From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Titled Stratton's War
in the U.K., this outstanding first in a series set during WWII won Wilson (A Little Death
) the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award. In the summer of 1940, Det. Insp. Ted Stratton investigates an apparent suicide that leads him into a maze of brutal gang violence and bland official evasion. Meanwhile, icily beautiful upper-crust Diana Calthrop tries to escape a hateful marriage by devoting herself to MI5 intrigue. At first, playing spy is fun, but she soon finds herself passionately involved with another agent who may be a murderous sociopath. Wilson convincingly evokes what it was like to sleep in a bomb shelter or stumble through shattered London streets in the dark. The characters are convincing, too, especially Ted and Diana in their tentative, unwilling attraction to each other. Wilson also adroitly handles such issues as the treatment of homosexuality as a crime and the government use of the wartime emergency to justify violating personal rights. (July)
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“Laura Wilson is an exceptional talent, and The Innocent Spy showcases her numerous gifts. Beautifully written, stunningly plotted, filled with characters we feel we know, yet set in an era that we might not know quite as well as we think. A terrific police procedural, a mesmerizing historical novel -- few writers working today can deliver this kind one-two punch.”
- Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of What the Dead Know
"Outstanding . . . Wilson convincingly evokes what it was like to sleep in a bomb shelter or stumble through shattered London streets in the dark. The characters are convincing, too, especially Ted and Diana in their tentative, unwilling attraction to each other."
- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Kicks off this new series with memorable portraits of witheringly evasive Forbes-James, based in part on Charles Knight, the real spymaster behind Ian Fleming's M, and family man Stratton, the sort of relative readers would all welcome into their homes."
- Kirkus Reviews
“Brilliant . . . this promises to be an exceptional series. Highly recommended.”
- The Spectator (UK)
“A compelling and wonderfully atmospheric murder mystery.”
- Robert Goddard, author of Into the Blue
“No one does wartime London better than Laura Wilson. Add vivid characters, nail-biting dilemmas, and murder to the mix, and the result is a crime novel with both guts and heart.”
- Andrew Taylor, author of An Unpardonable Crime
“Rightly praised for its evocation of place and period. Everything sounds authentic.”
- The Times (UK)
“Atmospheric and exciting . . . a great book.”
- The Observer (UK)