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, a charismatic but elusive conman. 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...
Laura Wilson's acclaimed and award-winning crime novels have won her many fans. Her novel Stratton's War won the Ellis Peters Award, while The Lover and A Thousand Lies were both shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. Laura is the Guardian's crime reviewer. She lives in Islington, London.