Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Shape of Lies (DCI Tom Douglas, #8)” as Want to Read:
The Shape of Lies (DCI Tom Douglas, #8)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Shape of Lies

(DCI Tom Douglas #8)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  863 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Yesterday, Scott was dead.
Today, he’s back.
And Anna doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Fourteen years ago Scott was Anna’s boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free.

But today Scott is on the radio, talking about her. Threatening to spill her secrets.

Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school. And she’s a very good
ebook, 384 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Black Dot Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Shape of Lies, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Shape of Lies

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  863 ratings  ·  86 reviews

Sort order
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE SHAPE OF LIES is a dark and gripping psychological crime thriller, by author Rachel Abbott. It is the 8th book in the DCI Tom Douglas series, but provides sufficient background information that this novel can be read as a stand-alone. I am so ashamed to admit that this is the second novel I have read by this author, (having enjoyed Come A Little Closer #7) but I have all the previous in the series to read on my Kindle. After reading this novel, I will definitely MAKE the time to read the oth ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s always such a joy to be able to read a new book in the DCI Tom Douglas series. I can’t believe we’re already at book eight and I must say, this is another crime series that keeps going from strength to strength.

In case the title of the book didn’t give you a clue, there are a lot of lies in this story and lies comes in all shapes and sizes. Little white lies, flagrant lies and the lies we have to keep telling in order to protect one lie from the past that could cause a whole lot of you-know
Liz Barnsley
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another excellent addition to the Tom Douglas series from Rachel Abbott.

Will be reviewing in full for the blog tour in the New Year.
Jill McGill
THE SHAPE OF LIES is absolutely brilliant! This book is dark, twisted, and addictive with a whole lot of secrets and lies that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. I was hooked right from the start... Unputdownable!
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those stories that begins with a dilemma that you could understand a naive young girl struggling with. As a teenager at university, Anna made her decision and has been paying for it ever since.

Anna is now a respected head teacher with a husband and family of her own however her past comes back to haunt her when she hears her ex boyfriend’s name together with his nickname for her, on a local radio show phone in and makes reference to a place known to both of them – promising to tel
Kath Middleton
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another ‘nose to the book’ novel by Rachel Abbott. It deals with the snowballing of one lie that Anna told to help someone she loved. Her current, happy and successful life is all built on this lie. There are present day scenes in which people are murdered and Anna feels under severe threat. There are past scenes in which we see her student days unfolding. The finale is terrific – exciting and shocking, but credible, in the circumstances. Rachel Abbott is one of the few authors whose books I wil ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A truly creepy read. We follow Anna who, she believes, has just heard her old boyfriend Scott on the radio hinting at secrets that only they shared. The only problem is, she believes that Scott is dead. Se had thought that she left that secret long behind her. She had already started a new life with a new family, who had no idea of her past or her big secret.

Although I suspected what the ending would be, I still enjoyed the ride and following Anna as she tries to piece together what is happening
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would have been a 5⭐ for about 50% of the book but for various reasons the last part didn’t match the first. The beginning of the book was great and drew me in effortlessly. I found myself asking loads of questions about the strange things that began happening to Anna, the main character in the book. She led a double life - a talented headteacher by day and she became another persona some nights of the week. The story went backwards and forwards from present day to about 15 years ago to fil ...more
Cleo Bannister
I’m going to start by saying I’m a huge fan of Rachel Abbott’s writing and of Tom Douglas in particular. This series of books set in Manchester is now up to number eight. Now there will be some book-lovers who will say, ‘the series is already too far through, I can’t start now!’ I disagree (although don’t tell the author) as although I have read these books, eagerly, in order, the stories are all unique and so although we have DCI Tom Douglas to lead the way through the mysteries, he doesn’t hav ...more
Joanne Robertson
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After a little break from Tom Douglas with her last book, Rachel Abbott has brought him back to us with a brilliant (almost a stand-alone!) addition to one of my very favourite series. Don’t worry if you’re thinking “DCI Tom Douglas number 8?!?! I will never be able to catch up and I certainly couldn’t start a series on the eighth book!!” You will and YOU CAN! Although Tom is the detective assigned to solving some rather puzzling murders that seem to have a connection, the story is all Anna’s.

Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gripping from start to finish. As a fan of the DCI Tom Douglas series, I had no qualms of this being anything but a great read -it supersedes all expectations!
I could not put it down! A teacher, mother, daughter, wife .... a liar.
Anna has reinvented herself and after many years is now in a daily struggle to keep the past hidden to protect herself and her family from the decisions made with her first love Scott many years ago. Secrets only Scott, who is dead can know ... until a local radio show
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic book! And just in case you're wondering; it can be read as a stand alone.
There were so many evil dark characters. But with a really great female who I cheered for throughout the story.I even cried a few times near the ending. I'm so hopeless.
5 recommended stars.
Kelly K. O'Malley

This has to be the least favorite Rachel Abbot book. I did not like the main character of Anna at all. Thought she was as evil as the actual villain in the story. Very unlikely situations when it started out so promising. Huge disappointment!
Courtney Smyth
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I usually love Rachel Abbott's books and devour them like a mad woman. This one however didn't catch me like they usually do.

I don't know if it was because I disliked the main character, or just didn't like the storyline but I just wasn't fussed - and that's really unusual cause I love Tom Douglas!!

It was still a great read with great suspense and the twist at the end was brilliant! Even though this one fell flat for me storywise, I can't wait to see what is next for Tom!
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Okay. So before I begin I should say that for the last book in the series, Come A Little Closer, I took part in a writing challenge as part of the blog tour and I won. The prize was to be a named character in this latest Tom Douglas book. Yes. I know. I've been around a bit under all possible derivatives of my name, but it doesn't get any less weird seeing it in print. And it didn't affect the reading or influence my thoughts on the book at all as Jennie was a very minor character so aside from ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ooo, this was deliciously dark and gripping - exactly what I expected from both this author and the series. Although the 8th in the series and I would normally recommend you start from book one and read in order, there isn't too much backstory that goes unexplained so this would work in isolation.That said, it really is a great series so you would be doing yourself a favour if you did go back to the beginning.
So, Anna is driving to work listening to the radio as she normally does and suddenly sh
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story caused a complete mixture of emotions in me. It started out by capturing my attention. Then the story annoyed me. A while later it reignited my interest. Then I was perplexed and finally, the ending redeemed the story.
On the one hand, it is the tale of naïve Anna who falls in love with her gambling-addicted boyfriend Scott, while at University. He drags Anna into his financial woes and her falling pregnant doesn’t help matters until Scott comes up with a plan that she agrees to and on
Cheryl M-M
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Can you ever outrun your past? Is it possible to just reinvent yourself, have an entirely different life and leave your attempts at the first one behind? Anna thought it was possible until her former life decided to come knocking at her door one day.

She has a husband, two kids, a high-powered job and a comfortable life. Then she hears a voice from the past on the radio. The voice of a man she left behind a long time ago. The voice of a dead man. This revelation leads Anna even further down the t
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I love Rachel Abbott’s Tom Douglas books, and was looking forward to reading this.

Anna is a woman with a secret past that she has done her best to cover up, and keep from her husband and children.
She is the successful head of a primary school, and all seems well until she hears a radio program mentioning someone called Scott who wants to talk about his past relationship with a girl called Spike, and Nebraska.
This send her into a panic, and in a series of flashbacks we begin to understand what ha
Nikki Foster
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book! I have read all of Rachel Abbot's books and thoroughly enjoyed them, my favourite has always been Sleep Tight - maybe because it was the first one I read (I read them out of order as didn't realise they were a series until I was two books in). But I now have a new favourite, I have just finished The Shape of Lies and over the next couple of weeks I'll probably read it again. The main protagonist, Anna, was a gullible and naive student who years ago got into a fair bit ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mixed Thoughts

I love Tom Douglas, so I wish this had more of him and the investigation. Douglas and the investigation seemed more of an after thought. This could have just been a story about Anna Franklin with any DCI investigating.

There was a bit too much repetition during Anna's flashbacks. It seems authors do this to take up space, and I detest re-reading the same thing over and over. I don't think it draws out the suspense. I just set my Kindle down and it took longer, each time, to pick it
Kristi Elizabeth
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
Read all my reviews at

Rachel Abbott is one of my favorite authors. So when I was given an ARC of her new book, I was ecstatic and jumped right in. Anna is happily married to Dominic and they have two small children. But Anna has secrets from her past and now they are catching up to her. As she is listening to the radio one day she hears her dead ex-boyfriend's voice telling their story. The story that ultimately ended up in his demise. But Scott died, rig
Helen Costello
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant once again. So good to be back with Tom Douglas once again.

