story. Shelby’s growth is on her; her strength is her own. That’s something I deeply appreciate in a heroine: a sense that she’s her own person, that she isn’t dependent on the hero for her growth or happiness, but can stand beside him as an equal.

And frankly, I love the other people in Shelby’s little town, particularly her family members—especially her Granny, from whom Shelby gets both her looks and her feistiness. Shelby’s charming daughter, her once-and-future best friend, another schoolmate who now owns a local bar, and Shelby’s law enforcement brother round out my favorite characters.

I said that the suspense builds slowly, and it does… but as it nears the denouement, it rockets into a truly terrifying situation. Roberts handles the suspense plotline deftly; her timing is impeccable because it allows Shelby to develop into the woman she must be once things come to a head. The climactic scenes are truly cinematic. In fact, the whole novel would make an excellent movie or miniseries.

I first read a library copy The Liar in 2015. I’ve read it four times since then, bought my own copy, and will undoubtedly read it several more times. It’s earned a permanent space on my shelves.

Read for the POPSugar Reading Challenge 2019: #4 – A book you think should be turned into a movie.


About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts was born in Maryland and educated in Catholic schools. She married young and worked as a legal secretary until her sons were born. In 1979, faced with a blizzard and “a dwindling supply of chocolate”, she sat down and began to write. ‘Irish Thoroughbred’ was published two years later. 30 years and over 210 books and novellas later, Roberts is one of the most popular writers of romance, romantic suspense, and (as J. D. Robb) mystery around.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2019

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