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Wednesday 28 October 2015

‘The Wrong Girl’ by Laura Wilson

Published by Quercus,
4 June 2015. ISBN:
978-1-78206-309-4 (HB).
978-1-78206-310-0 TPB)
978-1-78206-311-7 (Ebook)

Janice has received a phone call to tell her of her brother’s sudden death, but the real shock is the caller: the daughter she gave up for adoption back in the sixties ...

This empathetically written novel mostly follows Janice’s head as she copes with her hostile daughter and the memories of her sixties self, a bands groupie in love with star-turned-recluse, Joe Vincent, who now lives in the same village as her brother. Suzie sees her mother as selfishly abandoning her, but while we understand her point of view, Janice retains our sympathy – we too understand that ‘things were different then’, and the sixties ethos of acid and ‘cool’ is vividly evoked and re-judged from a modern standpoint. Janice has also aquired a grand-daughter, Suzie’s daughter Molly, who is the third-person focus of the novel’s other plot strand, of missing Phoebe – could Molly be that lost child? The plots are woven together deftly, with a neatly entwined solution.

A slow-burn character-centred novel, with action taking second place to the family dilemma,and a satisfying read.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Laura Wilson was brought up in London and has degrees in English literature from Somerville College, Oxford, and UCL, London. She lives in Islington, London, where she is currently working on her twelfth novel. She is the crime fiction reviewer for the Guardian newspaper, and teaches on the City University Crime Thriller Novel Creative Writing MA course.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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