A Double Life

A Double Life

Charlotte Philby

Pub date
The Borough Press
A4 153x221mm
400 pages
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Book Overview



Gabriela, a senior negotiator in the FCO’s counter-terrorism unit, runs a small and powerful team based in Whitehall. She is tenacious, hard-working and the family breadwinner. Her husband Tom – a freelance architect – looks after their two small children. When Gabriela returns from a seven-month stint in Moscow, something doesn’t seem right.

Isobel is a journalist working for the local paper in Camden. Walking home from a party one night, she witnesses a horrific attack. But someone has seen her, and is making themselves known in increasingly frightening ways. As Isobel starts to investigate, she uncovers a dark network of human trafficking and exploitation.

While Gabriela’s life begins to unravel, Isobel gets closer to the story. With one desperate to uncover the truth, and the other determined to hide it, the two women’s lives converge.

Compulsive and compelling A Double Life is a beautifully written and deeply chilling examination of deceit.

About the author

Now a freelance journalist, Charlotte Philby worked for the Independent for eight years as a columnist, editor and reporter, and was shortlisted for the Cudlipp Prize for her investigative journalism at the 2013 Press Awards. A former contributing editor and feature writer at Marie Claire, she is founder of the online platform Motherland.net, and has contributed to all the major newspapers, as well as the BBC, Channel 4 and numerous magazines and books. Charlotte is the granddaughter of Kim Philby, Britain’s most famous communist double-agent, the elusive ‘third man’ in the notorious Cambridge spy ring. She has three children and lives in London.


  • Praise for Part of the Family:
  • ‘I devoured this beautifully written, intricately wrought and unique blend of spy thriller and domestic suspense … The twists keep coming, right down to that chilling last line’ Erin Kelly
  • ‘A compelling and emotionally resonant mixture of spy thriller and domestic suspense’ Daily Telegraph
  • ‘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
  • ‘A genre-busting spy novel that amps up the tension and will leave you trusting no one’ Red
  • ‘Dark and addictive and magnificent’ Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and Three Things About Elsie
  • ‘A writer of promise’ Financial Times
  • ‘An espionage/domestic noir crossover in which betrayal is as inevitable as it is compulsive’ i Paper
  • ‘Compulsive and chilling’ Good Housekeeping
  • ‘A page-turning thriller’ BBC Radio 4 Open Book
  • ‘Like The Night Manager rewritten by Patricia Highsmith, this is a distinctively female take on spying’ Mail on Sunday EVENT Magazine
  • ‘Compelling and complex – a compulsive read’ Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange
  • ‘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
  • ‘Philby clearly understands something about deceit and betrayal, making this a page-turner with several cliffhanger moments, including the ending’ Daily Express
  • ‘[An] intriguing exploration of deceit and duplicity’ Guardian