Past Lying


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About the Author

Val McDermid is a number one bestseller whose novels have been translated into forty languages, and have sold over nineteen million copies. She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009, was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2010 and received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award in 2011. In 2016, Val received the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award at the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and in 2017 received the DIVA Literary Prize for Crime, and was elected a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Val has served as a judge for the Women's Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize, and was Chair of the Wellcome Book Prize in 2017. She is the recipient of seven honorary doctorates, is an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford and a Professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She writes full time and divides her time between Edinburgh and East Neuk of Fife.X @valmcdermidInstagram @quineofcrime


Pirie is her most sympathetic protagonist and Past Lying one of her most devious and delightful cases
*The Times*

The Queen of Crime shows no sign of abdicating. Past Lying is as complex, as satisfying and as readable as anything she's written - which makes it another jewel in Val McDermid's crown
*Mick Herron*

Atmospheric . . . The novel-within-a-novel is not a new device, but McDermid uses it to memorable effect in a piece of fiction that vividly recreates the anxious early months of the Covid pandemic
*Sunday Times*

A chilling, twisting triumph. Past Lying is a classic mystery, brilliant, heart-stopping and seamless. No one does it better than Val McDermid
*Chris Whitaker*

Val McDermid's latest offering proves once again why she reigns supreme in the world of crime fiction . . . The intricate and clever plot balances fact and fiction while the heroine Karen Pirie is as captivating as ever. For fans of the series, it's like a reunion with old friends, and for newcomers, it's an invitation to dive into a world of suspense and intrigue where McDermid's storytelling prowess shines through as she skilfully explores themes of betrayal and revenge, leaving readers guessing with every unexpected twist. Simply a must-read for anyone who appreciates top-notch crime fiction

Original, ingenious, and oh so twisty! It left me breathless
*Belinda Bauer*

The ingenious plot kept me guessing all the way through. It delivers on every level
*Marian Keyes*

With an intricate plot, authentic dialogue, rich details, and masterly McDermid twists and turns, [Past Lying] will delight Pirie fans, existing and new
*Library Journal*

Riveting . . . McDermid keeps the twists coming hard and fast, and she bolsters them with sharp observations about the toll of Covid on the public psyche. This page-turner grips from the outset and doesn't let go
*Publishers Weekly*

Ingenious, humane, and all too telling as a reminder of the costs of the pandemic even on its survivors

[McDermid] ingeniously flips over the rug and examines the pattern in reverse. Karen and her supporting cast are absorbing, providing insight into the restrictions on police work during the pandemic and plenty of Scottish flavour

[Pirie] is an appealing character . . . McDermid [has] fun describing the inner workings of the crime-fiction profession, including the creation of stories and the politics, favouritism, resentment, jealousy and score-settling found behind the scenes
*Literary Review*

A spiralling game of betrayal and revenge. A real tour-de-force
*Irish Independent*

The eerie landscape of Scotland's capital provides the backdrop to a new thriller from McDermid signalling the return of her much-loved detective Karen Pirie

A cracking read
*Daily Express*

A deadly game of revenge. Another twisty thriller

Past Lying sees McDermid simultaneously at her darkest and most playful. The central plot is a wonderfully tricksy story within a story within a story
*Mail on Sunday*

McDermid plots her novels in masterly style. She holds the reader's attention and provokes our curiosity . . . Her ingenuity commands respect . . . McDermid is deservedly popular and now acclaimed as the Queen of Crime. She is a fine carpenter, her books always well-constructed. She has the confidence to take her time in the telling of her story . . . She is at her ingenious best here

A complex plot of jealous writers, straying spouses and effective twists. This novel within-a-novel conceit, used to lead the detectives to more concrete evidence, sharply delivers a suitably unsettled atmosphere . . . Affecting
*Irish Times*

This is such a brilliantly conceived plot line that I was squirming with glee as I turned each page. McDermid is in rare form here, and the book never fails to entertain and surprise . . . Past Lying is a wonder to behold. I place it directly next to McDermid's finest works, like A Place of Execution and The Wire in the Blood. Her use of the pandemic is one of the most clever I have seen to date, and the story within a story that constantly references such greats as Agatha Christie and the aforementioned Highsmith makes this a novel that cannot be missed

The narrative takes on the characteristics of nested dolls . . . Head and shoulders above many crime novels
*Crime Fiction Lover*

Fans definitely won't be disappointed
*YOU Magazine*

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