Title: Liar Liar
Author: Lisa Jackson
Hi guys, so by the time of writing this post in my notepad it has been a week since I returned from my travels to Great Yarmouth. Though I had a great time unfortunately the Great British Weather couldn’t be relied upon to stay dry as we only had sunny days on the Sunday and the Friday unfortunately.
Anyway, I was back a week when I finished a book I was reading alongside Dangerous Lady – Liar Liar by Lisa Jackson. Though what initially attracted me to the book in my local library was the fact it shared a title with a 1990’s Jim Carrey film (#veryfunny and a Wilson household favourite) this book is nothing like that particular film.
The story starts on a rainy San Francisco day with a woman committing suicide, dressed as Marilyn Monroe. However a woman in the crowd believes it is her mother Didi Storm, who has been missing for 20 years. After this brief initial snapshot the book goes back 20 years to events surrounding Didi Storm’s disappearance. At this time she is performing in Las Vegas as an impersonator for Marilyn Monroe but has been involved with a rich businessman who is heir to a large company and has just given birth to two twins by him, Ariel and Adam. She is about to pull off the con of her life by conning him into buying their son off her, as he needs an heir to the business, but dresses her daughter up as the son meaning he would need to buy both children off her. They have arranged to meet in the desert outside Las Vegas but unbeknownst to Didi, her teenage daughter Remmi is in the back of her car as she hid in there whilst trying to sneak out to visit her boyfriend Noah Scott and sees events as they transpire.
Didi hands over the baby to the father but things immediately turn awry when an assassin fires at the father’s car and blows it up. In another twist of fate, Remmi’s boyfriend Noah, feeling rejected by Remmi rides his motorbike out into the desert where he sees events as well and is shot by the Marksman but survives. The following day, Didi realises some of the money given to her was fake so decides to go to her son’s grandfather to ask for the money, believing the father to be dead when she disappears without trace.
The book then returns to the present day, where it turns out the woman who committed suicide was dressed not as Marilyn Monroe but as Didi Storm. Also we learn a new book called It’s Not Me has been published about the disappearance of Didi. Remmi is now working in San Francisco but was investigating the book and was about to meet the publisher when she happened to pass the hotel where the woman committed suicide. However if it wasn’t Didi then who was it? Why have all these events happened surrounding the books release? What ghosts in Didi’s past would have resulted in her murder?
Overall I really enjoyed the novel. The opening chapters can be quite difficult to follow as there are several plot points going on at once and it has actually been hard to write it into this synopsis. It is a very pacy, taut novel but all of the plot points are handled well and resolved by the books conclusion and a measure for me with any thriller is how good the twist is at the end and I admit I did not see this twist until the very end.
Jackson wisely makes the key focus of the novel the relationship between Remmi and Didi and it is this relationship and Remmi’s unwillingness to give up on her mother despite her flaws, is what makes the book endearing and makes you root for her and is the real heart of the book. Furthermore, Didi’s fame obsession can be seen as a comment on today’s celebrity culture that people can become famous whilst doing very little or being famous just for being famous.
Jackson uses social media comments from trolls to great effect in the novel to highlight the dark side of celebrity and social media, with the jumper branded a “loser in life as well as a loser in death” and “ugly”.
All in all this is my first Lisa Jackson novel and I was impressed with her work so it is another author I will be looking out for.