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A Thousand Lies

It’s often said that a picture paints a thousand words…but what if every single one is a lie?
In 1987, 36-year-old Sheila Shand was given a suspended sentence for killing her father.  At her trial, it emerged that she and her mother and sister had been forced to shield brutal sadist Leslie Shand while he subjected them to a reign of terror, daily beatings and sexual abuse.  Years later, journalist Amy Vaughan discovers a newspaper cutting about the Shand case while clearing out her dead mother’s flat.  Concluding that they are related, she decides to visit Sheila’s mother Iris, who is in a care home.

Amy is curious about the elderly woman who pores endlessly over an album of family snaps because she has known, from an early age, that photographs tell lies.  Her own mother, who suffered from Munchausen’s Syndrome By Proxy, used snaps of the daughter she’d made sick to try and keep the affections of Amy’s father George, a charismatic but elusive conman.  Then George appears on Amy’s doorstep after a long absence and tells her that he is dying of cancer.  Should she believe him?  As she reluctantly becomes involved in one of her father’s shady schemes, she discovers that he may have been telling lies about far more than his health.  And when she begins to investigate the Shand case, Amy realises that there is more to the murder of Leslie than the police ever unearthed, including two long-buried skeletons in woods near the family’s home…


“A mesmerising unpicking of the damage done within families. The writing is compelling and stylish. Laura Wilson really is out of the top drawer.” Mo Hayder

“Psychological thriller by one of the rising stars of British crime writing.” Maxim Jakubowski, The Bookseller

“Compelling novel…[that] grabs the reader’s attention and hangs on to it while miseries multiply far beyond the compass of your average crime fiction.” Literary Review

“Laura Wilson is another class act who just gets better and better…Wilson is the equal of Rendell and Walters in exploring the dark depths of the twisted psyche. But she’s just as good at laying bare the emotions of damaged victims.  A Thousand Lies is superb – creepy, moving and surprising.”  Peter Guttridge, The Observer

“Laura Wilson has written a mean, compulsive thriller, where violence, child abuse, murder, incest, cruelty, and long hidden family secrets mix together in a stew of passion and guilt. Heavy stuff. And already hotly tipped as a prize winner.”
Mark Timlin, Independent on Sunday
“Laura Wilson has written a thoroughly captivating and very intelligent thriller that further cements her reputation as an acclaimed writer.”  Refresh Magazine
“Prepare to be chilled by this tale of long-buried murder and mystery.”  Red Magazine
“A powerful study of dysfunctional families…It makes disturbing reading.”  Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph
“A convincing, compelling and fascinating if, at times, disturbing read.” Mystery Women
“A journalist stumbles on the terrible truth about a case in which murder came as a happy ending. Wilson is brilliant at uncovering the secrets of unhappy families. She’s a writer who started well and gets better with every book.” The Spectator