On a dank November day in 1956 DI Ted Stratton is called to a murder scene – a loner has been stabbed in his Soho lodgings. The victim is Jeremy Lloyd, a man with a taste for esoteric religion. Stratton’s enquiries lead him to Suffolk, where the mysterious Mr Roth has created a Foundation for Spiritual Understanding in a house famed for being haunted.
It seemed Lloyd had believed himself marked out for great things. At the Foundation, Stratton meets Michael, a twelve-year-old boy who has been proclaimed as the next incarnation in a long line of spiritual leaders stretching back to Christ and Buddha. He is rumoured to have been immaculately conceived, but the woman who is said to be his mother, and whose photograph was cherished by Lloyd, has disappeared.
When a woman’s body is found in woods nearby, Stratton initially assumes he has found her, but the reality turns out to be far stranger and far more terrifying.
‘Wilson is as adroit at the straightforward mechanics of the crime mystery as she is at evocative prose shot through with a keen sense of the past.’ Barry Forshaw, The Independent, 02.07.12