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Hardcover edition published

Faber & Faber

Publication date

6 Jun 2013

This paperback edition was published 5 Jan 2017 to coincide with the flagship BBC One four part series, this is the latest edition of Louise Doughty’s massive bestselling novel.


The bestselling psychological thriller from Louise Doughty

Shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger for Best Thriller and the Specsavers National Book Awards Crime & Thriller of the Year

Yvonne Carmichael has a high-flying career, a beautiful home and a good marriage.

But when she meets a stranger she is drawn into a passionate affair.

Keeping the two halves of her life separate seems easy at first.

But she can’t control what happens next.

My Thoughts & Review

Always a sucker for a courtroom drama, I watched and enjoyed the series of the adaptation of this book so then just had to buy and read the book. Much more detail about the court case is given in the book but the TV adaptation on the whole was accurate.

This compellingly addictive psychological thriller begins with the two main characters in the dock at the Old Bailey together but why they are both there isn’t revealed until much later in the book.

The book is narrated in the first person by Yvonne Carmichael in the form of an inner monologue to herself or letters she is writing to her lover about their relationship.

On the surface Yvonne, a respected and successful geneticist, is happily married to husband and fellow scientist Guy. Their children are grown and living away from home and she does mainly consultancy or examination supervision work. After giving evidence about an aspect of genetics to a select committee at the Houses of Parliament she meets a charming man who gives her a guided talk of a hidden secret part of the building. During this tour she ends up having intimate relations with him in a part of an old chapel. This leads to a series of similar clandestine couplings in risky places that are all too thrilling but leave them in danger of being discovered at any minute.

This dangerously addictive affair progresses until one night when Yvonne has a terrifying experience and it is this catastrophic event that eventually ends up in a court case at the Old Bailey where they both must fight for their freedom.

This is the first book I’ve read by Louise Doughty but I will definitely be reading more from this author. Highly recommended

To Purchase at Amazon UK

To Purchase at Waterstones

About the author

Louise Doughty is the author of seven novels, most recently the Apple Tree Yard was translated into over twenty languages. Her other novels include Whatever You Love.

She is a critic and cultural commentator for UK and international newspapers and broadcasts regularly for the BBC. She lives in London.