I raced through this book and was at 70% before I knew it.

The book follows Anna through 2 different stages of her life - The first as a headteacher of the local primary school who is running scared as she feels her past life and secrets are rapidly catching up with her. We also discover Anna 14 years earlier as she starts university life - very naive after leaving her sleepy Cumbrian home.

Anna is desperate to protect her family
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!

It was a page-turner and very difficult to put down.
The story has many twists. Like many stories some aren’t very realistic and makes you wonder. But the they are very well written and goes well with the flow of the story.

Anna has a past with lots of secrets and she is very eager to keep them hidden. The secrets are all tied to her first love Scott who had died years ago. Or is it possible that he is still alive and threatening to expose her new “perfect life”. But she is so sure that
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

I swear I say this every time but Rachel Abbott has done it again and delivered us another amazing read. The Shape of Lies gripped me from the beginning and I did not expect the twists at the end, I think I need a part two of this story or at least a novella! I always get excited when I know that Rachel Abbott is going to be releasing a new book as she just has a way with words and that has not changed. Another one, please!
Linda L
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably Rachel Abbott's best book to date. Who knew that being a young university student would bring such long lasting problems and destroy so many lives. Who knew that other students would make a living out of other people's misery. Tom not only struggles initially with joining the dots on this case but he has has yet more problems in his private life. Which problems will be resolved first? Rachel Abbott is a master at weaving plots and sub-plots together and this book has it all.
Mary Gillen
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I couldn't wait to read Rachel's latest book and so had it on pre-order. Wow! I was not disappointed. I have often read reviews saying that a book has 'twists and turns' only to be disappointed - not in this case! I could have read it in one sitting but I wanted to prolong the enjoyment. I certainly did not see the end coming. This is a brilliant story and I'm only sorry I've finished it. Now we have to wait for Rachel's next book...... (Also, great title!)
Evelyn  Bache
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great read from this author.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and once again catching up with DCI Tom Douglas and his team. At the beginning You don't quite know wether to feel sympathy or frustration towards Anna. As the truth is slowly revealed it's actually quite heartbreaking what she had been through in her past.
I have read all of this author's books and look forward to the next one.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wife. Mother. Teacher. Liar. Very provocative and intriguing. The 8th installment of the DCI Tom Douglas series does not disappoint. It is dark, multi-layered, thrilling and compulsively readable. I have thoroughly enjoyed all in the series but they could also be read as stand-alone novels.

The Shape of Lies is so good that I finished it in 24 hours - could not put it down! Rachel Abbott is incredibly talented and I'm on the hook for what I hope is the 9th DCI Tom Douglas book.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thrilling & Captivating!

I've read all the Tom Douglas series and I absolutely love them all! Rachel Abbott knows how to captivate you with each of the story lines and there's always a surprising twist at the end. I can't to read the next book.

Without giving any spoilers I hope you continue this story so we know what happens next, not just with with Tom Douglas but also with the main characters of this book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
I was born and brought up in the north of England, and worked for many years as the managing director of an interactive media company. I wrote every day - everything from creative proposals to user manuals - but most exciting of all was writing interactive dramas - including for the Cluedo (Clue in the US) interactive games. I was fortunate enough to sell my company in 2000 and we moved to Italy w ...more

Other books in the series

DCI Tom Douglas (8 books)
  • Only the Innocent (DCI Tom Douglas, #1)
  • The Back Road (DCI Tom Douglas, #2)
  • Sleep Tight (DCI Tom Douglas, #3)
  • Stranger Child (DCI Tom Douglas, #4)
  • Kill Me Again (DCI Tom Douglas, #5)
  • The Sixth Window (DCI Tom Douglas, #6)
  • Come A Little Closer (DCI Tom Douglas, #7)
“and then there’s the Cameron argument. There would have been so many ways” 0 likes
“Deception seems to be something of a forte of mine, and I often wonder whether poker has led me to hide my true self, or whether I am a natural liar.” 0 likes
More quotes…