Maeve’s life has settled down since the events of Once Upon a Lie, and she’s making ends meet and providing for her two daughters at her bakery. But when the unthinkable happens, and Maeve’s ailing father dies, she’s bereft. When she learns that her father may have been keeping secrets from her, secrets that could change Maeve’s life, she’s determined to follow the trail and discover the truth, no matter what it may lead to.
The other day, I was in the mood for a good mystery, one that would capture me from the very first page and that I’d want to read in one sitting. I enjoyed the first book in Barbieri’s Maeve Conlon series, so picking this up seemed like a sure thing, and I’m glad to say my instinct was right. Barbieri pulled me right back into Maeve’s world, and I raced through this novel, eager to see where Maeve ended up.
Can you pick Lies that Bind up if you haven’t read the first in the series? Yes, definitely. I appreciated that Barbieri made her book stand on its own; I read enough such that the details of books often fade, and if the author is relying on me to remember 100% of the nuances of the story of a previous book, well, I’m usually somewhat lost. Not only did Barbieri write an excellent thriller that can stand alone, but she didn’t ruin the ending of the first book. This means you can easily read this novel, and then go back and read Once Upon a Lie if you wish.
Maeve’s a great character who’s a bit of an enigma in Lies that Bind. Does she always make the best decisions? No. She’s a bit of an absent parent, and her priorities don’t always make sense. But Maeve’s compulsive personality is part of her charm. She has to see things through, no matter what happens, and oftentimes the cost is dear. It’s interesting to watch the different threads of this novel come together to make Maeve’s already difficult life even more complicated.
Want a great series of novels featuring a strong, but imperfect and messy, woman? Then Maggie Barbieri is who you should be reading. Barbieri expertly balances plot and character, making these quiet and contemplative mystery novels. I enjoyed these first two books and am very much looking forward to what comes next.