England, 1944: In a time of unparalleled fear, youngsters everywhere sought sanctuary in the magical books of author M. M. Haldane. No danger was ever too great to prevent her hero - Tom Tyler, Boy Detective - from returning safely home for tea. Inside such an idyllic storybook world, the danger was always overcome and good always vanquished evil.
Playing in the woods of a quiet Suffolk village one day, fourteen-year-old Gerald Haxton - the disturbed and unpopular son of the famous children's author - discovers the body of his elder sister Vera buried in a shallow grave. She had been beaten to death with a wooden stake and her boyfriend, a young GI, is hanged for the crime. The discovery of Vera's body is so horrifying for Gerald, that his innocence is lost forever...
England, 1995: As a new generation prepares to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of VE Day, Gerald, who still remains a loner, is terrorized by his memories. Gerald is nearing retirement, desperately lonely and living something of a hermit's life. Obsessed with routine, he still talks to his dead twin brother, Jack. Surrounded by the nostalgic artifacts at the television prop-hire business where he works, he is constantly reminded of the past, and with it, his sister Vera's death.
Gerald eventually finds solace in following twelve-year-old Mel, the daughter of his colleague, home from school every day. To protect her, he says. But when Mel - who bears a striking resemblance to Vera - goes missing one day, all eyes turn accusingly to Gerald.
I really enjoyed reading this book. This was the second book by Laura Wilson that I've read, but it is actually the third book that she has written. I felt so sorry for Gerald - in my opinion, Gerald received rather a raw deal. He was targeted because he was different, but in my opinion, Gerald couldn't or wouldn't have harmed a fly. I give My Best Friend by Laura Wilson an A!
A little hard "to get into", but then opens up -- if you like British
authors and their works, you should like this one. Very intriguing!
Ms. Wilson has gone into a "different" family, about the time of WW2, and ends in the 90's. Hard to put down....