Jane hasn't lived anywhere longer than six months since her son was born five years ago.
She keeps moving in an attempt to escape her past.
Now the idyllic seaside town of Pirriwee has pulled her to its shores and Jane finally feels like she belongs.
She has friends in the feisty Madeline and the incredibly beautiful Celeste - two women with seemingly perfect lives . . . and their own secrets behind closed doors.
But then a small incident involving the children of all three women occurs in the playground causing a rift between them and the other parents of the school.
Minor at first but escalating fast, until whispers and rumours become vicious and spiteful. It was always going to end in tears, but no one thought it would end in murder . . .
Little Lies is Liane Moriarty's sixth novel and is published in the UK by Penguin on 31 July 2014.
I enjoy this author's writing very much, Little Lies is the third of her novels that I've reviewed here on Random Things. I reviewed The Husband's Secret in July 2013, and What Alice Forgot in January of this year.
Just like her previous two novels, Little Lies is set in suburban Australia and centres on a community that is made up of upper middle-class families.
Jane is the newcomer; she's a young, single mother with a young son called Ziggy. Jane is very different to most of the other mothers at the school. She's not obsessed with her appearance, or by money, she doesn't have a husband who earns a huge salary. She's desperate to be accepted though and is delighted to find friendship in two of the most powerful mothers in town. However, things begin to go very wrong for Jane and Ziggy after an incident in the school playground, and suddenly mothers are against mothers.
Little Lies is a very clever story. The reader knows from page one that something terrible happened at the School Trivia Night, we know that someone is dead, but we don't know who it is, or who the murderer is, or why.
Liane Moriarty expertly weaves this story. Hooking the reader from the start with the big whodunnit and then skipping back a few months to gradually build up both the plot and the characters. There is a real credibility to these characters and the development of their relationships are excellently done. The author expertly portrays what appears to be a perfect life on the outside whilst allowing the reader glimpses into the sordid and often violent secrets lying below the surface.
Little Lies is the sort of book that keeps me up way past my bedtime with it's compelling plotline and cleverly careless clues dotted around that hooked me and made me want to read 'just one more chapter'. There were a few gasps out loud along the way too - there is nothing I like better than to find that I'm wrong about what I think has happened, or will happen. To me, the sign of a great book and a very clever author is when I really do get a shock when something huge is revealed.
There are quite a few shocks along the way in Little Lies, there are also many secrets and lots of lies, not all of them are little either.
A very impressive novel, Liane Moriarty is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. Great stuff.
I received my copy of Little Lies from LoveReading as part of the Reader Review Panel.
Liane Moriarty is the author of six novels including Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot,
The Hypnotist's Love Story and The Husband's Secret, which was a million-copy bestseller and won the most popular Richard and Judy Book Club title for the Autumn 2013 book club.
Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter.
For more information visit her website www.lianemoriarty.com.au
Visit Liane's blog: lianemoriarty.com.au/blog
Find Liane on Facebook at facebook.com/LianeMoriartyAuthor