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My Best Friend (Signed First U.K. Edition)

Laura Wilson

100 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0752846086 / ISBN 13: 9780752846088
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since October 12, 2002

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

London: Orion Publishing [2001]. First Edition. First printing. Hardcover. New/New, a pristine unread copy, very fine/very fine in all respects. Original price sticker adhered to front dust jacket. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. No defects, smoke-free. 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # brit124

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Bibliographic Details

Title: My Best Friend (Signed First U.K. Edition)

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: F....

About this title


A quiet Suffolk village, 1944. Fourteen-year-old Gerald Haxton is a lonely boy who regards his still-born twin brother Jack as his only real friend. His mother, a famous children's writer, guards Jack's memory jealously, claiming him as the model for the boy detective in her series of adventure stories, and Gerald, disturbed and unpopular, has no hope of ever measuring up to him. Playing in the woods near his home, Gerald discovers the body of his elder sister buried in a shallow grave. She has been beaten to death with a wooden stake and her boyfriend, a young GI, is hanged for the crime. London, 1995. As the country prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of VE Day, Gerald, who remains a loner, is nearing retirement. Obsessed by routine, he still talks to his dead brother, Jack. Surrounded by nostalgic artefacts at the TV prop-hire company where he works, he is constantly reminded of the past, and with it, his sister Vera's death. Hoping to escape his lonely existence, he takes to following Mel, the twelve-year-old daughter of a colleague. A few days later Mel, who bears a striking resemblance to Vera, disappears ...


Penzler Pick, December 2001: With only three books, Laura Wilson has established herself as one of the very few heirs apparent to the psychological novels of Patricia Highsmith and Minette Walters. Wilson uses the device of telling her story through several different voices. Each voice is in possession of a portion of the story, the telling of which is always colored by the personality and self-interest of the narrator. It is the reader who is the unbiased observer, listening to each person's story as it unravels into a coherent and horrifying chronicle of lies, deceit, and murder.

We meet Gerald both as a boy, through his journals, and as a troubled man in his early 60s. He has obviously had some run-ins with the police in his time, but we are not sure about what. Gerald is the son of one of England's greatest children's writers, M.M. Haldane, now deceased. M. (Marjorie) M. (Maud) was the creator of Tom Tyler, boy detective, and she and her husband, Arthur Traxton, adopted another child before Gerald was born. That child, Vera Traxton, was murdered during the war and an American serviceman was hanged for the crime.

We also meet Tilly, M.M.'s sister and a former actress who now lives out her life in a nursing home with her dog. She loves to reminisce about her time on the stage, but she also has a lot to say about her sister's treatment of her own children.

Jo works with Gerald. She is a single mother and her young daughter, Mel, is being followed home by an older man. Jo is worried about this, but she has a new boyfriend, Ron, and is just not concentrating.

As each person talks, the reader is treated to a story that builds to a shocking climax. There are also excerpts from M.M. Haldane's books, which only add to the horror of what we think may be happening.

My Best Friend is an original, chilling tour de force that solidifies the growing reputation of an exciting new author. --Otto Penzler

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