To celebrate the release of L.C. North‘s new novel (out today in the UK), the publisher has provided us with this intriguing excerpt to share with you all. A mystery told in a modern epistolary style, here’s the synopsis for The Ugly Truth:
Melanie Lange has disappeared.
Her father, Sir Peter Lange, says she is a danger to herself and has been admitted to a private mental health clinic.
Her ex-husband, Finn, and best friend, Nell, say she has been kidnapped.
The media will say whichever gets them the most views.
But whose side are you on?
Told via interviews, transcripts and diary entries, The Ugly Truth is a shocking and addictive thriller about fame, power and the truth behind the headlines.
Melanie Lange video 1/9
Published on Melanie Lange YouTube channel on 2 August 2022
I’m Melanie Lange. Today’s date is the seventeenth of June 2022. I can’t give you any proof because I have no access to the news. The only reason I have a phone is because it was smuggled to me earlier this week.
I’m recording this video from the bathroom of the house I’ve been locked in for the last four months. I’ve got the shower running and I’m whispering but I need to be quick. There’s a guard in the next room. No lock. This is the only room in the house with a door. This is the only time I’m ever alone.
[Crying] I’m a prisoner. I’m not allowed to leave. There is someone watching me every minute of the day.
[Gasping] I don’t know where I am but I believe it’s somewhere in England. It’s a private estate with no escape and no other houses anywhere nearby. The house is modern, newly built and on the coast somewhere. There’s a cliff that leads down to a small private beach. I’m trapped. I can’t leave. I’ve not seen or spoken to my . . . [crying] . . . my beautiful, precious boys for four months. I miss them so much. All I want is to hold them in my arms.
My father, Peter Lange, brought me here on the fourteenth of February. He tricked me into recording a video for my YouTube channel, telling people that I was taking some time away from the public eye. I thought it was for a few days. Not this . . . this hell. Please help me!
Extract from National Newspaper, 3 August 2022
MELANIE LANGE: MY FATHER IS KEEPING ME PRISONER
Former model and businesswoman Melanie Lange (34) has appeared in secret video recordings claiming she is being held prisoner by her father, billionaire business tycoon Sir Peter Lange, in a ‘private estate with no escape’.
The two videos, which have now been released, show a distressed Melanie begging for help. ‘I’ve not seen or spoken to my beautiful, precious boys for four months.’ Her two sons, Sebastian (6) and William (5), currently live with their father, entrepreneur Finn Parker.
The first video was allegedly recorded on 17 June of this year and sent to close friend and personal assistant Nell Stevens, who kept the videos private following Melanie’s instructions. Posting her own video to Melanie Lange’s YouTube channel, Nell said: ‘Melanie wanted to find a way to free herself that didn’t involve the media. These videos were her safety net should all else fail. She asked me to keep them safe and only publish them if contact between us stopped. And it has. I’m deeply concerned for her safety.’
Melanie has not been seen publicly since her birthday celebrations ended in chaos in February.
Sir Peter Lange, who made his money in a global hotel chain (Lange Hotels) in the nineties, was not available for comment.
Statement from Sir Peter Lange, 6 August 2022
Read by a spokesperson for Lange Hotels
Following a breakdown earlier this year, my daughter, Melanie Lange, is currently being treated at a private mental health facility supported by medical professionals. She is safe and healthy and grows stronger every day. She will return to public life as soon as she is able.
The media reports released this week are not reflective of the actual situation, but we would like to thank everyone who has raised concerns for her safety and reassure all of her fans that Melanie is being well cared for by people who have her best interests at heart.
Extract from National Newspaper, 18 August 2022
NETFLIX COMMISSIONS DOCUMENTARY ON MELANIE LANGE STORY
Netflix has announced today that it has commissioned a documentary on Melanie Lange’s disappearance which will start filming next month and be aired in October. This tell-all three- part documentary series, titled The Ugly Truth, will delve into Melanie’s rise to fame and promises to uncover the truth behind Melanie Lange’s reported imprisonment by her father. No one from the Lange family is thought to be taking part.
L. C. North’s The Ugly Truth is out today in the UK, published by Bantam Press.