Yet another novel set in nineteenth century London. It looks like the only thing I read are historical novels, but I promise that’s not true!
A darkly atmospheric novel with plenty of twists and turns. I wondered from the title whether there would be elements of the supernatural, and there aren’t, but it’s plenty wicked enough for all that. Hester, an 18 year old orphaned daughter of a country parson, has fallen on hard times and now lives with her parents’ previous gardener and his wife in a slum area of London. A chance encounter with Calder Brock leads her to his country house and a chance of leaving behind her former life. First, though, she has to solve the mystery of why the poor have been disappearing from the area in London where she was living.
This is a well-plotted debut from Laura Carlin. The storyline moves speedily with plenty of cliff hangers to keep the reader hanging on. There were a few too many coincidences (I felt), but nonetheless it’s an enjoyable foray into the murkiest depths of London’s criminal underworld in 1831.
With thanks for Netgalley for a pre-publication copy