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My Best Friend
Alex Grant reviews Laura Wilson's new mystery

Laura Wilson’s "My Best Friend" is very close in plot elements to Elizabeth George’s current softcover crime novel 'A Traitor To Memory', Laura Wilson’s My Best Friend is the polar opposite in style to George’s eleventh Lynley-Havers’ series’ entry: brief and to the point!

My Best Friend takes place during and after World War Two. It concerns two sisters, one a popular children’s author; the other an actress in provincial "rep" (repertory) "live" theatre. It covers the period 1939 through 1994, fifty years after VE Day (Victory in Europe; for the Allies). The authoress has three children only one of which reaches adulthood, although it would be a misnomer to describe Gerald Haxton- Haldane as a "grown-up". One of a pair of twins and the only survivor, Gerald is wholly preoccupied in his fantasy-life with both his deceased siblings, to the detriment of his personal growth.

Authoress Wilson, in her third mystery novel, sparingly relates her quintessentially British bourgeois saga by means of the solipsisms of a trio of individuals: their introspections, diaries and recollections, primarily of romance and of sexual alliances.

Wilson’s title My Best Friend is highly ironic. She uncannily captures the wartime ambience and its prolonged aftermath, a national ‘hangover’ from the daily intoxication of the fear of death and the loss of loved ones, wholesale. In keeping with the exceptionally high literary standards set by Frances Fyfield, Ruth Rendell and Alison Taylor, the cream of distaff British crime writers, Ms. Wilson sets her sights high and hits the bullseye unerringly.

© Alex Grant September 2002

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