The drinks are flowing. The music is playing. But the party can’t last.
With the Blitz over and London reeling from war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Fresh off the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.
Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home – and it’s alive with possibility. Until, one morning, he makes a terrible discovery.
As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And, before long, the newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart.
Published by on the Harper Collins on the 12th March 2020, 400 pages, approx 14 Hours
Laurie has come over to England from Jamaica thinking he would be able to make his fortune only to find that the county that claimed to be so desperate for workers, in fact, only wanted white men. Evie, who has been the only person of colour in her area for as long as she can remember, is excited by the arrival of windrush as ‘she was no longer the odd one out’. The two meet and fall in love but as always things are never straight forward…
I found this utterly captivating, moving and thought provoking. In essence it is a post war murder mystery with a romantic element. The setting was described in such vivid detail that I could really picture it and I found the dual perspective engaging. Some parts were hard to listen to as it was upsetting think of how badly people were treated when they had just come here in the hope of making a better life for themselves.
This author is definitely one to watch and one I will be adding to my auto-buy list.
Thanks to @LouRHare, @Joe_thomas25 and @HQStories
Louise Hare is a London-based writer and has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including this lovely city, which began after a trip to the deep level shelter below Clapham Common.