Lesley Kara

Lesley Kara

Crime fiction author

Booking enquiry
Lesley Kara - author tools

Available for

Talk, Reading, Interview


Age 16 to 18+, Further Education, University, Adult


Crime, Fiction, Suspense-thriller

Book types

Fiction for adults


I love speaking to audiences almost as much as I love writing novels. I was an English teacher in a college of further education for many years and although I have always been a writer, it wasn't until my forties that I embarked on the Faber Academy 'Writing a Novel' course and started to take my writing ambitions seriously. My first book, The Rumour, was published when I was in my early fifties, so I know all about the importance of perseverance and being a late starter. I have many amusing (and embarrassing) stories to tell about my journey to publication!
Radio Interviews
Since being published, I have appeared as a guest on many local radio stations, including BBC Radio Essex, BBC Radio Suffolk, and BBC Radio Newcastle, as well as radio stations in the US and South Africa.
Podcast interviews
I have also been interviewed on various podcasts, including Writer's Routine Podcast, The Conversation with Nadine Matheson, The Blood Brothers Crime Writing Podcast and Crime Time FM.
I also co-host my own crime fiction podcast, called In Suspense
Literary Festivals and Bookshop Events
I have  appeared at many literary festivals as a panel member, solo guest or moderator, eg. Henley Literary Festival, Bloody Scotland, Capital Crime, Slaughter in Southwold, Skullduggery in Stowmarket, and at author events at many different branches of Waterstones and independent bookshops nationally. I’ve interviewed Ann Cleeves, Mick Herron, Paula Hawkins, S.J. Watson and Fiona Barton at the Frinton Literary Festival; moderated a panel with Nicci French, Stuart Neville and Eva Bjorg Ægisdóttir at the Capital Crime Festival, and hosted ‘In Conversation’ evenings with authors such as Erin Kelly and Olivia Kiernan at Goldsboro Books in London, and Tess Gerritsen at Waterstones, Liverpool One. 

Books by Lesley Kara

I have written five psychological thrillers: The Rumour (which was the highest selling print crime fiction debut of 2019, was a Sunday Times Top Ten and Kindle No. 1 bestseller, and has been sold in over 18 countries), Who Did You Tell? (also a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller), The Dare, The Apartment Upstairs, and my most recent book, The Other Tenant, which comes out in April 2024. My books are published by Transworld (Penguin Random House UK). My books have been reviewed in the National Press, including The Guardian and The Times.
The Rumour

The Rumour

When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there's no going back... Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity in the small town of Flinstead-on-Sea. Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago. No photos of her exist since her release as a young woman. So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realises what it is she's unleashed? 
Who Did You Tell?

Who Did You Tell?

It's been 192 days, seven hours and fifteen minutes since her last drink. Now Astrid is trying to turn her life around. Having reluctantly moved back in with her mother, in a quiet seaside town away from the temptations and painful memories of her life before, Astrid is focusing on her recovery. She's going to meetings. Confessing her misdeeds. Making amends to those she's wronged. But someone knows exactly what Astrid is running from. And they won't stop until she learns that some mistakes can't be corrected. Some mistakes, you have to pay for... 
The Dare

The Dare

Lizzie has no memory of the accident in which her best friend Alice died as a teenager. And it was an accident. Wasn't it? Alice's friends and relatives suspect Lizzie was to blame, but Lizzie knows that can't be true. She would never have hurt Alice. Twelve years on, unpacking boxes in the new home she shares with her fiancé, Lizzie is finally beginning to feel like she can move on with her life. But someone has other ideas... 
The Apartment Upstairs

The Apartment Upstairs

Scarlett's aunt lived - and was brutally murdered - in the apartment upstairs. But Scarlett is determined that life should return to some kind of normal, even if that means living with just a ceiling between her and the scene of such a devastating crime. After all, this is her home. She's safe here. Isn't she? Dee is busy balancing her job as a funeral director with organising an event to mark the disappearance of her best friend ten years ago. So she's got enough on her plate without worrying about the threatening messages that are appearing on her company's Facebook page. When Scarlett approaches Dee about planning her aunt's funeral, an unexpected link emerges between them. Together, the two women could uncover secrets that have long been buried. Even while someone wants to stop them digging...