At the Speed of Lies (Hardcover)

At the Speed of Lies By Cindy L. Otis Cover Image

At the Speed of Lies (Hardcover)


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Trust no one. Question everything.

Quinn Calvet was supposed to be having an epic year. She had all kinds of plans with her best friend, Ximena, and sister, Ava, and to grow her following as an influencer on The Whine. Instead, Quinn finds herself third wheel to Ximena and her new boyfriend or getting ditched by Ava who has turned into an overachiever, obsessed with studying and joining every school club. It brings up Quinn’s old feelings that her disability has her left behind. She tries to talk to Ava about it, but she’s too busy with the newest club at school, Defend Kids, which is working frantically to help find two kids who were recently kidnapped from a nearby town.

Suddenly, Defend Kids is all anyone is talking about, and whenever Quinn posts about them on The Whine, she gains tons of new followers and her posts go viral. As the club works to get the message out, more kids in the surrounding area go missing, but it seems like the police and the media aren’t doing much about it. When two of Quinn’s classmates are kidnapped, the dangers that Defend Kids is trying to fight become all too real.

As Quinn and her friends search for the missing kids, tensions escalate at school, there’s an uptick in bullying, and conspiracy theories abound. Before she knows it, Quinn and The Whine are at the center of it all, trying to find out what’s really happening. Only the truth might be more deadly than anyone knows...

Cindy L. Otis is a former CIA officer, a national security expert, and the author of the nonfiction book for young readers True or False: A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake News. In addition, she is a frequent media commentator and writes regularly about national security issues, often cited by the Washington Post, the New York Times, the BBC, NPR, and CNN.You can visit her online at

Product Details ISBN: 9781338806762
ISBN-10: 1338806769
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: June 6th, 2023
Pages: 368
Language: English

Praise for At the Speed of Lies

“With a sharp, compelling main character and an equally compelling mystery, At the Speed of Lies is a perfect--and timely--thriller.” --Kirsten White, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hide

At the Speed of Lies takes readers on a gripping, suspenseful ride through the fever swamp of online conspiracies and their real-life consequences. It is truly a book for our time.” --Sarah Darer Littman, author of Some Kind of Hate

“Starring a fierce wheelchair user who uncovers conspiracy theories and takes down ableist bullies, At the Speed of Lies is a page-turning thriller of a debut novel.” --Lillie Lainoff, author of One for All

“Timely and gripping, Cindy L. Otis’s fiction debut is a thought-provoking commentary on the far-reaching consequences of conspiracy theories. Readers are sure to devour this smart and captivating thriller.” --Emily Lloyd-Jones, international bestselling author of The Drowned Woods

At the Speed of Lies is an intense read, giving a chilling glimpse into the world of how conspiracies and disinformation spreads. A compelling and timely debut.” --Cindy Pon, author of Want

“Cindy L. Otis weaves a disturbing cautionary tale with expert precision. This book should be required reading for everyone.” --Jennifer Moffett, author of Those Who Prey

★"Former CIA officer Otis crafts a timely, pulse-pounding mystery..." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A timely, unsettling, and insightful read." -- Kirkus Reviews