The Truth in a Lie

Secrets and lies can be so destructive – especially when you lie to yourself

Charlotte Preece, a successful writer, moves to a riverside apartment after breaking up with her lover. She feels guilty when the upheaval so disturbs her student daughter, Kate, that she fails her first-year exams. Charlotte is then called to the bedside of her ailing mother and has to drive through heavy snow to reach the hospital. She’s astonished when Duncan, her ex-husband, braves the treacherous conditions to join her. Is he being supportive, or does he have other motives? And then the two of them are snowed in together…

‘The Truth in a Lie’ explores the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, wives and husbands. It is a story of love, loyalty, betrayal and the damage done by untold secrets. 


The Truth in a Lie is top literary fiction: characters matter more than plot. The novel’s power lies in its simplicity, and it’s wonderful!

reviewer for Readers’ Favorite 5-star reviewer

“An engaging story of complex interpersonal relationships …expertly told with sensitivity and real emotional depth…A highly recommended read.”

review by LoveReading Ambassador

“Petrie’s plotting is sharp, with events unfolding at at a measured pace. The tension built between Charlotte’s mother’s hospital stay and the reason for Duncan’s visit add welcome suspense without feeling cheap or overwrought…The looming tragedy of Carol’s hospitalization adds urgency and desperation to their dynamic that is exciting to read and watch them navigate.”

BookLife Prize critics report