Laura Laakso

Laura is a Finn who has spent most of her adulthood in England. Writing and storytelling has always been an integral part of her life, but it was turning thirty that led her to pursue a career in writing seriously. When she is not writing or working in her day job as an accountant, she is training and competing with her two dogs.

Laura's debut novel Fallible Justice was published in November 2018. It's the first in the paranormal crime series Wilde Investigations.  The follow up, Echo Murder, was published in June 2019. Laura's third novel Roots of Corruption was published in March 2020.

Laura tweets @LLaaksoWriter and her website is here.

Laura's favourite novel is The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans, and her favourite novella is Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang. Her top poet is V. A. Koskenniemi.

Fallible Justice 

 

The first in Laura's Wilde Investigations series was published on 8 November 2018. 

Paperback copies, signed when available, are on my website here

 

Also available in e-book and audio book.

Please enjoy the opening lines of Fallible Justice...

I am running. The foot that touches the ground is a deer’s hoof, the foot that propels me a wolf’s paw. Between strides, the wings of a seagull hold me aloft. The wind is against me, whipping through the horse’s mane that is my hair. With the wind come the smells of the land and the sea, and I sift through them with the nose of a badger. In the distance, a magpie takes flight and the ears of a dormouse pinpoint the source of the sound. My foot lands in a grassy depression, but with the balance of a squirrel I change direction and keep going.

           I am running through the wilderness and the wilderness runs through me.

           The hills follow the curves of the coast, and from a sheltered cove, I smell decay. My stomach growls and it’s the hunger of a vixen stalking a chicken coop; a pine marten pouncing on a shrew; a striped dolphin chasing a school of cod. As soon as the thought registers, the smell has gone.

           A hound bays in the distance. It is downwind from me and has recognised my scent. I bay back. Kin recognises kin.

           Although I run with the grace of a pond skater, there comes a point when I have to stop. I brace my hands against my knees, breath coming in gulps. In that moment, I am all human – only human. There is no sorrow in the change; the wilderness hovers on the edge of my consciousness, ever-present and comforting. I wipe a sheen of sweat from my forehead, a mixture of beads of dew and salt from the sea. Everything is connected. I smile at the thought as I begin the long walk back to my car.

9781999780937.jpg

Echo Murder

The second in Laura's Wilde Investigations series was published on 6 June 2019. 

Paperback copies, signed when available, are on my website here.

Also available in e-book and audio book.

Please enjoy the opening lines of Echo Murder...

‘So, how was it?’ Lizzie asked.

          Tim rested his hand on the small of Lizzie’s back and steered her across the road among a crowd. A taxi honked, but the flow of people remained unaffected. All around them, their fellow theatre-goers were talking and laughing: the sound a murmur of joy and excitement.

           ‘You won. I had a good time.’

         Lizzie twisted to look at him, a smile lighting her face as they headed up the hill. She seemed oblivious to the people jostling them.

            ‘I knew you were going to like it,’ she said.   

     'The puppets were gorgeous.’ Tim wrapped an arm around Lizzie’s shoulder. ‘I’m really glad you dropped enough hints for me to get the message.’

           'By hints you mean anvils, don’t you?’

         ‘No wonder they worked,’ Tim said with a chuckle. ‘I’m not into musicals, but The Lion King might have changed my mind.’

          'Mission accomplished, then.’ They left the worst of the theatre crowds behind as they weaved through the narrow streets towards the bright lights of Covent Garden. The night air was cool and carried dampness that spoke of rain to come. Lizzie zipped up her coat and inched closer to Tim’s warmth.

           ‘Are you tired?’ he asked.

           ‘Not really. Do you have something in mind?’

       ‘There’s a nice pub near Tottenham Court Road. I thought we could stop there for a drink?’

         ‘Do you mind if we walk? After sitting down for so long, I’d like to stretch my legs.’

           ‘Good idea.’     

9781999780982.jpg

Roots of Corruption

The third in Laura's Wilde Investigations series was published on 26 March 2020. 

Paperback copies, signed when available, are on my website here.

Also available in e-book and audio book... and here is Laura reading from Roots over on my YouTube channel... with added adorable puppy, Usva...

Roots of Corruption was long-listed in the inaugural Barbellion Prize in 2020. 

Please enjoy the opening lines of Roots of Corruption...

Lady Bergamon walked barefoot. The grass was wet, the moss soft as velvet. A full moon cast swathes of light through the canopy, not that she needed it to guide her steps. Here in her garden, she knew each tree, each blossom, each twist of the path as well as she knew the contours of her own body.

        Under the trees, the air was cooler, full of moisture. The wet chill of it swirled around her feet, stroking her calves, soft as marigold petals. Beads of dew painted the lace at the hem of her dress grey. She felt like a creature of water, and the thought made her smile.

        No man-made sounds could be heard in the garden. Here, the night’s orchestra consisted of nocturnal mammals, owls and a faint breeze rustling the leaves. Her passing was silent, and yet the inhabitants of the garden turned to watch her walk by. She, the creator of this place, was universally loved and respected by all who lived within its boundaries.

        Her unhurried steps took her through orchards, meadows and woods until she arrived at a spring that fed a forest stream. There she paused, toes on the edge of the grassy bank. She could feel eyes on her, staring at her from the shadows on the opposite side of the pond. Her patience was infinite, and it was rewarded when a horse stepped out into the open.

        The stallion was the colour of the moon, quicksilver, shadows cast on fresh snow, and his skin was stretched tight over his muscular frame. Sea kelp and mermaid’s hair were woven through his long mane and flowing tail. His dark unshod hooves marked him separate from ordinary horses, for they pointed backwards. Red eyes glowed in the dark, casting faint shadows on his cheeks.

        Their eyes met, and her smile widened.

ROC_FINAL (cover).jpg

Coming soon...

 

The Doves in the Dining Room

A novella, and book number 3.5 in Laura's Wilde Investigations series, will be published on 18 November 2021. 

It's available for pre-order on my website bookshop hereAll pre-ordered copies will be in a special one-off limited print-run, and will be signed and numbered by Laura.

 

9781916112360.jpg

Please enjoy the opening lines of The Doves in the Dining Room...

      ‘Yannia!’

    At the top of the stone steps, standing next to wooden double doors, is my friend, wearing a flowing sky-blue dress. She waves, and the sun reflects off the diamonds around her wrist. Despite the chill of a clear November day, she is wearing no coat.

      ‘I’m so glad you could make it. You’re my lucky charm.’

    I smile, a little uncomfortable with the idea of being anyone’s lucky charm. ‘Thanks for the invitation, Jessika.’

     ‘How could I not invite you, when you’re the reason I found my Robbert?’

       She draws me into a hug when I reach the top of the steps, and a cloud of floral perfume envelops me. I breathe through my mouth, and the desire to sneeze dissipates. Beneath the perfume, the subtle scents of dust, noonday heat and sun-baked salt identify her as a South Mage.

     ‘Have you heard from your ex-husband?’ I ask. Jessika’s hand creeps up to touch a silver line along her temple that’s almost obscured by her hair.

        ‘Not a peep since the divorce was finalised. The threat of those photos you took going public is enough to ensure he’ll stay well away from me.’

      We met almost a year ago. Jessika was one of my first clients. She took a chance on me because there are only a few female private investigators in Old London and she didn’t trust her case to a man.