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Tuesday 28 June 2022

‘A Little Death’ by Laura Wilson

Published by Orion,
8 January 2004.
ISBN: 978-0-75283477-1 (PB)

The pivot of this book is the shocking discovery of three people found dead from shotgun wounds in a house in London in 1955. The door was locked and bolted on the inside, and all three bodies had gunshot wounds, but there was no gun in sight.

Although, the story opens in 1994, we are taken back to the late 1890's and the home of the Lomax family. When tragedy strikes, it shapes the future of the surviving family members, and nothing is ever the same again.

The story takes us through the great war, some of the descriptions of which I found both moving and harrowing.  Subsequently, we learn of the marriage of Georgina Lomax to the wealthy James Gresham and her trial for his killing, twenty years later.

As the story unfolds, I was fascinated by the personalities of the three narrators and the complex relationships between the three. This book is rich in the description of a world gone by, and in the power that people weld over one another. Also mistaken loyalty.

Whilst being a gripping mystery to the last page, it also portrays unfulfilled dreams, and an air of sadness that lingers after one closes the book.

This is Laura Wilson’s debut novel, and the promise of this first book is fulfilled in her later works.  Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

Laura Wilson was brought up in London, where she was born and raised. She has degrees in English literature from Somerville College, Oxford, and UCL, London. She has worked as a teacher and editor of non-fiction. Many of her novels have either a historical setting or a distinct historical connection, and often have split or dual narratives. Her first novel, A Little Death was shortlisted for a CWA Dagger award, and her fifth, The Lover was short listed for both the CWA Gold Dagger and the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger. She lives in Islington, London.

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