Deception by Lesley Pearse is the 30th novel from this global No.1 bestseller. Just published with Penguin Michael Joseph it is described as ‘gripping and full of suspense’
I am delighted to be joining the blog tour today with an extract for you, so I do hope you enjoy.
Deception by Lesley Pearse is out 7th July, published by Penguin Michael Joseph in hardback
[ About the Book ]
What happens when you learn the person closest to you has led a life of deception?
After her mother’s funeral, Alice Kent is approached by a stranger called Angus Tweedy – a man who claims to be her real father. But why now? What could Angus hope to gain, thirty years on? As Alice wrestles with the possibility that her much-loved dad Ralph is not her real father, her quest for the truth takes her on a journey into the past. As she unravels the secrets her mother kept so desperately hidden, whatever the cost, a very different woman is unveiled; a woman shaped by trauma and poverty, and a childhood beyond her daughter’s imagination
[ Extract ]
As she came off the A38 at the Dartington and Totnes turn-off, she glanced into her mirror. There, almost hanging onto her bumper, she saw a black Jaguar with a male driver.
When people tailgated her she always wished she had a pop-up neon sign in the back window, saying, ‘Get back, arsehole’, to flash at them.
She slowed down, pulling as far to the left as she could to let him pass her. The road ahead soon became narrow and winding with many overhanging trees, and she wanted him gone instead of annoying her for the rest of the journey to the church. But he didn’t pass her: he stayed right on her tail.
As she approached St Mary’s she realized she had at least fifteen minutes before she
needed to be there so she drove on past, into Dartington, negotiated a roundabout at speed and pulled up on the forecourt of a shop.
Looking behind, she saw she’d lost him. He must have gone straight on into Totnes. Rather pleased with herself, she drove slowly back to the church. The sun had come out on the drive
down from Bristol, and it had been good to see lambs in the fields and primroses on some of the grass verges. It had seemed a very long winter, made worse by the knowledge that her mother was dying. But it was good that the sun chose to shine today, bringing back memories of Sunday school at St Mary’s with Emily, the Christmas and Easter services with their parents.
In the last two years her mother and father had started to attend church every Sunday. She and Emily had wondered why ‒ they had never seemed particularly religious before. Maybe it was because of the cancer: perhaps their mum had hoped that having a word with the Almighty each week would help.
There were at least twenty vehicles in the car park already, and a few people smiled at her, but Alice didn’t stop to speak to anyone. She went straight up to the church to await the hearse and her family. Standing in the spring sunshine, looking out across fields, she felt at peace for the first time in weeks. She knew that the service, the hymns and the vicar speaking of her mother would make her cry, and it would be hard to watch her father and Emily grieving too, but she was focusing on her mother’s last request: ‘Be glad for me that its almost over, Alice. I’ve had
my life. Get on with your own now, and tell Ralph and Emily to do the same.’
The hearse approached, and the remaining people outside the church scuttled inside. The doors of the second car opened and her family spilled out.
Dad looked teary-eyed as did Emily, whose three children, Ruby, Jasmine and Toby, bounded up to Alice.
[ Bio ]
Lesley Pearse was three years old when her mother died. With her father in the Royal Marines, Lesley and her older brother spent three years in orphanages before her father remarried and Lesley and her older brother were brought home again. They were joined by two other children who were later adopted by her father and stepmother, and a continuing stream of foster children. The impact of constant change and uncertainty in Lesley’s early years is reflected in one of the recurring themes in her books which she returns to again in Deception: how can emotional damage inflicted on children impact the rest of their lives?
Lesley had an extra-ordinary childhood and skilfully marries the pain and unhappiness of her early experiences with a unique gift for storytelling. Lesley left home at 15 and headed to London where she worked her way through many jobs – from corsetry sales in Cooks of St. Pauls (featured in Dead to Me), to musician’s muse (her second husband was a musician managed by Don Arden), to bunny girl to nanny; from gift shop owner to dressmaker – finally finding her true vocation when she became a published author age 49. Since then, Lesley has become an internationally bestselling author, with over 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide