Winner of the Prix Polar Europeen (France)

Shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award and the CWA Ellis Peters Award for Historical Crime Fiction

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 to the 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 her 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 while London burns and crumples under aerial bombardment. Jim is a fighter pilot, handsome and much admired 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 ordinary 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…


‘Ms Wilson draws out the suspense exquisitely, and these three characters come alive on the page… An atmospheric and, at times, gruesome tale, The Lover delivers on its promise of being a chilling and intense read.’
Irish Examiner


The Lover – US edition

‘A tense and intelligent psychological thriller that confirms Laura Wilson’s seat at the high table of British crime writing.’

Simply superb: not only the best thing she has written to date, but certainly one of the best crime novels of the year.’
Birmingham Post

Wilson is one of those crime writers who break every boundary in the genre; she steps wholeheartedly into the ranks of genuine literary writing while never losing the ability to tell vital, lively, give-me-more stories.’
Sunday Herald

‘The portrait of life and death under the Blitz is vivid and moving.’
Sunday Telegraph

‘A gritty work of imagination that has the ache and authenticity of the real thing.’
Literary Review

It is so believable, from tiny details to big set pieces, that you can almost smell the smoke as the buildings burn.’
Sunday Times