Saturday, August 22, 2009

a review of "Liars Anonymous"

Liars Anonymous by Louise Ure
(Minotaur Books, ISBN 978-0-312-37586-7)
"I got away with murder once, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen again. Damn. This time I didn't do it. Well, not all of it anyway."
With that shocking admission, we are tossed into the angry world of Jessie Dancing, where slowly it will be revealed to us the stories of these two murder and Jessie's role in them.

Jessie is living in Phoenix, and as befits the self admitted queen of Liars Anonymous, she is living a carefully constructed new life all based on facts that she has made up. Darling is not actually her name, but then nothing she has told people about herself is true either. She has a job taking calls for an OnStar like company and another as a house sitter, which provides her with some very nice places to live.
"I looked good on the application: a former nun, a nondrinker, with an allergy to pet dander. The nun part always got me the best houses, but it was no more true than the rest of the description. Sure, they could have checked out my story, but I guess I looked trustworthy. Shows what they know."
But her carefully constructed house of cards will start to come tumbling down when one night at work she take a call from a real estate magnate in Tucson who has been involved in a car accident. When it sounds like the man was being attacked, the police are involved and it soon become apparent that Jessie is no stranger to either Tucson or to the Tucson police.

Jessie heads to Tucson, at first to help the police with their investigation into the disappearance of the driver. But we learn that she has a history there, family she would have been just as happy not to see again and who, for the most part, have no desire to be involved with her. And there is also at least one police detective that believes she got away with murder once and is determined to not let her get away again with something criminal that he thinks she is involved in. In part to clear her name and in part to try and figure out what really happened, she finds herself involved in a situation that turns out to be much more complicated and much more dangerous than she first thought. And along the way, we learn more about Jessie's past and maybe why she is such a very angry young woman.

But therein lies what is perhaps, for me, the central problem of this book. Jessie is our heroine and she is a very strong woman, both physically and emotionally and a person with strong convictions that at first, makes her seem like an appealing character. She is also very edgy, very angry, which she tells us again and again.
"Anger..ran through me as I pumped the sand-filled containers again and again. I'd been dipped in rage for three years now, the coating getting thicker and thicker with each injustice, each disappointment, each bit of control seeping away."
But as we learn her story, for me, that anger is just never fully justified, and at that point, she began to lose this reader pulling for her.

Also, as I mentioned in my last review, I hate characters that act in a dumb way, who go it all alone, who don't tell people things when they should, who get into situations they should see are foolish. I am afraid Jessie is often guilty of that. Add a complicated plot that becomes a bit confusing and a lot of periphery characters that are not very well developed and the book becomes a bit muddled as it draws to a conclusion. A conclusion that I liked and thought was interesting, if not totally believable, but not enough to pull it all together for me.


  1. Is this a series? Sheesh, I hope not! I'm with you...hate those boobs that take off to catch the bad guy armed with nothing but a flashlight and honorable intentions. Sounds like Jessie just needs some good counseling.

  2. I guess this won't be going on the wish list!

    Who doesn't have mother issues?

  3. I had a couple of issues with Ure's last book, and from your review it sounds as though those problems are going to continue. Oh well. If they do, I only have a few hundred other options on my TBR shelves! LOL

  4. Kaye, you are right. All the more reason not to get all angry about

    Cathy, this was the first of her books I had read. I had read the first chapter online and really like it...but it could not quite sustain that for me.

  5. The line you quoted is certainly enough to pull you in!

  6. without question, a great opening line.

  7. Actually, had I not read the headline where you present the title and author, I would've thought it was the same book I read last year by Jane Hill called Can't let go - that book also a a first line like: I got away with murder once....

    Anyway, the rest of the plot doesn't sound like the same book, which I, by the way, didn't really like that much ;-)


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