“A podcaster has decided to ruin my life, so I’m buying a chicken”. How’s that for a zinger opening line!

Lucy Chase is going to make an apology chicken for her boyfriend, Nathan, to say sorry for not telling him that she is a prime suspect in her best friend’s murder.

Five years previously, in her home town of Plumpton, Texas, Lucy was found wandering covered in the slain bestie, Savannah’s, blood. Lucy had sustained a head wound herself and was suffering from amnesia.

Never charged but roundly suspected by family, friends and most of the town, Lucy upped stumps and moved to Los Angeles, hoping to put the trauma behind her.

The past may be another country but apparently it has extradition powers with the present, such powers being implemented by a popular podcast presenter, Ben Owens.

Podcasts, it seems, are the present day equivalent of Pandora’s Box, a cabinet of curiosities laden with the prospect of negative consequences, but also the hope of positive outcomes.

The inkling of a positive outcome is Lucy accepting an invitation from her grandmother to return to Plumpton to celebrate her 80th birthday. Her grandmother is almost the only person in town to believe in Lucy’s innocence and her unstinting allegiance sways her to attend the festivity.

That support is born of both instinct and life experience. Discussing Lucy’s marriage that dissolved due to the absence of presumption of innocence, grandma sagely says “Men don’t protect us, not really. They only protect themselves, or each other. The only thing men ever protected me from was happiness.”

Lucy’s arrival in town not only opens a can of worms but kicks over a hornets nest and allows a bull into the china shop where the crockery of cover up and conjecture is shot to shit.

By agreeing to be interviewed by the Podcaster, she plays with fire while skating on thin ice. Frozen memories, after five years of no thaw, are chipped away with the ice pick of revelation, the permafrost of domestic violence and male entitlement melting under the proximity of old behavioural patterning.

Fresh, fierce and funny as well as being smart, surprising and sexy, LISTEN FOR THE LIE is a searingly entertaining thriller from a seriously wicked wordsmith.

LISTEN FOR THE LIE by Amy Tintera is published by Penguin (Bantam imprint)