Meet the author: L S Hilton - Domina

Domina book cover

Are you ready for the shocking new thriller from the internationally bestselling author of Maestra? Find out more about the book and author below.

About the book

Having drawn comparisons to The Talented Mr Ripley and Gone Girl, Domina is the second in a trilogy of darkly decadent and shockingly original thrillers.

Maestra introduced Judith Rashleigh, an exciting new heroine, the likes of whom we've never seen before in fiction – a 21st century Cinderella, beautiful, dangerous and sexually empowered, a woman who knows what she wants and exactly how to get it.

Set in the world of Europe's seriously wealthy, Domina addresses themes such as sexuality, body politics, power, aspiration, feminism, and fashion as a reflection of our inner psyche.

With a heroine as wickedly perceptive as Amy Dunne and as dangerous as Lisbeth Salander, Domina is razor-sharp and will once again enthrall readers around the world…

Domina – The story so far…

Some people would kill to have the life she has. She did.

Judith Rashleigh has made it. Living a life of luxury amidst the splendor of Venice, she's finally enjoying the life she always wanted. Then her past catches up with her.

Someone knows what Judith's done.

Facing blackmail, Judith can only save herself by finding a priceless painting – unfortunately, one she's convinced doesn't exist. And she isn't the only one seeking it.

This time, Judith isn't in control. Outflanked and out-thought, outrun and outgunned, she faces an enemy more powerful and more ruthless than she ever imagined. And if she doesn't win, she dies.

Praise for Maestra


“Although it has a red cover, it's distinctly blue in content, but in the smartest, most gripping and page turning way possible: expertly woven within a psychological thriller set in the dangerous world of fine art.” – Elle

“Fantastically good fun… LS Hilton can write. She can even make you think that popping along to a sex party is quite a good idea.” – The Sunday Times

“Brimming with scandal, intrigue and mystery, this is a book that everyone is talking about.” – Heat

About the author

L S Hilton

L S Hilton grew up in England and has lived in Key West, New York City, Paris, and Milan. After graduating from Oxford, she studied art history in Paris and Florence.

She has worked as a journalist, art critic, and broadcaster, and is presently based in London.

Meet L S Hilton

What are you reading now?

At present, a proof copy of Edward Docx’s Let Go My Hand – his last novel was shortlisted for the Booker, and he is such a brilliantly incisive writer. By my bed, I also have Kim Barker's Taliban Shuffle and Edmund Gordon's biography of Angela Carter.

What is the last book you bought someone as a gift?

I practically live in Daunt's bookshop on Marylebone High Street- I go there with my daughter nearly every day after school. Last week we attended several events at the Daunt's Book Festival, where I bought Peter Frankopan's The Silk Roads as a present for a friend in Istanbul.

Is research a big part of your writing process?

Coming from a background of writing history, research is a crucial element of making fiction for me. I think readers can always tell if something is flimsily depicted, even if it's imaginary, so I try to be very thorough. For Domina I interviewed a real-life arms dealer, travelled to a contemporary artists' collective in Serbia and worked on a museum show in Milan on Caravaggio. I've just returned from a trip to the Maastricht Old Masters fair, which I visited in preparation for book three – I needed to know how to fake the pigments for a Gauguin.

Do you have any peculiar writing rituals or habits?

I work at home on my kitchen table and always have – I can't bear writing with other people around, though I often wish I had the concentration to work in a coffee shop. I like to start early, as my brain switches off at about 2pm. And I have to clean the kitchen first!

I need a really calm, orderly space to write in… but in fact, I also smoke and swear out loud for much of the time.

What advice would you offer to aspiring writers?

Try to write a set number of words each day and don't start revising until you have reached your target. Don't talk about your work in progress – your ideas should work themselves out on the page initially. Write the way you want to, not with a view to what you think you should be doing.

Could you describe the room that you write in?

As I said, the kitchen of my flat in London. I don't own much furniture, but I have a lovely 1929 walnut table. All my books are on hand to check references, and I always have fresh flowers. I need a really calm, orderly space to think in – quite often I pause for a bit of light Hoovering. I drink a lot of coffee from a cheerful orange Le Creuset coffee pot. That makes me sound like such a tranquil person – in fact, I also smoke and swear out loud for much of the time.

Maestra and Domina book covers

Can you tell us about your book?

Domina began with a phrase – “the end of desire is death”. What do you want when you've got what you want? I hope that, like Maestra, it will be an exciting, fast-paced, glamorous, twisty read, but it's in some ways a darker (though funnier) book. I wanted readers to see Judith Ashleigh's character evolving, and to keep surprising them, and as Judith finds herself on the run for her life in pursuit of a painting she's convinced doesn't exist, readers will see that there was something going on in Maestra that they – and she – didn't spot.

Book giveaway

We ask all winners to share their thoughts about the book on the discussion thread. If you're not a lucky winner, you can pick up a copy here. Everyone who posts their detailed feedback about Domina by midday 29 May will be entered into a draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher.

This giveaway is sponsored by Bonnier Zaffre