One More Lie, the new novel from Amy Lloyd, was published by Century on 4 April 2019.
Century have allowed me to share an extract from the book.
There is a child staring at me from across the aisle. I turn to face the window and enjoy the warmth of the sun on my face until we pause at a bus stop and the light is blocked. When I look back the child is still staring and I blush. For a second I imagine doing something cute, something like sticking my tongue out at him or crossing my eyes but I know that when I do these things they are not cute and can even come across as sinister. Maybe it is my shyness. Maybe I cannot pull it off because I am shy or maybe people can sense that there is something missing in me, that I am broken.
‘Excuse me,’ someone is saying. They don’t say it in a nice way. When I look up there is an old lady who smells a little like lavender and like her coat has been tucked away for a long time over the summer and she has only just taken it out. I don’t know what she wants.
‘What?’ I say. It comes out wrong. I think about what Dr Isherwood said about
appearing abrupt, cold. I smile with 70 per cent of my teeth showing and then relax my face.
‘Is anyone sitting there?’ she asks. There isn’t anybody sitting there. It’s just my bag. Then I realise what she means and I put my bag on my lap and she sits down with a tut and a sigh. I don’t know why people don’t just say what they mean. Why she doesn’t say, Please can you move your things so I can sit down?
I look back to the child but now it is the mother who’s staring at me. It looks like others are, too, and that they are all wondering what is wrong with me and why I made the old lady stand for so long without moving my bag.
Now my stomach is trembling. I wasn’t worried about my first day of work until all this happened. Two more stops and we’ll be on Walters Road. Get off the bus, walk towards the traffic lights, take the next left. I need to go to Customer Services and say, Hello my name is Charlotte and I’m starting here today. I need to ask for Mr Buckley, the manager.
I can picture all of this in my head as Sarah and I did a dummy run last week before I left the unit for good. But still I think that I’m remembering wrong and I feel nervous. Sarah said it was fine to feel nervous, that this was a big step and she knew I could do it. Because Sarah normally works with teenagers and children she talks to me like I’m also a child. Dr Isherwood says Sarah means well and she’s just trying to put me at ease. Secretly I think Sarah believes I am mentally disabled and not just a little strange. She doesn’t know who I am, or my real name, or why I am twenty-eight and need help to get the bus. If Sarah knew who I am, I know she wouldn’t be smiling so widely. With 80 per cent of her teeth and intense eye contact.
My ankle itches. I bend down and squeeze a finger underneath my tag. Under the tag it is always moist and I can’t scratch it properly no matter how much I try.
About the book
When you can’t remember your crime…
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE GUILTY?
Charlotte wants a fresh start. She wants to forget her past, forget her childhood crime – and, most of all, forget that one terrible moment.
It’s the reason she’s been given a new name, a new life. The reason she spent years in prison.
But even on the outside, with an ankle monitor and court-mandated therapy, she can’t escape the devastating memory of the night that turned her and her only friend into national hate figures.
But now her friend has found her.
And despite the lies she tells to survive, she soon finds herself being dragged deeper and deeper into a past she cannot confront.
Even if it’s going to cost Charlotte her life…
About the author
Amy Lloyd studied English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. In 2016 she won the Daily Mail Bestseller Competition for her debut novel The Innocent Wife which, when it was published, became a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. Amy lives in Cardiff with her partner, who is also a published novelist.
*I was asked to host this content to help promote One More Lie. I received a copy of the book but did not receive any payment*