From the publisher:

Award-winning author Val Collins returns with a suspenseful, twisty thriller

Everyone thought Danny Walsh deserted his family when his sons were young. But when Danny’s body turns up fifteen years later and his wife, Maura, is implicated in his murder, accusations and old rumours surface.

Aoife rushes in to clear her mother-in-law’s name. But why is it that Maura’s story concerning Danny’s disappearance doesn’t quite add up?

Aoife’s investigation uncovers old secrets, long-held jealousies, and lies upon lies. With every new revelation, Aoife realises she doesn’t know her family at all. Now her new boss is acting strangely, her best friend is more and more distant, and her husband is no help at all.

With her support network crumbling and her family threatened, Aoife must race to keep one step ahead of danger before more innocent lives are lost. But how will she uncover the truth when only lies remain?

Set in present-day Ireland, Collins presents a second novel featuring Aoife as a protagonist. She is on the descending side of a failed marriage, is the sole support of her only child, and in the process of trying to get rid of her ex-husband. He, on the other hand has found a sinecure In Aoife, moving in with her indicating that he will help care for their little girl and also allow time to try and work out their problems in an attempt to make the marriage work. In reality, he continues with the conduct that caused the marriage to break up as he just lays around and gives orders to serve him.

Suddenly the dead body of her father-in-law appears, dispelling the idea that he had deserted his family fifteen years ago. On top of her own problems with an ex-husband camping in her house and no means of support available, Aoife now has to attempt to comfort Maura, her mother-in-law who is plagued again with guilt over her own possible culpability or innocence in driving her husband away.

Val Collins takes Aoife through various crises in her life. She gets a part-time job and has a friend of hers developing a romance with her new boss. A handsome police detective calls on her, charged with investigating the death of her father-in-law and continues to call on her, obviously looking for romance. Her daughter becomes more and more precocious and at one point is seemingly kidnapped. She is returned but carries a note warning Aoife to stop meddling in affairs that don’t concern her or her daughter will be captured again.

The novel is entertaining and a good read but not an all-engrossing novel. Sufficient to say that the book is worthwhile reading and enjoying with the idea of getting Val Collins’ next book.

2/2020 Paul Lane

ONLY LIES REMAIN by Val Collins. VCB Publishing (December 9, 2019). ISBN: 978-1916298941. 316p.


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