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Publisher's Summary

London, June 1940. When the body of silent screen star Mabel Morgan is found impaled on railings, the coroner rules her death as suicide, but DI Ted Stratton of CID is not convinced.As he starts asking questions, it becomes clear that Morgan's fatal fall may have been the work of one of Soho's most notorious gangsters. When Stratton's path crosses with MI5 agent Diana Calthrop, they uncover a criminal network and a secretive pro-Fascist organisation. It soon becomes clear that the intrigues of the Secret Service are alarmingly similar to the machinations of war-torn London's underworld.
©2008 Laura Wilson; (P)2008 Isis Publishing Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"A compelling and wonderfully atmospheric murder mystery deftly woven into Blitz-era London." (Robert Goddard)
"Wilson's seventh novel is atmospheric and exciting." (Observer)
"A gritty work of imagination that has the ache and authenticity of the real thing." (Literary Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By connie on 09-16-12

undervalued crime fiction for social history buffs

From doodle bugs and MI5 to Teddy Boys, Billy Graham and the bomb - it's all there in the background of this series.

I finished the four in the series to date. Each gets stronger as novel, though the central crime involved may make one more interesting than another to you. The novels can be read as stand alones, each with enough backstory but not too repetitive in that respect, as some series can be.

There are good WW2 (and then 1950s) setting details, comparable to WWI Maise Dobbs series, except Stratton is an ordinary detective inspector, with very ordinary human failings --kind of a Rebus in a historical setting, though Wilson doesn't approach the inventiveness of an Ian Rankin ( but then either did Rankin in his first half dozen novels). Good dialogue.

These are not edge-of-seat thrillers, but there is some gristle - though never for shock value (# 3 had the most detail of corpses and post-mortems). There are a few but spare R rated words. Sex is obliquely handled, with nothing explicit, but there are some adult themes, adding to the realism. LG issues are treated sympathetically, but in character for the time.

This probably won't be a long drawn out series: The first is set in 1940; second jumps to 1944; then 1953 and 1956, respectively -- all rich with the gritty daily grind in WW2 and aftermath London, something we North Americans need to be aware of to understand Britain.

Narrator Sean Barrett is a this very best as Stratton and handles all the characters well.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Joseph on 10-18-08

A surprising gem of a story

I Really did like this book, the narration moves from the male to the female character with elegance and the story is believable with each character well set for his station and time and I must add, intelligent. Even the ending was realistic. So many stories forget there provenance by trying to end with a big boom! And some of the best just don’t. They end when the story is over. Well done, I will be looking for this author again!

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

By Elizabeth Davies on 11-28-11


I am very impressed with this author; my first book by her. I enjoyed all aspects of the story and particularly enjoyed the setting. Realy first class !

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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