The Most Difficult Thing, published by Borough Press on 11 July 2019. But you can preorder now 

On the surface, Anna Witherall personifies everything the aspirational magazine she works for represents. Married to her university boyfriend David, she has a beautiful home and gorgeous three-year-old twin daughters, Stella and Rose. But beneath the veneer of success and happiness, Anna is hiding a dark secret, one that threatens to unravel everything she has worked so hard to create.

As Anna finds herself drawn into the dark and highly controlled world of secret intelligence, she is forced to question the safety of her family, and of herself. Only one thing is certain: in order to protect her children, she must leave them, forever.

And someone is watching. Someone she thought she could trust. Someone who is determined to make them all pay.

Stylish and assured, The Most Difficult Thing is an irresistible combination of contemporary espionage and domestic suspense, and a compulsive, highly charged examination of betrayal.

What the critics say

‘I devoured this beautifully written, intricately wrought and unique blend of spy thriller and domestic suspense: The Most Difficult Thing is The Night Manager set in a woman’s world. The twists keep coming, right down to that chilling last line.’
Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said

‘Charlotte Philby’s debut The Most Difficult Thing is an enigmatic and slippery beast, a cool new generation of spy novel. Just as the characters play cat and mouse with one another, so does the author with her readers – it’s a guessing game right to the end and I turned the last page with my heart pounding. Recommended’
Louise Candlish, author of Our House

‘Spying has been her inheritance and this brilliant, beautifully crafted debut novel uses it to the full – and so much more besides.’
Jon Snow, Channel 4 News

‘Compelling and complex – a compulsive read’
Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange

‘Treachery and deceit come in many forms and usually have their roots in dark experience. Charlotte Philby’s thrilling novel explores those links. A compelling and disturbing read.’
Baroness Helena Kennedy

More in Features

Writers Bloc #1 Val McDermid

By , 25th September 2018
Features, Regulars
From imposter syndrome to plotting, in a new series for Marie Claire authors give me chapter and verse on how the writing process works for them - starting with multi award-winning crime writer Val McDermid, who has written 32 books in as many years

The Lives of Others #6

By , 23rd July 2018
Education, Features, Regulars, Travel
Georgie Higginson moved from the UK to Uganda 14 years ago. After losing their daughter to stillbirth, she and her husband were inspired to build a lodge on the banks of the River Nile, overlooking Murchison Falls National Park - an area once occupied by LRA rebels