It's 1956 and the world is in turmoil—the Bikini Atoll, the Suez Crisis, the Hungarian Uprising—these are just some of the events of that year Inspector Ted Stratton can't help but think about as he makes his way through a murder investigation. The murder victim is a young man in London whose bookshelves are filled with literature on spirituality and esoteric religions, and who had just recently left the Foundation for Spiritual Understanding, a new age cult based in Suffolk. Traveling to Suffolk to investigate, Inspector Stratton encounters a community of fervent believers led by an enigmatic, charismatic leader, and a femme fatale with a shady past. In addition to a gripping, twisty investigation, the book is also a portrait of England in the mid-nineteen-fifties, and a meditation on the dangerous power of faith.
Laura Wilson is a British writer of historical crime novels. She is also the crime fiction reviewer for The Guardian. Her novel Stratton's War (published by Felony & Mayhem as The Innocent Spy) won the Ellis Peters Award for Best Historical Mystery in 2008. She lives in London.