We rush to condemn fakers such as Dan Mallory but the world has made impostors of us all

In the piece, it was revealed that Dan Mallory, aka AJ Finn, author of the bestselling thriller The Woman at the Window, is a fantasist who has told an awful lot of lies: a series of grandiose and frequently ghastly deceptions that, according to some, may have helped his extraordinarily successful career in the book trade.

Mallory is a Waspy, 39-year-old American with a chiselled jaw and a million-dollar deal for the movie adaptation of his novel and whose elaborate fabrications, according to the New Yorker, include his own terminal brain cancer, the death of his parents, his brother’s suicide, his two doctorates and, on one occasion, dogsitting (not even the line about the dog turned out to be true; during a telephone conversation with his bosses, Mallory apparently tried to prove its existence by hammily shouting: “No! Get down!”).

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte