The Other Mrs Walker (Paperback)Mary Paulson-Ellis (author)
- In stock
Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2017
Somehow she'd always known that she would end like this. In a small square room, in a small square flat. In a small square box, perhaps. Cardboard, with a sticker on the outside. And a name...
An old lady dies alone and unheeded in a cold Edinburgh flat on a snowy Christmas night. A faded emerald dress hangs in her wardrobe; a spilt glass of whisky pools on the floor.
A few days later a middle-aged woman arrives back in the city she thought she'd left behind. Wearing a stolen red coat and a pair of unsuitable shoes, Margaret Penny exits her life in London for an Edinburgh in the grips of a freezing winter her future uncertain, her past in tatters. She soon finds herself a job at the Office for Lost People, tracking down the families of those who have died neglected and alone.
Following a trail of peculiar curiosities that lead her back to the past, Margaret is about to find out some darker secrets about her own life too.
But what Margaret Penny cannot yet know, is just how entangled her own life will become in the death of one lonely stranger...
The Other Mrs Walker interweaves two narratives in an intricate plot that moves between pre-war London and present day Edinburgh revealing a complex story about the marks we make on the world and the secrets we leave behind us after we’re gone.
This beguiling debut has been described as doing ‘for Edinburgh what the great mistress of domestic macabre Ruth Rendell did for North London’. It marks Mary Paulson-Ellis as an author to take note of.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 302 g
Dimensions: 196 x 133 x 28 mm
"A very impressive debut... flinted with shards of black humour, The Other Mrs Walker is refreshingly inventive crime fiction." - Irish Times
"Paulson-Ellis has been compared to Kate Atkinson for her time-shifting debut, a structure which, it has to be said, is handled impressively well here... She captures the greyness of an Edinburgh winter superbly well; she portrays the desperation and colourlessness of pre and post-war London even better . . . One of the strongest debuts of the year." - Glasgow Herald
"This compelling story, set from 1921 to 2011, reveals the secrets of a group of women whose pasts are strangely connected." - The Mail on Sunday
"Intriguing and atmospheric." - The Guardian
"Full of twists and turns." - The Independent
"A notable debut... Paulson-Ellis teases out her plot intriguingly, divulging information gradually and laying some false trails which keep the reader's interest alive... The squalor of life in the Penny household is compellingly realized and the wartime scenes are very well done. The author has a real gift for creating and presenting repellently corrupt characters... Absorbing and enjoyable." - The Scotsman
"Intricate, gripping... the joy of this novel is that it unfolds into something positively uplifting. Margaret gets a job tracing the families of the unclaimed dead, finding a new life for herself and an understanding of her past." - Saga
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“Embarrassing book group choice ”
I suggested this for my book group and am embarrassed at having done so. It is one of the worst books I have read in a very long time. The writer's style is clunky and laboured. She clearly reads a lot herself .... More
“A brilliant mystery with thrilling characters! ”
The Other Mrs Walker' by Mary Paulson-Ellis is a wonderful mystery following a two families of women as their histories are gradually revealed to be entangled in surprising ways. The characters are realistic and... More
“A great read!”
I really enjoyed this book. It was very well written. Believable characters. A strong storyline. Shall certainly be reading more by this author.
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