The Foreigner’s Confession

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Published by: Lure Press
Release Date: January 28, 2022
Pages: 354
ISBN13: 978-1737826507


The Foreigner’s Confession is a dual-timeline historical fiction novel set in wartime Cambodia. The two protagonists never meet but become deeply intertwined in a way that transcends time. An unexpected discovery at Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide leads American Emily Mclean on a journey through the country’s painful history and toward personal redemption in this suspense-filled page-turner.


“This debut historical novel reveals the lasting reverberations of Cambodia’s brutal past… A gripping tale about Cambodia that offers impeccable research and a strong sense of place.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Lya Badgley draws on her experience working in Phnom Penh to craft a hauntingly beautiful and suspense-filled story of an American attorney hoping to reinvent herself in Cambodia after the death of her husband and unborn child. This dramatic psychological thriller is both a page-turner and a joy to read--every page of it!”
Jennifer Haupt, bestselling author of In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills 

“The sights, sounds, and scents of Cambodia are brought vividly to life in a novel that moves between decades, confronting readers with complexities of a country torn by genocide, and how the best of intentions can go terribly wrong.”
Gina Wilkinson, international bestselling author of When the Apricots Bloom

Finalist, Nancy Pearl Book Award, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, 2023


EMILY 1993

Pochentong International Airport
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Emily Mclean exited the Air France Airbus A320 and balanced precariously at the top of the narrow boarding stair. Fierce tropical heat slammed against her. Welcome to Cambodia, indeed.

Positioning her body sideways, with one hand on the sizzling aluminum railing and the other clutching the handle of a heavy case, she began to clump down the steep staircase one slow step at a time. Swing, set, balance. Repeat. She disregarded the impatient passengers behind her, concentrating instead on not plunging down the steps. Emily was accustomed to such glares and, as a rule, ignored them. She was exhausted and in more pain than usual.

The stream of travelers headed toward a small building in the distance. Emily limped along, struggling to keep up. Could she make it that far? The tarmac shimmered in the sun, and she felt her shoes stick. She passed through an entry flanked by two armed soldiers cradling machine guns. Slouched in the shade, they resembled teenagers in their baggy dark-green uniforms. In both French and Khmer, a faded sign announced Immigration. The line for foreigners was long, and when she finally reached the counter, the official, an unsmiling chunk of a man, muttered something unintelligible.

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