Exclusive Extract: Tell Me Your Lies by Kate Ruby

Tell Me Your Lies is the compelling new debut from author Kate Ruby. Kate is one of British TV’s most successful producers and screenwriters.

Lily will do anything to protect her picture-perfect life and family. She’s made ruthless choices to make sure their secrets stay buried, and she’s not going to stop now. When her party animal daughter Rachel spins out of control, Lily hires a renowned therapist and healer. Amber is the skilled and intuitive confidante that Rachel desperately needs. But as Rachel falls increasingly under Amber’s spell, she begins to turn against her parents, and Lily grows suspicious.
Does Amber really have Rachel’s best interests at heart or is there something darker going on? As more and more family secrets are exposed, one thing is certain: either Rachel’s mother or her therapist is lying. Never quite knowing who to believe, untold truths expose this picture-perfect family as anything but flawless.

Tell Me Your Lies was partly inspired by the true story of practising therapist Anne Craig who was accused of tearing a number of young women apart from their high profile families. Craig was reported to have set herself up as a ‘spiritual healer’ with no formalised qualifications or professional supervision. Using highly unconventional methods such as dream analysis, Craig encouraged her clients to recover memories of past traumas and cut contact with their parents. In one of her most notorious disputes, the family of heiress Victoria Cayzer had Craig arrested and investigated (no charges were brought). Their daughter remained under Craig’s thrall, giving up her trust fund and refusing to resume contact with her family. Kate has extensively explored therapy herself – via both conventional and
unconventional modalities – and weaves these experiences into Tell Me Your Lies.

We were absolutely hooked when we began reading Tell Me Your Lies, and were thrilled when it was picked by Richard and Judy as one of their book club picks. and jumped at the chance to share an extract as part of the blog tour when the lovely team at Midas PR asked us.

There was something about the way she stood there that unsettled me – the sureness of her stance as if the doorway was a gilt picture frame and she was a priceless piece of art. She didn’t speak immediately, just smiled.

Amber?’

She didn’t look entirely like the picture on her website either, but nor was she brandishing a copy of The Watchtower, so it had to be her. Her dark hair was cut to just below her ears, where it kicked up in the kind of girlish curls that demanded product and a roller brush. She wore gold earrings, tiny, shiny tassels that brought out the brightness of her cornflower-blue eyes. There were gold studs, too, that ran up the ear lobes in a punky flourish. The eyes themselves were watchful, quickly scanning my face as if an internal computer was downloading the data faster than the speed of light.

Yes,’ she said, sticking out a gloved hand. ‘And you’re Lily?’

‘I am,’ I said, stepping aside.

I swallowed, suddenly unsteady. I clung to the door handle, fixing a smile on my face. Every step was like this. The phone call. The drive to the hospital. Each one was an incontrovertible admission that there was something deeply wrong with my child.

I’m so glad to be here,’ she said, her voice soft, and I felt something inside me unfurl.

It was wonderful you could fit us in,’ I said, opening the door fully and ushering her into our wide hallway. There’s a large bamboo-framed mirror that hangs down the length of it, an inlayed lacquer table where post and keys get dumped. I automatically de- focused my eyes, not wanting any stray folds of jowly skin to make themselves known to me. ‘Tea? Coffee?’

‘Something herbal would be great,’ she said, her gaze still trained on me. I was glad. Everything looked so untidy: Nick’s giant, muddy wellies discarded by the doormat, a pizza leaflet shouting loudly about extra mozzarella. I kept a brisk pace towards the kitchen.

‘Rachel’s resting upstairs. I’ll put the kettle on and go and find her.’

‘No rush,’ she said, smiling at me.

I grabbed it, then filled it from the fiddly little filter jet. My hands were shaking, and a few drops of scalding water dripped onto my bare flesh. I winced, tried to hide the pain.

No . . .’ I said. ‘I’m just conscious we’ve only got an hour with you.’

She waved an airy hand.

‘The first session has its own pace. I try not to get too hung up on time . . .’ She pantomimed hitting an imaginary watch on her wrist, which was ringed by a set of silver bangles. ‘Heal faster! Not really my approach. Kind of counter- productive, don’t you think?’

And I realized with a jolt that I didn’t know what I thought. I hadn’t thought beyond . . . her turning up, her making it better. I hadn’t imagined how any of this would unfold. Looking back

now, I want to slap myself for the lack of foresight, even if it was born out of desperation.

‘Yes, no – absolutely,’ I said.

Suddenly my feet felt rooted to the tiled floor.

‘You’ve made a really brave decision,’ she said softly. Her words hung in the ether; the silence broken by the ping of the kettle.

Extracted from Tell Me Your Lies by Kate Ruby from Simon & Schuster

You can get a copy here!