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Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North East England. Her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000, and since then she’s had twenty international bestsellers, translated into twenty-six languages. She’s been an ambassador for The Reading Agency and a judge for the Costa Book Awards, and is a keen supporter of The National Literacy Trust. She’s lived in Italy, Botswana and London and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband, son and cat.

Praise for the novels of Adele Parks

Lies, Lies, Lies

“Gripping, moving and elegantly written.”

—Marian Keyes

“Brilliant, moving and deeply satisfying, Parks is the queen of the domestic dark side.”

—Veronica Henry

“Compelling and suspenseful.”

—Catherine Isaac

“I devoured Lies, Lies, Lies... [S]o engaging, well written. It is one of those rare books that earns the title, unputdownable.”

—Sally Hepworth

“Engrossing and emotional, Lies, Lies, Lies had me gripped from the very first page to the final shocking finale. Adele Parks just gets better and better.”

—Lisa Hall

I Invited Her In

“Packed with secrets, scandal and suspense, this is Adele Parks at her absolute best.”

—Heat

“Wow! What a read. Intense, clever and masterful.”

—Lisa Jewell

“A beautifully written tale of revenge and retribution, full of unexpected plot twists.”

—Daily Mail

“A gripping read from the brilliant Adele Parks.”

—Hello!

Also by Adele Parks and MIRA

The Image of You

I Invited Her In

Lies, Lies, Lies

Look for Adele Parks’s next novel, available soon from MIRA.

Just My Luck

Adele Parks

For Jim and Conrad.

I won the lottery.

Contents

The Buckinghamshire Gazette

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Author’s Note

THE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE GAZETTE

November 9, 2015

Elaine Winterdale, 37, a property manager, has been handed a suspended prison sentence for failing to maintain a faulty gas boiler that caused the death of two tenants from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Reveka Albu, 29, was found dead with her son Benke, 2, by her husband, Mr. Toma Albu, 32, at a property they rented in Reading, on December 23, 2014.

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive, Ms. Winterdale was today sentenced at Reading Crown Court for breaches of gas safety laws after she failed to arrange gas safety checks to be carried out at the property over a three-year period, despite assuring her employer, the owner of the property, that she had done so.

In June 2011, an employee of National Grid Gas visited the property to replace the gas meter. The boiler was labeled as “immediately dangerous” due to “fumes at open flue” and was disconnected. A report was left with Mrs. Albu and subsequently a letter was sent to Ms. Winterdale, which she failed to respond to or pass to the owner of the property.

The boiler was not repaired. For three years the only heating in the home was from one borrowed electric heater.

On October 22, 2014, Mr. Toma Albu was away from home overnight and returned to find the flat warm; his wife informed him that after repeated petitions Ms. Winterdale had finally arranged for the boiler to be reconnected.

On the evening of December 23, 2014, Mr. Albu returned home after a double shift to find his wife and son dead. Tests showed Mrs. Albu’s blood contained 61 percent carbon monoxide. A level of 50 percent is enough to be fatal.

Ms. Winterdale pleaded guilty to seven breaches of the Gas Safety Regulations and was given a sixteen-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. She was also given 200 hours community service, was fined £4,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £17,500.

CHAPTER 1

Lexi

Saturday, April 20

I can’t face going straight home to Jake. I’m not ready to deal with this. I need to try to process it first. But how? Where do I start? I have no idea. The blankness in my mind terrifies me.

I always know what to do. I always have a solution, a way of tackling something, giving it a happy spin. I’m Lexi Greenwood, the woman everyone knows of as the fixer, the smiler—some might even slightly snidely call me a do-gooder. Lexi Greenwood, wife, mother, friend.

You think you know someone. But you don’t know anyone, not really. You never can.

I need a drink. I drive to our local. Sod it, I’ll leave the car at the pub and walk home, pick it up in the morning. I order a glass of red wine, a large one, and then I look for a seat tucked away in the corner where I can down my drink alone. It’s Easter weekend, and a rare hot one. The place is packed. As I thread my way through the heaving bar, a number of neighbors raise a glass, gesturing to me to join them; they ask after the kids and Jake. Everyone else in the pub seems celebratory, buoyant. I feel detached. Lost. That’s the thing about living in a small village—you recognize everyone. Sometimes that reassures me, sometimes it’s inconvenient. I politely and apologetically deflect their friendly overtures and continue in my search for a solitary spot. Saturday vibes are all around me, but I feel nothing other than stunned, stressed, isolated.

You think you know someone.

What does this mean for our group? Our frimily. Friends that are like family. What a joke. Blatantly, we’re not friends anymore. I’ve been trying to hide from the facts for some time, hoping there was a misunderstanding, an explanation; nothing can explain away this.

I told Jake I’d only be a short while, and I should text him to say I’ll be longer. I reach for my phone and realize in my haste to leave the house I haven’t brought it with me. Jake will be wondering where I am. I don’t care. I down my wine. The acidity hits my throat, a shock

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