Historians of the past point to numerous occasions when the information put before the public has differed so widely from the actual reality that it has had no claim to authority. But many forms of information are vastly extended forms of control and distribution. We are not just the passive recipients of lies, damned lies and statistics but we in turn reproduce that information. We act like the many of the characters portrayed in detective fiction: we absorb information from others whilst at the same time constructing our own versions of what we hold to be the truth or what we wish others to accept as the truth. Deceit, of ourselves and others, is a mainstay of both social life and also of the fiction that we will discuss.