My Best Friend

A quiet Suffolk village, 1944. Gerald Haxton lives with his parents – a solitary boy who constantly talks to his still-born twin brother, Jack. Already disturbed and lonely, Gerald is horrified to discover the body of his elder sister, Vera while playing in the woods near his home. She has been beaten to death with a wooden stake and her young GI boyfriend is hanged for the crime.
London, 1995.As the country prepares for the 50th anniversary of VE Day, Gerald, now nearing retirement, remains a loner. Obsessed with routine, he still regards his dead twin Jack as his only true friend. He works in a TV prop-hire company in London, and the nature of his job – surrounded by nostalgic artefacts – means that he is constantly reminded of the past and, by extension, of his sister’s death. To alleviate his solitude, Gerald takes to following Mel, the twelve-year-old daughter of a work colleague. A few days later, Mel, who bears a striking resemblance to Vera, disappears…

Reviews:

‘Another of Wilson’s brilliantly imagined, well-rendered time slips. Wilson is precise and unsentimental with her period details, and writes movingly about squandered lives and opportunities lost and reclaimed. What’s intriguing about this, her third novel, is hearing a writer find and exercise more and more of her true voice. It is distinctive, confiding and truthful. It is, thrillingly, like no one else’s. ’  Literary Review

‘Should Laura Wilson ever give up writing (heaven forbid), she could have a glorious career as a ventriloquist. MY BEST FRIEND uses multiple voices, all perfectly pitched, and the high quality of the book lies in the mastery of voice. It’s a delight to find that Wilson lives up to the great promise of her first books.’ Sunday Times

‘The author of A LITTLE DEATH and DYING VOICES has come up with a brilliant new story full of suspense and menace. A real page-turner by a very clever writer, this one should do very well in the market place.’ Publishing News

‘…An intricately constructed suspense thriller that employs alternating voices and texts from different decades…  The events and details of ‘My Best Friend’ are often grim, but Ms Wilson’s masterly presentation of them (through a half-dozen pitch-perfect voices) makes for compulsive reading. And even her gritty vision of life affords her troubled characters the possibility of a sort of redemption.’ The Wall Street Journal

‘The best part of this compelling tale is neither the dark family secret slowly revealed nor the suspenseful missing-person subplot; rather, it’s the creative narrative method the author uses to weave several disparate perspectives into a fascinating whole…A satisfying literary thriller.’ Booklist

‘Gripping’ Kirkus Reviews

‘Delicate, merciless psychological probing’ Publishing Weekly

‘Wilson excels at compelling portraits of people traumatized in youth who scab over but never wholly heal…’ Poisoned Pen

‘… subtle, hypnotic narrative… Wilson keeps the tone hushed and beguiling’ The Times (New Jersey)