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Clare and Lorraine have been friends since college and trust each other with their lives. So when Lorraine, a single mother, needs a much-needed night away without her children, she calls on Clare and her husband Sam to look after them. They’re godparents – what could go wrong?

While Clare and Sam believe the children to be asleep, the unimaginable happens and Clare finds baby Theo lifeless in his room. The police are called. Statements are taken. But the biggest nightmare for any parent is about to spiral out of control.

Because a lie has been told. An enormous and terrible one.

Out of Clare, Sam and Lorraine, one of them isn’t telling the truth . . .

A thrilling, emotional page-turner about the lies we tell to keep the ones we love safe, from the Richard & Judy Book Club bestselling author.

What everyone is saying about Lisa Ballantyne’s thrillers:

‘Gripping’ Clare Mackintosh

‘Sophisticated, suspensefu’ Lee Child

‘Tense’ Sunday Times

‘Unsettling and compulsive’ Rosamund Lupton

‘Moving’ Guardian

‘Emotionally intense’ Richard & Judy Book Club

‘Grips like a vice’ Daily Mail

‘Thought-provoking’ Gilly Macmillan

‘Tense’ Rachel Abbott

‘A page-turner’ Daily Express

‘I couldn’t get this book out of my head’ Jenny Colgan

‘Outstanding’ Daily Record


A gripping and emotionally charged story. Just brilliant
Clare Mackintosh
A tense and shocking thriller that has the added treat of Lisa Ballantyne's deft prose. I loved it
Renee Knight
Moving, insightful
I couldn't get this book out of my head. It kept me up all night and guessing the whole way through. I loved it
Jenny Colgan
Praise for Lisa Ballantyne:
A page-turner with real emotional depth
Daily Express
A compelling and emotional read with convincing characters that stayed in my head. Lisa Ballantyne deals with a difficult and controversial subject in a sensitive and thoughtful way
Jenny Quintana
Dark, intelligent, suspenseful
Saskia Sarginson
Thought-provoking, brave and challenging, this book is an unsettling and compulsive read
Rosamund Lupton
One of the most readable, emotionally intense novels of the year
Richard and Judy
A tense and moving story that I will remember for a long time
Rachel Abbott
Sophisticated, suspenseful, unsettling
Lee Child
This tense psychological thriller focuses relentlessly on the way its characters cope as stress piles up and the mess deepens
Sunday Times
Grips like a vice
Daily Mail
Thrilling . . . so tense
Crime Monthly
Gripping, tense and moving
Claire McGowan
Tense, unsettling
Morning Star
As compelling as it is heart-breaking, a beautifully crafted story of unspeakable tragedy that tests the characters' relationships to their limits. I was absolutely gripped from the first page to the last. Highly recommended!
Karen Dionne
A powerful, rich read: it's a page-turner of a thriller, raising urgent moral questions, and yet at the same time, at its heart it's a tender, emotional exploration of friendship and love. I couldn't put this beautifully crafted, beautifully written book down; and the complex, flawed characters stayed with me for a long time. I loved it.
Saskia Sarginson
Thought-provoking and clever
Gilly Macmillan
Woman & Home