Shortlisted for the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original (US) and the CWA Ellis Peters Award for Historical Crime Fiction.

London, 1955. Three bodies are found in a house – but when the police search for the murder weapon, vital evidence is destroyed. One of the victims is former society beauty Georgina Gresham, prime suspect in the notorious murder of her husband, James, almost thirty years earlier. Beside her lie the bodies of her brother Edmund and housekeeper Ada.

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But there is a link with the past. In the 1890s, in a beautiful garden, three children played together. Their lives were secure, their future certain – until the youngest child was found with fatal head injuries…


‘Gripping, insidious exhumation of the secret lives of three elderly recluses… Time past evoked so strongly you can taste it. Intelligent, absorbing and highly accomplished. “Reminiscent of Barbara Vine” claim the publishers, and they could be right. But in her first novel Wilson is imitating no one. She may remind you of the best, but her talent is all her own.’
Literary Review

‘This is a deceptively simple and compelling tale where the pathos is the fuel for real suspense.’
Sunday Express

‘Remarkably skilled first novel, told through three narrators flashing back from the 1950s to the First World War. Works as both a locked-room mystery and a nugget of social history. Great promise.’
Daily Telegraph

Laura Wilson weaves a spellbinding and atmospheric tale that re-creates vivid pictures of period living. And with the ventriloquist skill of the truly imaginative writer, she gets under the skin of her narrators to produce a haunting tragedy of damaged and distorted lives.’
Manchester Evening News

‘A superb first novel… Wilson masterfully captures the different voices of the three protagonists, weaves their stories together until the reader comes to understand the web of their desire, violence and lost opportunity in which they were enmeshed and in which they died. This is an exciting debut, and leaves me eager to read Wilson’s next.’
Sunday Times

‘An accomplished first novel… an evocative picture of a past era with a childhood death which remains unexplained until the final pages. A very promising debut.’
Sunday Telegraph