The Fake is the story of Cammie, a con artist who lies about having cancer, and the two marks who try to bring her to justice. This sharp new novel from Zoe Whittall, bestselling author of The Best Kind of People and The Spectacular, is one you can’t miss!

Cammie is vivacious, magnetic, and a total liar. An enigmatic story teller, and a self-proclaimed suicide magnet / cancer survivor, she is desperate for an audience. Enter Shelby, dealing with crippling anxiety and prolonged grief after the sudden death of her wife, and Gibson, fresh off a divorce and newly depressed, who are lucky enough to be her latest prey.

Cammie has wormed her way into both their hearts: as a stable sister figure for Shelby and the first person who makes Gibson feel truly known – not to mention, giving him the best sex of his life, thanks for asking. Her drama feels over the top, but really, who would lie about having cancer? About losing so many people she loved? 

When Gibson and Shelby find out Cammie is a pathological liar, they struggle to understand whether they want to help her heal, whether they want to get revenge, or if they just simply want answers. But how do they go up against a woman who’s just so… fake?

After the death of her wife, Shelby feels more alone than ever—until she meets Cammie, a charismatic woman unafraid of what anyone else thinks and whose own history of trauma draws Shelby close. When Cammie is fired from her job and admits she is in treatment for kidney cancer, Shelby devotes all her time to helping Cammie thrive. But Shelby’s intuition tells her there are things about Cammie’s past that don’t add up. Could the realest thing about Cammie be that she’s actually a scammer?

Gibson is almost forty, fresh from a divorce and deeply depressed. Then he meets and falls in love with Cammie. Suddenly, he’s having the best sex of his life with a woman so attractive he’s stunned she even glanced his way, and for the first time ever he feels truly known. This is the kind of desire and passion that musicians have been writing love songs about for centuries. But Gibson’s friends are wary of Cammie, and eventually he too has to admit that Cammie’s dramatic life can feel a bit over the top.

When Shelby and Gibson find out Cammie is a pathological liar, they struggle to understand what they really want from her—sometimes they want to help her heal from whatever causes her to invent reality, and sometimes they want revenge. But the biggest question of all is: how honest can Shelby and Gibson be about their own characters?

A con artist can make you feel like the luckiest person on earth just to be in their presence. But when the jig is up, they ghost, and you’re left wondering if you ever mattered.

Available from Harper Collins.

Zoe Whittall‘s fourth novel The Spectacular was published in 2021. The New York Times called it “a competent and highly readable testament to the strength of the maternal bond” and The Toronto Star called it “a singularly impressive piece of fiction.” Her third novel, The Best Kind of People, was published in 2017 by Penguin Random House U.S. and was shortlisted for The Scotiabank Giller Prize, named Indigo’s #1 Book of 2016, and a best book of the year by Walrus Magazine, The Globe & Mail, Toronto Life, & The National Post. Her second novel Holding Still for as Long as Possible won a Lambda literary award for trans fiction in 2011 and was a Stonewall Honor Book. Her debut novel Bottle Rocket Hearts won the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Award for Best Emerging LGBTQA+ novel. She has worked as a TV writer on the Emmy-Award winning comedy show Schitt’s Creek and Degrassi, and won a Canadian Screen Award for comedy writing on The Baroness Von Sketch Show. She has published three volumes of poetry, most recently an anniversary edition of The Emily Valentine Poems. 

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.