The Good Liars by Anita Frank

The Good Liars is the second book I have read by this author. The setting is Gloucestershire two years after the end of the First World War. Living at Darkacre, a manor house belonging to the Stilwell family, are Maurice, his wife Ida, his brother Leonard, and family friend Victor Monroe. This is not a happy home. Right from the start, there is a tense atmosphere hinting at secrets and unspoken resentments. A police officer calls at the house asking about a young man who disappeared in the summer of 1914, as new evidence has come to light. This sets everyone on edge, and into this atmosphere comes Sarah, a trained nurse, to fill the position of housekeeper, and to help care for Leonard who is in a wheelchair having lost both legs and one arm in the war.

None of the characters are particularly likeable, Ida and Victor the worst by far, but they are all entirely believable. As the title suggests, none of them can be trusted to tell the truth. So many times I thought I had worked out what was going on, only for the author to turn it all on its head. She paints a horrific picture of the war, and its effects on those who survived. Although I did not see it coming, the ending makes perfect sense. While the artwork on the cover is eye-catching, it does not quite match the mood of the story. The Good Liars is an atmospheric and thought-provoking novel that leaves a lasting impression. I definitely plan to read the next book by this author. I received a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.