It is winter in London in the early 1950s: John Davies confesses to strangling his wife and baby daughter. It promises to be a depressingly straightforward case for DI Ted Stratton of West End Central. When Davies recants, blaming respectable neighbour Norman Backhouse for the crimes, nobody sees any reason to believe him. Davies is convicted and hanged. But after a series of gruesome discoveries, Stratton begins to suspect there has been a terrible miscarriage of justice. Meanwhile, with her marriage in tatters, ex-MI5 agent Diana Calthrop is determined to start a new life. Despite a promising beginning she soon finds herself in trouble. And with a seemingly unstoppable killer of women on the loose, she is very vulnerable indeed…
©2010 Laura Wilson (P)2011 Isis Publishing Ltd
"A worthy read..."
I always try to find time to add a review, as I find it so useful when looking for books myself. Unusually, I was reluctant to review this book as I did not want to say anything that would put anyone off. Having read the first two books in the series (I would highly recommend reading them in order of publication), both of which I really loved. I started this journey with high expectations and for the most part I was not disappointed. The plot is different and a couple of different mysteries unfold. The story develops and revolves around the personal and professional life of DI Stratton?s. This time around; I did not find DI Stratton humour quite as amusing and the return of a specific character from previous books ? I found a bit grating and irritating. Having said that; if you have read the first two books in the series, this is a must and I would not have missed it.
"Classic Crime story"
I enjoyed this 3rd book in the Ted Stratton series, it moved on nicely from the war years to the coupon book everything rationed early 1950's. The atmosphere of the book reflects the austerity of the post war years brilliantly and certainly packs in all the 'taboo subjects' from lesbians to necrophilia!!
Although I was surprised no reference was made to the very famous criminal and crimes that the book is very obviously based on. (At least this audio version made no mention of it) Knowing the story slighly spoilt the 'suspense' element.
I enjoyed every moment ... this author has captured the time and place of London in the 50s in fine detail.
All three books in this series are brilliant and totally memorable.
"A great evocation of the early 50s"
Laura Wilson's third in the DI Stratton series really brings the era to life, with it's constricting social mores and rough (in)justice. As ever, the reading is of a high standard - well paced and good characterisation.
"Once again Laura Wilson has a winner"
I love these books. Stratton is a character you can really get to know, this book kept my attention not in a scary thriller way but I needed to know what happened next. I am looking forward to the next
"Great story perfectly narrated."
I really enjoy this postwar series of novels - I grew up in this era so it all rings very true indeed. I am just going to purchase the next in the series with happy anticipation.
Why can't there be more crime novels like this? Even though this is based on a true life crime it doesn't make it any less gripping - I could not stop listening! The reader is perfect.
"A good listen."
I enjoyed this book. Although (as another reviewer has commented), the main story is based on a true, well known murder case and as I knew the outcome of that case it did slightly spoil the suprise element. However, it was still a good story and there were enough threads running through the story to keep me interested. Would also recommend that the previous two "Stratton" books are read first, although they are all good books in their own right.
Don't think I'm giving too much away by saying that (in my opinion) the character of Diana who I thought was very drippy in the first book, gets a bit more backbone towards the end of this one, still needs to sort out some stronger knicker elastic though.
"Excellent story, brilliant narration."
I love this series, set in the 40's and 50's with a different pace of life and different moral standards. Stratton is a believable and likeable character, and nice to have Diana back too.
As ever, Sean Barrett narrates brilliantly.
"A disturbing story"
There were times when I wasn't sure that I could bear to hear what happens next. The characters had a vulnerability and ordinariness that made me anxious!
The writing is realistic and sometimes gruesome with detailed description of some disturbing scenes. The villain gave me the creeps. The narration is as masterful as ever. Sean Barrett makes the tale an immersive experience. I will follow further books in this series .
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