Blog Blitz | Book Review: Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane

Pamela Crane - Pretty Ugly Lies_cover_3

Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane. If you’re a fan of domestic noir, you’ll want to be reading this novel!


What causes a woman to murder her whole family?

Jo’s idyllic life would make most people jealous. Until one day her daughter is abducted and the only way to find her is to unravel her dark past.

Ellie is a devoted wife… until she discovers the pain of betrayal. Now vengeance is all she can think about.

Party-girl Shayla knows how to hide her demons. But when she’s confronted with a life-shattering choice, it will cost her everything.

June knows suffering intimately, though the smile she wears keeps it hidden.

Soon the lives of these four women intersect and one of them is about to snap…

From USA TODAY best-selling author Pamela Crane comes “a thought-provoking domestic noir novel perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and B.A. Paris … A chilling look at the secrets mothers will hide for the sake of their families, and the gruesome reality of what can break an everyday woman.”


Sometimes, when reading domestic noir, I find it’s much of the same, the same recycled story over and over again. But Pretty Ugly Lies was a breath of fresh air. I loved the multiple viewpoints of the four women (Jo, Ellie, Shayla and June), I was interested in each drama, making this an engaging read throughout.

While each of our leading ladies didn’t necessarily have a distinct personality, it didn’t matter too much, what was key here was the scenario each lady was in, and that was easy to distinguish. So, despite the fact that I couldn’t always remember who belonged to which drama, I was fully invested in the drama. It’s like when you watch TV shows such as Desperate Housewives, or reality shows such as Love and Hip Hop – there’s always plenty of drama and it’s thoroughly entertaining. And amongst all the drama, you get the thread of emotion, the parts you really care about – in Pretty Ugly Lies, you care about how the children are impacted by each scenario, and wow, are there some intense moments featuring the children.

And when one of these women snap, they snap, like what in the holy hell kind of craziness is this – and I mean that in the best possible way, the shock of the event that occurred ensured I’d stayed thinking about this one.

While this is an entertaining read, it is also a thought-provoking one, because once you strip back the layers of drama, you see the suffering. The pain of living a life you didn’t imagine, second guessing the decisions you made, those scary moments when you feel trapped in your own life… Crane doesn’t hold back, she makes these women honest in their feelings – they voice what, perhaps, many mothers are afraid too, the fleeting thoughts that can enter a mind. Everything has a darker side, and motherhood is no different!

This was my first time reading a novel by Crane, and I shall be seeking out more of her books because I found this one so engaging and entertaining with enough emotion to make me care. I absolutely recommend this novel to fans of domestic noir.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK / Book Depository

*My thanks to the publisher (Bloodhound Books) for providing me with a copy of this title and inviting me to participate in the blog tour*


Pamela_CranePamela Crane is a professional juggler. Not the type of juggler who can toss flaming torches in the air, but a juggler of four kids, a writing addiction, a horse rescuer, and a book editor by trade. She lives on the edge (ask her Arabian horse about that—he’ll tell you all about their wild adventures while trying to train him) and she writes on the edge. Writing murder mysteries is her escape from the real world of dirty diapers and cleaning horse stalls, and she bases her characters on real people, so be warned! She is a USA Today best-selling author of several award-winning thrillers, which you can find on her website at

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19 thoughts on “Blog Blitz | Book Review: Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane

  1. I agree with your point on domestic noir, it takes originality to keep me reading these days! I’m off to buy this one! I loved your review! I like that the different stories are strong enough to make up for the lack of different voices of each woman!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A really good review of what sounds to be a somewhat disturbing novel. I’m not sure if this one is for me Janel. (I am going to include this cover in an upcoming Cover Love post – ripped from side to side)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 💜
      Oh, really – I think the market is flooded with domestic noir but then again, I search out crime novels, lol. This is a good introduction into the sub-genre. 😊 (BA Paris writes Domestic Noir, if you’ve read one of her books?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris and I wasn’t hugely impressed, so I didn’t bother with Bring Me Back. Domestic Noir are just psychological thrillers that centre around home life (or work life), featuring twisted relationships, usually told from the viewpoint of the women 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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