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Lesley Thomson - Author

About the Author

Lesley Thomson was born in 1958 and grew up in London. She went to Holland Park Comprehensive and the Universities of Brighton and Sussex. Her first novel, A Kind of Vanishing, won the People's Book Prize in 2010. Her second novel, The Detective's Daughter, was published in 2013 and sold over 300,000 copies.

 

Author photo © Emily Andersen

Featured books by Lesley Thomson

Ghost Girl

Ghost Girl

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/04/2014

It is a year since her father's death, but Stella Darnell has not moved on. She still cleans his house every day, leaving it spotless as if he might return. Terry Darnell was Detective Chief Superintendent at Hammersmith police station, and now Stella has discovered an unsolved case in his darkroom: a folder of unlabelled photographs of deserted streets. The oldest photograph dates back to 1966. To a day when Mary Thornton, just ten years old, is taking her little brother home from school in time for tea. That afternoon, as the Moors Murderers are sent to prison for life, Mary witnesses something that will haunt her forever. As Stella inches closer to the truth, the events of that day begin to haunt her too...

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Other books by Lesley Thomson

The Playground Murders

The Playground Murders

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

'A class above' IAN RANKIN. Forty years ago, in the dark of the playground, two children's lives were changed for ever. The case of six-year-old Sarah Ferris, killed in an empty playground, haunted Hammersmith police for decades. Not just because the victim would never see her seventh birthday. But because solving the case meant arresting another child on suspicion of Sarah's murder. Now, forty years later, cleaner-turned-detective Stella Darnell has unearthed new information about Sarah and her killer. As Stella pieces together the truth about what happened all those years ago, she is drawn into a story of jealousy, betrayal and the end of innocence. A story that has not yet reached its end... 'One of the most original characters in British crime fiction' SUNDAY TIMES. 'Thomson creates a rich and sinister world that is utterly unique ... Gloriously well-written' WILLIAM SHAW.

The Playground Murders

The Playground Murders

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/04/2019

'A class above' IAN RANKIN. Forty years ago, in the dark of the playground, two children's lives were changed for ever. The case of six-year-old Sarah Ferris, killed in an empty playground, haunted Hammersmith police for decades. Not just because the victim would never see her seventh birthday. But because solving the case meant arresting another child on suspicion of Sarah's murder. Now, forty years later, cleaner-turned-detective Stella Darnell has unearthed new information about Sarah and her killer. As Stella pieces together the truth about what happened all those years ago, she is drawn into a story of jealousy, betrayal and the end of innocence. A story that has not yet reached its end... 'One of the most original characters in British crime fiction' SUNDAY TIMES. 'Thomson creates a rich and sinister world that is utterly unique ... Gloriously well-written' WILLIAM SHAW.

The Playground Murders

The Playground Murders

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2019

'A class above' IAN RANKIN. Forty years ago, in the dark of the playground, two children's lives were changed for ever. The case of six-year-old Sarah Ferris, killed in an empty playground, haunted Hammersmith police for decades. Not just because the victim would never see her seventh birthday. But because solving the case meant arresting another child on suspicion of Sarah's murder. Now, forty years later, cleaner-turned-detective Stella Darnell has unearthed new information about Sarah and her killer. As Stella pieces together the truth about what happened all those years ago, she is drawn into a story of jealousy, betrayal and the end of innocence. A story that has not yet reached its end... 'One of the most original characters in British crime fiction' SUNDAY TIMES. 'Thomson creates a rich and sinister world that is utterly unique ... Gloriously well-written' WILLIAM SHAW.

The Dog Walker

The Dog Walker

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 04/10/2018

The Death Chamber an intricate thriller from the Sunday Times crime club pick

The Death Chamber an intricate thriller from the Sunday Times crime club pick

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/10/2018

From the number one bestseller of The Detective's Daughter. For forty years, someone has got away with murder... Forty years ago, seventeen-year-old Cassie Baker took a shortcut home from a small Cotswolds village, and was never seen again. Twenty years later, Cotswolds police found Cassie's remains while searching for another missing teenager, Bryony Motson. Bryony's body was never found. Now Stella Darnell, cleaner and private detective, has decided to find out what happened to Bryony. She knows her investigation will be dangerous. Because, for too long, someone has got away with murder. Someone who will do anything to keep it that way... PRAISE FOR LESLEY THOMSON: 'In the best traditions of the classic whodunnit, this is Midsomer Murders for grown-ups' Jake Kerridge, SUNDAY EXPRESS. 'Lesley Thomson is a class above' IAN RANKIN. 'Stella Darnell is one of the most original characters in British crime fiction' Joan Smith, SUNDAY TIMES. 'A wonderfully eerie setting, unique characters and a chilling plot' ELLY GRIFFITHS. 'Clever, credible and memorable' LITERARY REVIEW. 'Gloriously well-written ... Thomson creates a rich and sinister world that is utterly unique' WILLIAM SHAW.

The Detective's Secret

The Detective's Secret

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2018

They will learn the city's secrets. They will learn who plans to kill... A man has jumped in front of a late night train. Stella Darnell, a cleaner who solves crimes, suspects it's murder. Now she's stirring up the past with questions that no one wants to answer. Jack Harmon, a driver on the Tube, has a new home at the top of an old water tower, with a perfect bird's eye view of London. If he watches through binoculars, he will learn the city's secrets. He will learn who plans to kill... THE DETECTIVE'S DAUGHTER SERIES: The Detective's Daughter. Ghost Girl. The Detective's Secret. The House With No Rooms. The Dog Walker.

The Detective's Daughter

The Detective's Daughter

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2018

Detective Darnell died before he closed the case. Can his daughter solve it thirty years later? It was the murder that shocked the nation. Kate Rokesmith, a young mother, went to the river with her three-year-old son. She never came home. For three decades the case file has lain, unsolved, in the corner of an attic. Until the detective's daughter Stella, a cleaner who loves restoring order, starts to clear out her father's house after his death... THE DETECTIVE'S DAUGHTER SERIES: The Detective's Daughter. Ghost Girl. The Detective's Secret. The House With No Rooms. The Dog Walker.

Ghost Girl

Ghost Girl

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2018

Seven cryptic photographs. A decades-old case. Can one woman find a killer? Before his death, Terry Darnell was a famous detective. His daughter Stella, a cleaner, has inherited his methodical mind. She has also inherited a strange case file: seven photographs of empty streets. Why did her father keep them for so many years? One photo dates from 1966, to a day when a young girl witnessed something that would haunt her forever. As Stella scrubs away at the truth, the events of that day begin to haunt her too... THE DETECTIVE'S DAUGHTER SERIES: The Detective's Daughter. Ghost Girl. The Detective's Secret. The House With No Rooms. The Dog Walker.

The House With No Rooms

The House With No Rooms

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2018

A woman lies dead on the ground. A girl watches from the shadows. What did she really see? The summer of 1976 was the hottest in living memory. A lost little girl, dizzied by the head, stumbled upon a deserted museum. She thought she saw a woman lying dead on the ground. But when she opened her eyes, the woman had gone. Forty years later, cleaner and detective Stella Darnell is investigating a suspected murder in the Botanical Gardens at Kew. Working methodically, stain by stain, she is drawn into an obsessive world, and towards a killer who has never been caught...

Death Chamber

Death Chamber

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: eBook Release Date: 05/04/2018

From the number one bestseller of The Detective's Daughter. For forty years, someone has got away with murder... Forty years ago, seventeen-year-old Cassie Baker took a shortcut home from a small Cotswolds village, and was never seen again. Twenty years later, Cotswolds police found Cassie's remains while searching for another missing teenager, Bryony Motson. Bryony's body was never found. Now Stella Darnell, cleaner and private detective, has decided to find out what happened to Bryony. She knows her investigation will be dangerous. Because, for too long, someone has got away with murder. Someone who will do anything to keep it that way... PRAISE FOR LESLEY THOMSON: 'In the best traditions of the classic whodunnit, this is Midsomer Murders for grown-ups' Jake Kerridge, SUNDAY EXPRESS. 'Lesley Thomson is a class above' IAN RANKIN. 'Stella Darnell is one of the most original characters in British crime fiction' Joan Smith, SUNDAY TIMES. 'A wonderfully eerie setting, unique characters and a chilling plot' ELLY GRIFFITHS. 'Clever, credible and memorable' LITERARY REVIEW. 'Gloriously well-written ... Thomson creates a rich and sinister world that is utterly unique' WILLIAM SHAW.

The Death Chamber an intricate thriller from the Sunday Times crime club pick

The Death Chamber an intricate thriller from the Sunday Times crime club pick

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/04/2018

From the number one bestseller of The Detective's Daughter. For forty years, someone has got away with murder... Forty years ago, seventeen-year-old Cassie Baker took a shortcut home from a small Cotswolds village, and was never seen again. Twenty years later, Cotswolds police found Cassie's remains while searching for another missing teenager, Bryony Motson. Bryony's body was never found. Now Stella Darnell, cleaner and private detective, has decided to find out what happened to Bryony. She knows her investigation will be dangerous. Because, for too long, someone has got away with murder. Someone who will do anything to keep it that way... PRAISE FOR LESLEY THOMSON: 'In the best traditions of the classic whodunnit, this is Midsomer Murders for grown-ups' Jake Kerridge, SUNDAY EXPRESS. 'Lesley Thomson is a class above' IAN RANKIN. 'Stella Darnell is one of the most original characters in British crime fiction' Joan Smith, SUNDAY TIMES. 'A wonderfully eerie setting, unique characters and a chilling plot' ELLY GRIFFITHS. 'Clever, credible and memorable' LITERARY REVIEW. 'Gloriously well-written ... Thomson creates a rich and sinister world that is utterly unique' WILLIAM SHAW.

The Death Chamber

The Death Chamber

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2018

From the number one bestseller of The Detective's Daughter. For forty years, someone has got away with murder... Forty years ago, seventeen-year-old Cassie Baker took a shortcut home from a small Cotswolds village, and was never seen again. Twenty years later, Cotswolds police found Cassie's remains while searching for another missing teenager, Bryony Motson. Bryony's body was never found. Now Stella Darnell, cleaner and private detective, has decided to find out what happened to Bryony. She knows her investigation will be dangerous. Because, for too long, someone has got away with murder. Someone who will do anything to keep it that way... PRAISE FOR LESLEY THOMSON: 'In the best traditions of the classic whodunnit, this is Midsomer Murders for grown-ups' Jake Kerridge, SUNDAY EXPRESS. 'Lesley Thomson is a class above' IAN RANKIN. 'Stella Darnell is one of the most original characters in British crime fiction' Joan Smith, SUNDAY TIMES. 'A wonderfully eerie setting, unique characters and a chilling plot' ELLY GRIFFITHS. 'Clever, credible and memorable' LITERARY REVIEW. 'Gloriously well-written ... Thomson creates a rich and sinister world that is utterly unique' WILLIAM SHAW.

The Dog Walker

The Dog Walker

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2017

A haunted house, a broken family and a body that has never been found... January, 1987: Helen Honeysett, a young newlywed, sets off for an evening run from her Thames-side cottage. She never comes home. January, 2016: Twenty-nine years later, Helen's body has never been found. Her husband asks private detective Stella Darnell to find out what happened all those years ago. But how can you hunt a killer whose trail has long gone cold?

The Dog Walker

The Dog Walker

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/04/2017

A haunted house, a broken family and a body that has never been found. Stella and Jack must reawaken the secrets of the past in order to solve the mysteries of the present. January, 1987. In the depths of winter, only joggers and dog walkers brave the Thames towpath after dark. Helen Honeysett, a young newlywed, sets off for an evening run from her riverside cottage. Only her dog returns. Twenty-nine years later, her husband has asked Stella Darnell, a private detective, and her side-kick Jack Harmon, to find out what happened all those years ago. But when the five households on that desolate stretch of towpath refuse to give up their secrets, Stella and Jack find themselves hunting a killer whose trail has long gone cold...

Dog Walker

Dog Walker

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: eBook Release Date: 06/04/2017

Brand new from the #1 bestselling author of The Detective's Daughter. Stella and Jack must reawaken the secrets of the past in order to solve the mysteries of the present. January, 1987. In the depths of winter, only joggers and dog walkers brave the Thames towpath after dark. Helen Honeysett, a young newlywed, sets off for an evening run from her riverside cottage and disappears. Twenty-nine years later, Helen's body has never been found. Her husband has asked Stella Darnell, a private detective, and her side-kick Jack Harmon, to find out what happened all those years ago. But when the five households on that desolate stretch of towpath refuse to give up their secrets, Stella and Jack find themselves hunting a killer whose trail has long gone cold.

The Dog Walker

The Dog Walker

Author: Lesley Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2017

A haunted house, a broken family and a body that has never been found. Stella and Jack must reawaken the secrets of the past in order to solve the mysteries of the present. January, 1987. In the depths of winter, only joggers and dog walkers brave the Thames towpath after dark. Helen Honeysett, a young newlywed, sets off for an evening run from her riverside cottage. Only her dog returns. Twenty-nine years later, her husband has asked Stella Darnell, a private detective, and her side-kick Jack Harmon, to find out what happened all those years ago. But when the five households on that desolate stretch of towpath refuse to give up their secrets, Stella and Jack find themselves hunting a killer whose trail has long gone cold...