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Monday, 27 April 2020

‘These Little Lies’ by Gretta Mulrooney


Published by Joffe Books,
6 November 2019.
ISBN 978-1-78931-241-6 (PB)

When Matis Rimas sets off for a spot of illegal fishing little does he imagine he will discover the body of a young woman whose face has been savagely cut with scissors, or that he will soon suffer a similar fate and never get to eat the large carp he has just caught. The dead woman was Lauren Visser, and although she worked in a children’s nursery school nobody could identify the photo of the young child that had been left with her body.

Detective Inspector Siv Drummond is asked to solve the double murder, but the murders are not her only problems.  After months off work following the tragic death of her husband in a motorcycle accident Siv is starting a new job in Berminster, the town where she spent her teenage years. Still struggling with post-traumatic stress, it is Siv’s first day back at work. This means she has to manage a new team–a likable Northern Irishman, Sergeant Ali Carlin who never stops talking, a promising young constable Patrick Hill who lives on social media and is permanently tired because he is looking after his severely disabled brother, and a CSM Steve Wooton who thinks a lot of himself. She also has to cope with a new boss, DCI Will Mortimer, who is grumpy because he had groomed somebody else for her job. 

As the investigation gets underway, we hear a lot about Lauren.  She was twenty-five, her mother was dead, and she had never known who her father was.  She was married to Ade Visser, a dominant, controlling man with a bad temper.

Fortunately, he worked away a lot, so the seemingly compliant Lauren did as she liked for much of the time. Ade seemed distraught by her death but had lied about his whereabouts on the night of her murder. 

To begin with all the friends, co-workers and fellow volunteers who knew Lauren described her as being quiet, kind, in love with her husband, and brilliant with young children. Gradually less flattering descriptions – selfish, determined to have her way, limited vision, bludgeoned people with facts, cheated on her husband etc. crept in.  But despite extensive investigations into various suspects such as her husband; the leader of the environmental charity she volunteered with; and the husband of her boss at the nursery, they had no idea who had murdered Lauren.

Investigations into the death of the second victim, Matis Rimas, suggest he was probably killed because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  As was a third victim, the elderly Alan Vine.  He had discovered the two bodies and was killed because he worked out some important connections. Questions asked at the Polish club patronised by Matis eventually provide a lead in this devious and twisted plot – and a possible nod towards a future romance for Siv?

I found These Little Lies an intriguing and enjoyable read.  It is stuffed full of a variety of characters some of whom are bound to appear in future Siv Drummond mysteries.  Good luck with working out “the who, or the why, done it”.  This book will keep you guessing to the end. 
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Reviewer: Angela Crowther


Gretta Mulrooney was born in London, of Irish parents. She studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Ulster and subsequently worked in education and social care.  Gretta has written seven books in her series featuring Private investigator Tyrone Swift. Her most recent boom is These Little Lies, the first in a new police-based crime series, featuring DI Siv Drummond.




Angela Crowther is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.

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