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A Time to Lie cover, Simon Berthon


(HarperCollins 2020, June 2021 paperback)

"Brilliant, a wonderful, devilishly entertaining page-turner. There's a truthfulness about the book, an authenticity. A rip-roaring read, it's going to cause much sleep deprivation" - Mark Dolan, Talk Radio


“Classy novel. Simon Berthon is a deft guide to the darker recesses of a fictional British state. Whitehall and 10 Downing Street may be more elegant than their White House equivalents, but... no less menacing as this well-crafted, informed thriller shows.” Financial Times

"With deception at every turn, Berthon delivers masterful character development amid a tangle of sub-plots that both disguise and enrich the main story. Cleverly paced and meticulously planned... will have you racing towards the ending" - Edinburgh Evening News/Press Association

"Well informed, full of good characters and interesting relationships, this is not only a clever thriller but also an indictment of the way the UK’s political system works" - Natasha Cooper, Literary Review

"This tense political thriller gets my vote...the scene setting and tension building is masterful" - Nicola Smith, Scottish Daily Record

"A pulse-pounding thrill ride that hooked me from the chilling opening, A Time to Lie delivers on every explosive level" - Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End

"A prime minister with a murky past,  a gruesome discovery and dark intrigue make A Time to Lie a topical read. Simon Berthon takes readers on an insightful journey through the corridors of power walked by those with terrible secrets. Dark and twisted, A Time to Lie is a tense and timely novel"Adam Hamdy, bestselling author of Black 13

"Uttterly gripping from the first chapter to the unexpected ending; full of the backstabbing and deception of political life in which no-one - even long-time friends - can truly be trusted. A thriller with more twists and turns than a mountain climb on the Tour de France"  Gavin Esler, broadcaster and author


On the morning of the Tory Party conference, the bones of a young woman’s hand are discovered in a London building site. Jed Fowkes, Special Adviser at the Treasury, confronts Prime Minister Robin Sandford with a terrible accusation.

He claims the hand belongs to someone they once knew well: a young woman whom Sandford murdered in a drug-fuelled frenzy years before. With his career on the brink of ruin, the Prime Minister’s only hope is to enlist the unofficial help of MI5. A decision which leads him into a new world of espionage, mass executions and murder. 

And the deeper he goes, the more treacherous the game becomes. Because now it’s not just his life on the line, it’s the future of the state itself…

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