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Toto Among the Murderers: A John Murray Original

Paperback / softback

Main Details

Title Toto Among the Murderers: A John Murray Original
Authors and Contributors      By (author) Sally J Morgan
Physical Properties
Format:Paperback / softback
Dimensions(mm): Height 214,Width 132
Category/GenreOckham Longlist Titles
Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction
ISBN/Barcode 9781529300390

Publishing Details

Publisher John Murray Press
Imprint JM Originals
Publication Date 29 October 2020
Publication Country United Kingdom


'Vividly portrays the human face of young women on the margins of society, women who defy being statistics, who have their own stories and loves to tell' Sophie Ward LONGLISTED FOR THE OCKHAM AWARDS It is 1973 and Jude - known to her friends as Toto - has just graduated from art school and moves into a house in a run-down part of Leeds. Jude is a chaotic wild child who flirts with the wrong kind of people, drinks too much and gets stoned too often. Never happy to stay in one place for very long, her restlessness takes her on hitchhiking jaunts up and down the country. Her best friend, Nel, is the only steady influence Jude has but Nel's life isn't as perfect as it seems. Reports of attacks on women punctuate the news and Jude takes off again, suffocated by an affair she has been having with a married woman. But what she doesn't realise is that the violence is moving ever closer to home: there is Janice across the road who lives in fear of being beaten up again by her pimp and Nel, whose perfect life is coming undone at her boyfriend's hands. At the same time infamous murderers, Fred and Rosemary West, are stalking the country, on the lookout for girls like Jude.

Author Biography

Sally J Morgan was born in the Welsh mining town of Abertyleri, and grew up nomadically across Wales and England. She lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand, with her wife, the novelist Jess Richards. Toto Among the Murderers is based on her own experience of being offered a lift by Fred and Rosemary West.


An exhilarating novel, so evocative of the lives of broke, hedonistic art graduates in the 70s and all the joy and recklessness of youth. I was gripped also by the darkness and predatory threats circling these characters, who think themselves so invulnerable, and yet are anything but - Susan Barker, author of The Incarnations Vividly portrays the human face of young women on the margins of society, women who defy being statistics, who have their own stories and loves to tell - Sophie Ward Moments of startling beauty and heart-wrenching tenderness. The author's skill in portraying so much brutality with such a lightness of touch is truly impressive. The writing engages from the get-go with crisp dialogue, deft depictions of time and place and sharp observations of human behaviour . . . I relished every page - Emma Henderson My favourite kind of book. A tense literary thriller grounded in the urgent mess of real lives in the 1970s, where a compelling sense of threat lurks behind every paragraph. Toto Among The Murderers captures an England ill-at-ease with itself full of people who don't know what they want, but they know it isn't this. This is a novel that introduces an assured writer, someone interested in lives that are often over-looked from a neglected period of recent history - Stephen May