London in the aftermath of WW2 is a beaten down, hungry place, so it's no wonder that Regine Milner's Sunday house parties in her Hampstead home are so popular. Everyone comes to Reggie's on a Sunday: ballet dancers and cabinet ministers, left-over Mosleyites alongside flamboyant homosexuals like Freddie Buckingham. And when Freddie turns up dead on the Heath one Sunday night there is no shortage of suspects.
War Damage is both a high-class thriller and a wonderful evocation of Britain staggering back to its feet after the privations of the War. And in Regine Milner it possesses a truly memorable heroine. She's full of secrets - just what did happen in Shanghai before the war? - and surprises - Reggie's living proof that sexual experimentation was alive and well long before the sixties.
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About the Author
My family was involved in running the British Empire in increasingly lowly postions sliding slowly down the social scale. They felt quite dislocated after WW II and my mother led a very marginal existence. Perhaps because of this she had me educated at St Paul's Girls' School, where I encountered a completely different world of the Jewish and non Jewish intelligentsia, and then at Oxford. Possbily because of the discrepancy between home background and sophisticated educational milieu I was extremely rebellious. I trained as a psychiatric social worker because of an interest in psychoanalysis, but throughout 10 years working in the field I was repelled by its conservative ethos and morality and eventually escaped to a polytechnic. But this time I was involved in Gay Liberation and the Women's Movement, which defined the 1970s for me. In the 1980s I became a lesbian co-parent and later a parent governor at Camden School for Girls. Beginning in the mid-70s I wrote a number of polemical/academic works about women, and then shifted into an interest in fashion and dress (I am currently Visiting Professor at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London). For some years I was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, but am now a Green Party member. I am currently working on another novel and also on a book about the necessity of atheism.