The Liar’s Child by Carla Buckley

The Liar's Child

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of publication: March 12th, 2019

Genre: General Fiction, Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Where to find The Liar’s Child: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

In this intense and intimate family portrait that moves at a thriller’s pace, a troubled woman faces a gripping moral dilemma after rescuing two abandoned children from a hurricane.

On the outskirts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks sits The Paradise, an apartment complex where renters never stay long enough to call the place “home”–and neighbors are seldom neighborly. It’s ideal for Sara Lennox, who moved there to escape a complicated past–and even her name–and rebuild a new life for herself under the radar. But Sara cannot help but notice the family next door, especially twelve-year-old Cassie and five-year-old Boon. She hears rumors and whispers of a recent tragedy slowly tearing them apart.

When a raging storm threatens then slams the coastal community, Sara makes a quick, bold decision: Rescue Cassie and Boon from the storm and their broken home–without telling a soul. But this seemingly noble act is not without consequences. Some lethal.

Carla Buckley crafts a richly rewarding psychological portrait, combining a heart-wrenching family drama with high-stakes suspense, as the lives of three characters intertwine in an unforgettable story of fury, fate–and redemption.


My review:

I was so excited to read this book. I had read the blurb and thought “This could be a good book”. And guess what, it was a good as I thought it was going to be.

I am going to come straight out and say it, this book was amazing. It was everything that I thought it was going to be and then some. The book is slow to start and I would hate it but in this case, it was needed. There was so much background that the author needed to build up before the story got going. And when the story got going, it didn’t stop.

Family dynamics were a huge focal point in The Liar’s Child. Cassie and Boon had a dysfunctional family. By the descriptions given, it seemed like she was bipolar at the least. She was also known to take off with the kids. Hank, their father, was the only stable person in their lives but he worked a ton of hours. He was never around. I had no doubt that this was the reason why Cassie started hanging around with the kids that she did. I also don’t doubt that was the reason why Boon was the way he was.

Sarawas an enigma. The author made it a point of not releasing a ton of information about her background. Heck, even her name was fake. She was in the Witness Protection program because of a case that she had no choice but to testify in. It was that or jail. Sara was at The Paradise under duress.

To be honest, I didn’t like Sara very much during the book. She was always scheming, seeing who could get her what. She formed friendships to get things. Take her friendship with her boss. She used it to get to her computer and to steal booze from the customers. Let’s not forget to add that she used her boss’s boyfriend to get laid and get a car. I also wanted to know why she was so hot to get out of the Witness Protection program. I understand that she chafed at being watched but hello, she got involved with human trafficking. Which is a bad thing.

I did feel bad for Cassie. She was acting out, hardcore. At 12, she shouldn’t have had to step into her mother’s shoes. While I didn’t agree with how she rebelled (sleeping around, doing drugs, skipping school) but I definitely could understand why. She did love Boon and she did try to protect him. But she also resented him. There were times in the book where I thought that she was going to need a good therapist.

Hank came across as a pushover. He allowed his wife to do whatever she wanted and chose to turn a blind eye to what she was doing. Even when she almost killed Boon, he still coddled her. It should have been a relief when she left. But it seemed to add more stress to him. I didn’t understand exactly why he was so stressed out until the end of the book. That’s when I did an “aha“. But, even that wasn’t what it seemed.

The plotline with the hurricane was almost anti-climatic compared to what was going on with the people. I liked that it didn’t take over the book but instead was the background for everything that happened after the middle.

I am still trying to figure out why Sara decided to take the kids. It wasn’t because she wanted to rescue them or felt bad for them. She felt that they were a pain in the butt and told them so. So why did she? I know that she saw a lot of herself in Cassie. So maybe that called to her. Who knows.

The book wrapped up on a happy note. I was happy to see everyone was thriving and doing well. I wasn’t happy to see that Hank was where he was but I understood why he did it. Never underestimate a parent’s love for their child.


I would give The Liar’s Child an Adult rating. There is sex (not graphic). There is language. There is violence. There are triggers. They would be the abandonment of a parent, death of a parent, horrific accident involving a child, dealing children services, destruction from a hurricane, underage sex, talk of drug use and a child becoming ill. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Liar’s Child. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Liar’s Child.

All opinions stated in this review of The Liar’s Child are mine.

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