As Liar returns, we look at the main suspects for serial rapist Earlham’s killing and their motivation – The Sun

IT was the ITV thriller that gripped the nation in 2017.

Liar returns on Monday night for a second outing with another mystery to solve.

More than 7million viewers tuned in to the first season, which saw teacher Laura Nielson, played by Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt, battle to prove she was raped by surgeon Andrew Earlham. The fiend, portrayed by Ioan Gruffudd, was eventually exposed as a serial sex attacker and went on the run.

The grisly conclusion saw Earlham found dead weeks later with his throat cut on remote marshland.

Fans speculated that Earlham could have faked his own death but the first episode confirms he is gone and Laura is firmly in the frame for his murder.

But her character is not the only suspect, so who else had the motivation to bump off Earlham.

Here are the other likely culprits.

  • Liar returns to ITV on Monday night at 9pm.

Laura Nielson

LAURA (Joanne Froggatt) is a prime suspect after she was raped by Earlham.

We saw the teacher go to desperate measures to extract a confession, including spiking her attacker’s drink and tying him up.

When he wriggled free and escaped justice, Laura may have wanted to exact revenge.

But she could be too obvious a choice as writers Harry and Jack Williams like their plots to have more twists than spaghetti junction.

Vanessa Harmon

AFTER investigating Laura’s rape, DI Harmon (Shelley Conn) became convinced of Earlham’s guilt.

It led to her becoming his next victim – a particularly daring and twisted move even for this rapist.

DI Harmon was present when a drugged Earlham was cornered by Laura, only for him to escape.

Sensing he was about to get away scot-free, the traumatised DI could have used her police training to locate her rapist and put an end to his crimes for good.

DS Rory Maxwell

DS MAXWELL (Danny Webb) knew the full horrifying story of the Earlham case, including the rape of his own colleague DI Vanessa Harmon.

The detective could have feared Earlham would be found not guilty if it ever went to court and decided to take matters into his own hands.

After all, Rory had the ability to track down the rapist and overpower him.

The fact Rory is in the new series to solve the murder suggests he plays an important role in how things unravel.

Luke Earlham

EARLHAM’S son Luke (Jamie Flatters) has been to hell and back after losing his mother.

Then he has to endure his father being in the frame for raping a teacher at his school.
When Luke heard the allegations against his dad, it might have tipped him over the edge, leading to a confrontation.

We see him break down as he discovers the extent of Earlham’s crimes and that he has been killed.

But could that sobbing really be crocodile tears?

Jenn Robertson

JENNIFER (Jill Halfpenny), the wife of DI Harmon, appeared angrier about her partner’s rape than the detective.

And tonight we see her express no remorse for the death of Earlham.

In the first series, we saw Jennifer serving with the Army in Iraq, so we know she could be capable of killing if necessary.

Would the partner of a detective be able to conceal such a serious crime? In this show, anything is possible.

Katy Sutcliffe

NURSE Katy (Zoe Tapper) worked in the hospital with her sister Laura’s rapist.

At the end of series one, her affair with Laura’s ex-boyfriend PC Tom Bailey (Warren Brown) was exposed.

It led to her husband Liam (Richie Campbell) leaving her.

After hitting rock bottom and feeling she had nothing to lose, could Katy have killed Earlham to make amends?

Her job means she had easy access to a scalpel, which could have been used in the murder.

Fearless Kath is on the case

KATHERINE Kelly joins the cast as no-nonsense detective Karen Renton – drafted in from the Metropolitan Police to solve the high-profile case.

The fearless, bullish cop is just who is needed to cut through the web of lies that spans the small seaside town Liar is set in.

Former Coronation Street star Katherine says: “This case would be on every news channel and the front page of every newspaper.

“So who, out of everybody they have at the Met, would they bring in to solve this case quickly? And what characteristics would it take for her to be cherry-picked?

“That was so important to us.

“We didn’t want her to feel like a part on top of everything else, or a narrator – she needed to feel like an important role.

“DI Karen Renton has come in to solve this case and no one else could do it.

“She can be unemotional about something because emotion clouds an issue and it’s unprofessional.

“It’s not her job to have empathy and sympathy.”

Katherine says she was spurred on to sign up because Liar was such a phenomenon – and it was the only TV show she could recall during the haze of becoming a mum for the second time, to daughter Rose, in January 2017.

She said: “I remember it vividly, which is amazing as it was at a time when my nights and days blurred into one.”

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