Laura Wilson

Stratton’s War

""Laura Wilson has created some memorable characters and a highly enjoyable read." "


In 1940, wartime London is preoccupied with thoughts of the blitz and of the children who have been evacuated from the city. When the body of a former movie star. Mabel Morgan, is found impaled on railings in Fitzrovia, the initial verdict is suicide. However, DI Ted Stratton has a gut feeling about this case and soon uncovers a link to Soho gangsters. However, Ted is also preoccupied with his wife at home who is missing their evacuated children - and a nephew who may have his own links with the Soho mob.

New MI5 agent Diana Calthrop is assigned to Sir Neville Apse to work on a case, but fears that he may be involved in counter espionage. She becomes entangled with the charming but shallow Claude Ventriss who may also be involved in Apse's shady dealings. When the two cases investigated by Diana and Ted merge both find that their mistrust of the establishment may lead them to solve their respective investigations.

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This is an interesting novel by Laura Wilson. Wartime London provides rich pickings for a murder writer. Amidst the chaos of the blitz, murder can be committed and, even, possibly go undetected. My personal preferance was for the Ted Stratton investigation. I enjoyed both the realism of Ted's attitude towards his bosses and the problems that he was encountering at home. Unusually for a detective story I also found the sex scenes between Ted and his wife charming and subtly written. The Diana Calthrop part of the book was possibly less satisfying. That said, I liked the character of Diana very much and also the fact that Claude did not particularly redeem himself at the end of the novel. He seems to be exactly as he appears, a shallow seducer. However, I found the Sir Neville Apse character difficult to relate to and perhaps this story deserved a book of its own? Laura Wilson has created some memorable characters and a highly enjoyable read. I hope to see some of the characters in a future novel.

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