#BookReview: Eleven Liars by Robert Gold @BooksSphere #ElevenLiars #BookTwitter #damppebbles

“Journalist Ben Harper is on his way home when he sees the flames in the churchyard. The derelict community centre is on fire. And somebody is trapped inside.

With Ben’s help the person escapes, only to flee the scene before they can be identified. Now the small town of Haddley is abuzz with rumours. Was this an accident, or arson?

Then a skeleton is found in the burnt-out foundations.

And when the identity of the victim is revealed, Ben is confronted with a crime that is terrifyingly close to home. As he uncovers a web of deceit and destruction that goes back decades, Ben quickly learns that in this small town, everybody has something to hide.”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of Eleven Liars by Robert Gold. Eleven Liars was published by Sphere Books on 30th March 2023 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow later this year. I chose to read a free ARC of Eleven Liars but that has in no way influenced my review. My grateful thanks to Gemma at Sphere Books for sending me a personalised proof copy.

Ben Harper makes a very welcome return in this, the second book in Gold’s mystery series featuring a small town and its residents long held secrets. After the shocking events of Twelve Secrets, the first book in this series, where Ben’s family and devastating past were centre stage, he’s hoping to get stuck back into work and start producing a true crime podcast alongside his boss, online news site owner Madeline Wilson. But Ben stumbles upon a scene of devastation on his way home one evening. One of the church buildings, a disused community centre, is on fire. Ben dashes to the rescue and frees an unidentified person from the flames. The following morning he and the fire are the talk of the town. But when fire investigators start sifting through the debris, they discover a skeleton in the foundations of the building. Who is the long-buried victim beneath the community centre? What secrets are the local residents hiding? And how far will someone go to keep the truth hidden….?

Eleven Liars is a thoroughly gripping and highly readable follow up to the first book in the series. I very much enjoyed returning to Haddley and becoming reacquainted with investigative reporter, Ben. He’s a well-written, multi-layered character and I’m enjoying spending time in his world. In my review of Twelve Secrets I mentioned that I would have liked to get to know PC Dani Cash a little more. Well, my wish was granted! Although Ben is the main character, we get to learn a lot more about and spend a considerable amount of time with PC Cash. I find her fascinating. Dare I say she intrigues me a smidge more than Ben does? Perhaps that’s because Ben’s story was laid bare in the first book, and Eleven Liars felt more about Dani which is something I appreciated. I won’t go into detail as I don’t want to spoil it for new readers but we really get into the bones of Dani’s family history in this book. Her Chief Inspector father, Jack, her introduction to the police station at an early age and her memories of her formative years. We also get a good hard look at Dani’s marriage to DS Mat Moore which, since the first book, has felt a simmering recipe for disaster.

The plot moves along at a swift pace and does require a smidge more concentration than other books in the same genre. There are a number of different characters and remembering who everyone is and how they’re all connected can take a little more mental focus. But it’s well worth the effort as the story takes you on quite the rollercoaster ride with twists and turns, unexpected reveals and lots of surprises.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Eleven Liars is a well-written, exciting follow up to Twelve Secrets. I’m sure Eleven Liars can be read without any knowledge of the first book but they’re both great reads so why not treat yourself and start at the very beginning. Really get to know Ben, Dani and Haddley. I loved how the small town setting felt claustrophobic once again, with the locals keeping their closely guarded secrets close to their chests. Great character development with an intriguing, intricate plot that is well worth investing in, and a setting that is becoming as much a part of the story as the characters are themselves. Compelling and tense throughout, I didn’t want to put this book down. I’m not too sure how much more Haddley (or Ben!) can take but I’ll be ready and waiting to find out when the third book publishes in 2024. Recommended.

I chose to read and review a free ARC of Eleven Liars. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Eleven Liars by Robert Gold was published in the UK by Sphere Books on 30th March 2023 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukWaterstonesFoylesbookshop.orgGoodreadsdamppebbles bookshop.org shopdamppebbles amazon.co.uk shopdamppebbles amazon.com shop |

Robert GoldOriginally from Harrogate in North Yorkshire, Robert Gold began his career as an intern at the American broadcaster CNN, based in Washington DC. He returned to Yorkshire to work for the retailer ASDA, becoming the chain’s nationwide book buyer. He now works in sales for a UK publishing company. Robert now lives in Putney and his new hometown served as the inspiration for the fictional town of Haddley in Twelve Secrets. In 2016, he co-authored three titles in James Patterson’s Bookshots series.

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