WHO do you trust? Politicians? Bankers? The police? Trust is now at an all time low for many, mainly due to those at the top who have let the rest of us down.
Indeed, it was recently suggested that all UK MPs should attend ‘honesty’ classes. And that’s the truth, honestly!
But let he who is without sin cast the first stone. After all, haven’t most of us been economical with the truth at some point? “Nice outfit” tends to work better than “you look a bit chubby in that”. Not to mention: “That’s odd because you were definitely on the guest list!” Or: “I’ve had a few problems with my email – must be the server!”
According to a recent study, 60 per cent of people lied at least once during a 10 minute conversation. Unsurprisingly, men lie differently from women, tending to lie “upwards” (“earn more”, are “taller”) while women lie downwards (“weigh less”, slept with “fewer people”, are “younger”).
And politicians? They’ve raised lying to an Olympic sport. Remember Chris Huhne’s speeding points? Or Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
Just why and how people lie – and the impact this has on others – is a subject that has always fascinated me and inspired my latest novel, Landscape of Lies (reviewed in this paper),a harrowing story of suspense, secrets and revenge set in Derbyshire’s Peak District. Step by step, a chilling crime thriller unfolds revealing a number of unforgettable protagonists (which of them can be trusted?) – one of whom may just be a ruthless killer …
Psychologists claim we lie to compensate for the gaps between who we are and who we want to be and between what we have and what we want to have. Now, telling a white lie in order not to offend and paying an unreal compliment to give pleasure are both natural deceits adopted at an early age. In public and private life, white lies are part of our survival mechanism.
But when deception become a trusted person’s modus operandi, when deception becomes theirdefault position, we should all be on our guard. As the thought-provoking Landscape of Lies shows, lying – from everyday half-truths to outright deceit – undercuts all aspects of human life. And death …
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) availablefrom Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89; £0.79) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca