In ‘Family Secrets’, Liane Moriarty creates crime in the style of the series ‘Big Little Lies’

SÃO PAULO, SP (FOLHAPRESS) – Liane Moriarty could spread posters on the streets with the words “we are looking for unusual stories” to write her novels. Specialist in mixing drama with suspense, the writer leaves the radar on to hear extraordinary stories, those told by a neighbor, which appear in the newspapers or on any podcast. That’s how she was inspired for her latest book, “Family Secrets”.

In the plot, Joy and Stan Delaney maintain the facade of a perfect couple. The two were tennis teachers, raised four children, retired and now lead life with ease. Until Joy disappears without a trace. Her children say they don’t know what could have happened, while the police suspect that Stan killed his wife.

The idea came about after Moriarty heard about husbands suspected of murder on true crime podcasts. “I wondered how I would feel if my mother disappeared and the police suspected that my father was the murderer. I thought it was an interesting premise because it’s hard to see your parents as imperfect, let alone capable of murder,” he says, in an interview by email.

The book was already partially written when the Covid-19 pandemic began. According to Moriarty, the period of isolation was calm enough for her to be productive and finish the work, which was released in Brazil in August by publisher Intrinseca.

The Australian was successful first with “My Husband’s Secret”, from 2013, but only really emerged a year later, with “Little Big Lies”, which became an HBO series in 2017. Both stories mix the personal conflicts of their lives. characters with crimes and murders.

Despite the mix, Moriarty says it’s more of the drama. For her, in “Family Secrets” it was easier to write about family relationships than to keep the mystery interesting.

“Big Little Lies,” the HBO series, has balanced the genres well. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern, the production was critically acclaimed and won an Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the production has an 89% approval rating from critics and audiences. It was so successful that it was renewed for a second season in 2019, with the addition of Meryl Streep to the cast.

The plot of the sequel was created by Moriarty just for the show. She claims that at the time she even wrote a second book, but didn’t publish it because she used a TV-specific text style. Another snag is that while the TV series takes place in the United States, the characters in the book live in Australia. It would be inconsistent.

Moriarty does not rule out the idea of ​​another work, with the children of the protagonists about to start high school. Narratively, this is far from the end of the second season, which ended abruptly. There is no news about a third phase.

The writer also saw her book “Nine Desconhecidos” adapted for the screen. Launched last year, the eponymous series puts Kidman back in the starring role. She plays the eccentric Marsha, who runs a mysterious spa where nine people experience weird situations. The production can be seen on Amazon Prime Video.

Despite being based on a great Moriarty title, the series did not chart. Only 60% of critics approved according to Rotten Tomatoes. Asked about the failure, Moriarty does not respond.

In fact, she is quite selective with what she does or does not do. She denied giving an interview by videoconference or telephone, insisted to respond in writing. She is not on social media and says she is not good at using it, even if it is useful to boost sales. She is a discreet writer, attached to the text, who leaves to put her madness out only on the pages of books.


Price R$ 79.90 (544 pages); BRL 54.90 (ebook)

Author Liane Moriarty

Intrinsic Publisher

Translation Cássia Zanon, Luciana Dias and Maria Carmelit

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