Between the Lies

Cathy MacPhail


Quick Look

  • A tense thriller from award-winning teen author Cathy MacPhail
  • Packed with sharp dialogue and a series of sensational twists
  • Authentically captures the voice and lives of teens -- bombarded with online harassment yet obsessed with living their lives on social media

Judith Tremayne is missing. She just seems to have vanished, until Abbie, a school nobody, receives a message: 'I want to come home'. Why would popular Jude contact loner Abbie? Will she stay missing? A tense teen thriller packed with sensational twists.

Floris Books
Age Range:
From 12 to 15 years
280 pages
Publication date:
20 Apr 2017


Judith Tremayne is missing. She hasn't been online, nobody has heard from her. She just seems to have vanished, until Abbie Kerr, a school nobody, receives a message: "I want to come home".

Suddenly everyone knows Abbie's name. The mean girls and misfits alike are obsessed with Jude's disappearance. Abbie finds herself at the centre of a whirlwind of rumours, secrets and lies. Why would popular, fun Jude be messaging loner, loser Abbie? Why would Jude disappear? Can Abbie bring her home?

Award-winning author Cathy MacPhail authentically captures the voice and lives of teens -- desperate to be seen, bombarded with online harassment yet obsessed with living their lives on social media. This tense thriller is packed with MacPhail's trademark sharp dialogue and a series of sensational twists.


'An excellent and really well written novel that hooks the reader from the first page. The tension slowly rises as the story twists and turns, keeping the reader guessing until the final dénouement... I loved it and couldn’t put it down!'
-- Annie Everall, Armadillo

'Between the Lies is a labyrinth of secrets and half-truths [...] A compelling story that will leave you guessing right up to the final page.'
-- Beth Goodyear, The Scotsman

'This is the Gone Girl for young adults.'
-- Lara Mieduniecki, Blackwell's Edinburgh

'I never saw the ending coming… An intriguing book, perfect for its intended audience.'
-- Artistic Bent

'I give Between the Lies five out of five stars.'
-- Random Ramblings of a Writer

''Between the Lies totally delivered on the promise of sensational twists. At more than one point in the story, I had no idea what would happen next.'
-- The Story Sanctuary

'[Cathy MacPhail] writes a very taut, nerve-wracking thriller. I avoid horror movies like the plague, so even reading well-crafted horror books gives me the willies. And MacPhail can do that in spades.'
-- Kiss the Book blog

'... definitely kept me on my toes... I honestly didn’t know who to trust... If you're a fan of dark stories or unreliable narrators, you may want to check out this book'.
-- NetGalley

'I read it in one sitting. I thought Cathy made good use of social media and aimed the story at the right level for teenagers.'
-- Jacob Lewis, St Thomas of Aquin's High

'An appealing book which left the way open for a sequel. We liked the differently-coloured pages... It was well-structured and engaging.'
-- Kaja Strzelak and Madeline Skelly

'I could relate to it as it is realistic about teenagers and how they behave... I enjoyed the unexpected ending and it kept my interest throughout.'
-- Maria Perello, St Thomas of Aquin's High

'This story has a really good setting and uses lots of locations, which makes the story stand out more.'
-- Kanta Hossain, Forrester High

'It's a great page-turner. I got goose bumps reading parts of this story.'
-- Brogan Drysdale, Forrester High

'I liked how they used text messages in the book.'
Amy Henderson, Forrester High

'My favourite character is Abbie because she is put through a lot, but by the end I had changed my mind about her because she kind of deserves what is happening to her. I still feel bad for her, but not as much as I did.'
-- Gemma Spence, Forrester High

'I just loved how it questioned the sanity of the main character. The fact that any of these things could happen to anyone made it believable.'
-- Ellie Logan, Broughton High

'Backstabbing, cruelty, and deceit all are in this novel. Abbie is very confused. Where did she go wrong? Why is she being blamed as the bad guy? You must pick this up to find out.'
-- NetGalley Educator

'Whilst I am a little old to be the intended audience for this book, I must confess that I devoured it in a day. It is a YA thriller, in the tradition of Pretty Little Liars. I can see it appealing to teenage girls who have also enjoyed the PLL books... I also enjoyed reading the Scottish turns of phrase that peppered the book and have now learnt that 'dreich' is Scottish for dreary! Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable book.'
-- NetGalley Educator


Cathy MacPhail (1946-2021) was the award-winning author of over thirty children's books including Run Zan Run, Roxy's Baby, Out of the Depths and Grass. Her novel Mosi's War won the Scottish Children's Book Award, an award she'd won twice before, and a film adaptation of her novel Another Me was released in 2014. Cathy wrote spooky thrillers for younger readers and challenging teen novels and was acclaimed for her unique ability to get to the heart of serious, topical issues through the stories of her feisty characters. She was born and brought up in Greenock, Scotland.

You can also visit the author's own website at


Discover more of our Scottish children's books on the Discover Kelpies website, where you can search the full Kelpies range, from board books to young teen novels, by age, genre, subject and location.

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