Set in the bleakness and confusion of post-WWII London, this gripping psychological thriller unravels the double life of a seemingly proper middle-class woman found strangled to death.
On a damp July morning in 1946, two schoolboys find a woman’s body in an abandoned churchyard in Holloway, north London. She had been strangled and left on a pile of rubble with her clothes and handbag left intact. The police assume that the victim, identified as Lillian Parry, was the random victim of an ex-serviceman looking for a cheap thrill, but the autopsy finds no evidence of sexual assault.
The mysterious case sets Divisional Detective Inspector Jim Cooper on a mad search for answers to the many questions surrounding the woman’s private life: How did Lil, who lived nearby with her family, come to be in the churchyard—a well-known lovers’ haunt? If she hadn’t been raped, why was she strangled? How could her husband have failed to notice that she never came home on the night she was murdered?
As DDI Cooper unravels the case, the facts point to a postwar world of disillusionment, bitterness, and emotional disturbance—a world where getting back to normal proves far more difficult than the cheerful optimism that the news reels suggest…
Brilliantly plotted, fast-paced, and utterly suspenseful, A Commonplace Killing interweaves an account of Lil’s last day with the mystery of the investigation into her murder. What results is a sweeping journey through post-war London that will intrigue and shock you through the very last page.
""An intricacy and sentimentality worthy of Dickens and a satirical eye as sharp as Thackeray's... a gripping thriller...a rich, clever, absorbing novel, a witty look at men in power, and a plot that shocks with an extraordinary twist.""