Once Upon a Lie
Maeve Conlon’s life is coming apart at the seams. Her bakery is barely making ends meet, and one of her daughters spends as much time grounded as the other does studying. Her ex-husband has a new wife, a new baby, and a look of pity for Maeve that’s absolutely infuriating. Her father insists he’s still independent, but he’s slowly and obviously succumbing to Alzheimer’s. And now, her cousin Sean Donovan has been found dead, sitting in his car in a public park, shot through the head.
There was never much love lost between Maeve and Sean and she’s not exactly devastated by his death, but suddenly the police are poking around asking the family questions. It’s just one more hassle Maeve doesn’t have time for, until she realizes that her father, whose memory and judgment are unreliable at best, is a suspect in the murder. Maeve is determined to clear his name, but is she prepared to cope with the dark memories and long-hidden secrets that doing so might dredge up?
Maggie Barbieri will mesmerize readers with Once Upon a Lie, a gripping novel about family, justice, and the choices we make that define who we are.
“[A] riveting tale of ordinary cruelty and complicated heroism…All the characters are sharply drawn, particularly Maeve, whose dark humor and stoic attitude mask an unshakable moral core. The details of Maeve’s connection to Sean and Michael unravel with excruciating slowness, and Barbieri skillfully avoids tipping her hand until the last possible moment, leaving readers both breathless and unnerved by the novel’s conclusion.” ―Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
“An excellent, edgy thriller. Maggie Barbieri breaks new ground with this provocative new novel showcasing one burnt out mother’s desperate determination to protect her family’s future by facing down her past. Secrets, betrayals, stunning revelations. This book has it all.” ―Lisa Gardner, author of The Killing Hour
“[Barbieri] takes readers on a dark ride through the life of an abuse survivor. This in-depth look at the daily thoughts and feelings of the heroine is intriguing. The story hooks readers until the shocking end. This reviewer is looking forward to more from this talented author.” ―RT Book Reviews (4½ stars, Top Pick)
Lies that Bind
In the acclaimed Once Upon a Lie, Maggie Barbieri introduced Maeve Conlon, a single mother and bakery owner hiding dark secrets behind her cookie-cutter suburban life.
Now, Maeve’s moving on with everyday life when the unthinkable happens: her father dies of a massive heart attack. Maeve’s mother died when Maeve was very young, and growing up, it was always just her and her father. But on the day of his funeral, Maeve learns a shocking secret. She might have a sister she’s never met. Maeve knows her father would never have kept something like that from her…Unless he thought he had to.
Meantime, someone keeps sneaking around Maeve’s bakery. At first the signs are subtle, but then it becomes vandalism, and then it grows even more frightening. Could it be related to Maeve’s search for her missing sister? Maeve soon decides it’s time to take matters into her own capable hands. But administering her personal brand of justice is a dangerous undertaking, and between the ever-watchful eyes of her family and the lingering attention she’s attracted from local police.
Lie in Plain Sight
It’s a busy day at the bakery Maeve Conlon owns when she receives a phone call from the high school saying Maeve’s employee’s daughter, Taylor Dvorak, is ill. Taylor’s mom is out on a delivery and Taylor has her own car, so harried Maeve gives the school nurse permission to send Taylor home on her own. But Taylor never makes it: Somewhere between the school and her house, she just vanishes.
Not only does Maeve feel responsible, but she can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to Taylor’s disappearance than meets the eye. So Maeve decides to take matters into her own capable hands. She finds that Farringville has a lot more to hide than most small towns, from the secretive high school girls’ soccer coach to Taylor’s estranged father and her troubled mother, and she gets to work shining a light on all these mysteries.
Balancing this dark undertaking and her relationship with a local policeman, Maeve will have to walk the fine line between justice and revenge carefully if she hopes to prevail.