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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.
Atmospheric, poignant and compelling, Louise Hare’s debut shows that new arrivals have always been the prime suspects. But, also, that there is always hope.
One of OBSERVER’S 10 best debut novelists of 2020
WOMAN & HOME Best of 2020
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING Best of 2020
EVENING STANDARD Best books of 2020
MAIL ON SUNDAY 2020 Highlights
I Best of 2020
‘Full of life and love… it made my heart soar, and should be on every Londoner’s shelf’ Stacey Halls
‘I loved, loved, loved it’ Cathy Rentzenbrink
‘Full to the brim with such complete joys and heart-aching tragedies … you can feel the warmth and colour emanating from the pages’
Magic Radio Book Club, Book of the Month
‘Hotly anticipated debut’
The Sunday Times
‘Mistress of suspense, Hare keeps us guessing till the end’
‘A thought-provoking and imaginative debut’
Woman & Home, Book of the Month
‘Expect to be obsessed . . . [a book] you need to know about’
‘Heartwarming, heartbreaking and wonderfully atmospheric, This Lovely City is truly one lovely book’
Heat, Read of the Week
‘Poignant and authentic’