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Journalist | Novelist


'An eerie and sorrowful tale, beautifully told - a hugely impressive debut'

joanna kavenna, orange prize winning novelist

Laura Powell

CORNWALL. 1956. Fifteen-year-old Betty Broadbent has never left the fishing village of St Steele or ventured far beyond the walls of the boarding house run by her erratic mother. But when the London press pack descends on St Steele to report on a series of gruesome murders of young women, Betty's world changes. She is instantly transfixed by the mysterious and aloof reporter, Mr Gallagher.

As the death toll rises, an unlikely friendship blossoms between Betty and Gallagher. But as their bond deepens, they find themselves entangled with the murders and each is forced to make a devastating choice, one that will shape their own lives – and the life of an innocent man – forever.

  • Amazon 'Rising Star' 2017

  • Glamour Magazine Book Club

  • Sainsbury's Book Club

  • Book of the Week, The Sun

  • Winner of a New Writer's Bursary




'Powell leaves us agonising over the terrible choices open to a young woman like Betty’
The New York Times

'Killer twist’
Daily Mail

Mail on Sunday

'You won’t be able to put it down’
Sunday Telegraph

‘Unsettling, compelling’

‘A smart and gripping debut that saves its best for last’
Chris Cleave, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist

Full list of reviews here

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The strange disappearance of Jessie Earl -Telegraph Magazine

The inside story of the Irish mother and baby homes
-Telegraph Magazine

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‘Visceral and unsettling... A smart and gripping debut that saves its best for last’
- Chris Cleave, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist

"Powell leaves us agonising over the terrible choices open to a young woman like Betty’
- Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

'A spine-tingling story of the secrets we choose to keep' 
- Mail on Sunday

'The plot rattles along with plenty of red herrings... until the killer twist' 
- Daily Mail

'Bid your to-do list goodbye because you're not going to be able to put it down' 
- Sunday Telegraph, Stella Magazine

‘Unsettling and compelling’
- Glamour

'Intrigue, suspense and a unique story. The author is annoyingly talented and I devoured this book in a day' 
- The Sun

'Assured and intriguing... with a slight Broadchurch feel' 
- Sunday Herald

‘Haunting and complex... A satisfying mystery, as well as a complex portrait of the effects of emotional trauma’
- Kirkus Reviews

"A satisfying and suspenseful debut,.. The final twist in the murder plot will catch many readers unaware, as will the surprising emotional heft of the narrative’
- Publishers Weekly

’A gripping debut novel... Entirely unforgettable’
- Booklist

’A sophisticated debut... Powell adroitly weaves secrets, promises, fear, and guilt into an absorbing story of love and loss with an astounding conclusion’
- Library Journal

'A clever first book by a remarkable new voice. Laura Powell has all the makings of becoming one of modern literature's greats' 
- Sogo Magazine

'An eerie and sorrowful tale, beautifully-told: a hugely impressive debut’ 
- Joanna Kavenna, Orange Prize winning novelist

'A quirky, vivid, original writer' 
- Maggie Gee OBE, novelist

'Gripping from the first page, this is a remarkable debut. I highly recommend it' 
- Katie Fforde, novelist



LAURA POWELL is Features Editor (Magazines) at the Daily Telegraph, working across the Telegraph Magazine and Stella. She presents the Daily Telegraph’s literary podcast, My Life in Books, and has chaired interviews at numerous book festivals, including the Hay Festival.

Previously she worked as a Features Writer at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, and as Deputy Editor of Economia and Managing Editor of Elite Traveler. She has written features for The Guardian, The Observer, Evening Standard, Stylist, Grazia, The Lady, Homes & Gardens and other magazines.

Laura has won several awards including a Scott Trust Bursary from the Guardian Media Group and a New Writer’s Bursary from Literature Wales. She read English Literature at the University of Warwick, completed her MA at Goldsmiths, University of London and she is also a graduate of the Faber Academy. Originally from Wales, she now lives in London.

The Unforgotten is her first novel.



Agent and UK enquiries: Norah Perkins at Curtis Brown

Publicist (US): Meagan Harris at Gallery Books - Simon & Schuster

Editor (US): Jackie Cantor at Gallery Books - Simon & Schuster

Twitter   @laurapow1   Instagram   @laura.j.powell

Twitter @laurapow1
Instagram @laura.j.powell