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The Lover

It is the autumn of 1940, and London is in the terrifying grip of the Blitz. An unidentified female corpse is discovered in an alleyway in Soho – the fourth murdered woman to have been found in a matter of weeks. The women – all prostitutes – have been horribly mutilated. Rene is a Soho prostitute with a young son to support. She’s learnt to cope with the air-raids, but each night on the streets is a terrifying ordeal as the killer begins to pick off Rene’s friends. Lucy is a young, middle class office worker living with her family in Clapham, her head full of romantic notions of how love ought to be. She struggles to make sense of things as her peaceful suburban life degenerates into chaos, catching a few hours’ sleep each night under the kitchen table as London burns and crumples under aerial bombardment. Jim is a fighter pilot, handsome, admired and rewarded for his heroism in battle. The killer instinct makes him perfectly suited to the daily challenge he faces above the skies of southern England but the strain is beginning to tell. In ordingary circumstances, their paths might never have crossed, but in war-torn London, anything can happen, and one night a bomb falls, with terrifying consequences for them all. Laura Wilson’s fifth novel is a gripping psychological thriller, vividly evoking the plight of Londoners at war, at a time where the treat of death was ever-present and the future – if it existed at all – was unimaginable. Chilling and intense, The Lover confirms Laura Wilson’s reputation as a writer of outstanding talent.


‘Wilson’s period thriller offers a compelling setup…she easily maintains suspense, even as she peels back the layers of the murderer’s twisted psyche.’ – Publishers Weekly

“Inspired by the little-known case of the Blackout Ripper, but shaped by Wilson into a gritty work of imagination that has the ache and authenticity of the real thing”  Literary Review

‘THE LOVER is quite simply superb: not only the best thing Laura Wilson has written to date, but certainly one of the best crime novels of the year’ Birmingham Post

‘This is a tense and intelligent psychological thriller that confirms Laura Wilsons seat at the high table of British crime writing…Wilson uses the historical background as a springboard for a meticulous reconstruction of 1940s social mores and the way war disturbs the moral compass of otherwise honourable people. Seldom has the anatomy of fear, compulsion and deviancy been so closely detailed. Quite terrifying and sadly believable.’ The Guardian

‘No one is better at getting inside characters and creating bone-chilling atmosphere than Laura Wilson, and here she shows that her place is right at the pinnacle of crime fiction.’Tangled Web

‘THE LOVER is a finely written period piece and a psychological suspense story that delves below the surface of a deeply disturbed human being…Wilson draws out the suspense exquisitely and these three characters come alive on the page…THE LOVER delivers on its promise of being a chilling and intense read.’Irish Examiner

‘Wilson has used a compelling piece of social commentary to reconstruct a look at the way in which the war affects the lives of everyone it touches. Dark, moody and thoroughly compelling…THE LOVER is an exciting read.’Mystery Women

‘[A] compelling evocation of the moods and textures of wartime London. It is so believable, from tiny details to big set pieces, that you can almost smell the smoke as the buildings burn.’ Sunday Times