The Girl Who Lied by Shannon Hollinger

The Girl Who Lied

Posted on August 3, 2023 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 8 Comments

The Girl Who Lied is the book one in the Chief Maggie Riley series and my first time reading the author’s work. I picked this one up as I am always on the lookout for a good police procedural, and The Girl Who Lied promised a gripping and suspenseful tale.


The Girl Who Lied by Shannon HollingerTitle: The Girl Who Lied
Author(s): Shannon Hollinger
Series: Chief Maggie Riley #1
Also in this series: The Shadow Girl, Their Angel’s Cry
Published by Bookouture on August 2, 2023
Pages: 298
Genre(s): Mystery
Source: Publisher
Format: eArc
Purchase: Amazon|Audible
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The woods are hiding more than Chief Maggie Riley could ever imagine. Including her own worst nightmares…
There’s a blood moon rising over the tiny Maine town of Coyote Cove. Chief Maggie Riley is driving home ahead of a storm when she comes across the body of a man, blood seeping from stab wounds into the damp forest floor. And Heather, a local teenage girl, standing terrified, a silent scream on her lips, beside him.
Maggie, a redheaded decorated former homicide detective and more than over-qualified for a two-horse-town police chief, has been hiding from her past for three years. The quiet of Coyote Cove was everything she needed after… what happened. But with this murder, the life she left behind has found her. The townspeople believe Heather—already an outcast, and an easy suspect—is the killer, but Maggie isn’t convinced. To uncover the truth, Maggie must use the skills, and contacts, of her former world, however painful that will be.
As Maggie digs into the victim’s background, she is horrified to unearth another body, this time an infamous local, as callously killed as the first. But Heather’s in custody; there’s no way she could be the culprit, and Maggie’s investigation turns to the townspeople. Who has a secret so dangerous they’d kill twice to keep it hidden?
Then Heather goes missing. The race to identify the murderer is now a race to save Heather. As the search turns to the woods, the hunt is on for the killer so skilled, so twisted, no one knows how many bodies it will take before they’re found. And whether one of those will be Heather’s…

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


The story which unfolds took place in Coyote Cove, a small town in Maine. It introduces readers to Chief Maggie Riley. Maggie, a former detective, left the big city to become the chief in this small town. She is a woman with many secrets, some of which came to light as the story unfolded. Interestingly enough, she’s not the only one with secrets. The featured secondary characters also had their share of secrets, which made for an interesting read. 
Since her arrival in Coyote Cove, she faced resentment from a few of the locals because of her gender. However, it didn’t stop her from performing her duties. One night, while performing said duties, she happened on a corpse. On closer inspection, she discovered the individual met a violent end, a rarity in the small town. Added to that, he was not from the area. Now Maggie faces the task of learning the identities of the victim and the murderer.
The mystery failed to provide much of a challenge, as the identity of the killer was evident right out of the gate. Now, while I had an idea about the motive, how remained a mystery until the end. Despite figuring from early the identity of the killer, the story held my attention. The secrets of the characters and its impact on the murder investigation, along with the POVs of the characters, made The Girl Who Lied a compelling read. 
Although classified as a thriller, the story did not deliver a thrilling and suspenseful ride. It lacked the nail-biting suspense one would expect from this genre. Also, I wouldn’t consider this a twisty read, as the events meant to be plot twists were predictable. I am curious to learn what else Maggie is hiding. Therefore, I look forward to picking up book 2, Their Angel’s Cry, which shares a release date with book one.
Overall, The Girl Who Lied delivered an interesting tale, which will appeal to readers who have no issue with predictability in the mystery genre. 



Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star



About Shannon Hollinger

With degrees in Crime Scene Technology & Physical Anthropology, Florida author Shannon Hollinger hasn’t just seen the dark side of humanity – she’s been elbow deep inside of it! She finds writing to be a much cleaner way to spend her time than the autopsy suite. Most days it smells better, too. Her debut novel, the psychological thriller Best Friends Forever, is the first of a five-book deal with publisher Bookouture. Her short fiction has appeared in Suspense Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and The Saturday Evening Post, among a number of other magazines and anthologies, and her story Lady Killer was a finalist for the 2021 Al Blanchard Award sponsored by the New England Crime Bake.

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8 responses to “The Girl Who Lied by Shannon Hollinger

  1. That small town Maine setting is always fun. Too bad this one ended up being so predictable. Still, Maggie does sound like an interesting character.

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