A Capital Crime

It is winter, 1950, in a dingy part of London. John Davies confesses to strangling his wife and baby daughter; and for DI Ted Stratton of West End Central, it promises to be a straightforward case. When Davies recants, blaming respectable neighbour, Norman Backhouse, for the crimes, nobody, including Stratton, sees any reason to believe him. Davies is convicted and hanged, but later, after a series of gruesome discoveries, Stratton begins to suspect that there has been a terrible miscarriage of justice.


Her marriage in tatters, ex-MI5 agent Diana Calthrop is determined to start anew life, but despite a promisiong beginning she soon finds herself in trouble both financially and emotionally. And with a seemingly unstopped killer of women on the loose, she is very vulnerable indeed.


Based on the true story of the two most controversial murder trials of the 1950s and set againts the backdrop of a country still scarred by war, AQ Capital Crime is a story of guilt, longing, uncertainty, and macabre, grotesque horror.


“The third book in Wilson’s DI Stratton series is even better than the previous, prize-winning instalments. A small masterpiece.” Jessica Mann, Literary Review, Sept 2010

“In A Capital Crime, laura Wilson puts her own inimitable spin on two real-life murder cases from 1950s” TimeOut, Sept 2010


“A Capital Crime is the most fully achieved book Wilson has written… Wilson ultimately offers a persuasive refashioning of history and moves into dark terra incognita.” Barry Forshaw, The Independent, Sept 2010

“Deftly and absorbingly, Wilson weaves Stratton and Calthrop into the story without in anyway trying to shed new light on such horrors. It works wonderfully. Wilson is a subtle writer who achieves her grip on the reader by the accumulation of little gems of setting and characterization, rather than momentous events.” Marcel Berlins, The Times, Sept 2010

“The novel explains how a miscarriage of justice can come about, despite the best intentions of investigators, and Wilson’s historical note at the end of the book is fascinating.” Joan Smith, The Sunday Times, October 2010

“Wilson is superb at recreating the historical context in a way that never obstructs but always enriches her story”Andrew Taylor, The Spectator, November 2010