A debut novel by Clare Whitfield and all I can say is I hope she writes lots more. I gave this novel four out of five stars on goodreads and it was well deserved.
This novel is craftily set in late nineteenth century London and it doesn’t shy away from the hardships of the time. You really get a feeling for the squalor, the putrid smells and the desperation of the times. This is a world of prostitutes, thieves and a huge disparity in wealth between rich and poor. The main character Susannah is complex and also bisexual. I enjoyed the sub story between her and a fellow nurse. Fortunately for her she is also determined and of strong character.
It is clear that she marries for money as much as love, something I find very reasonable for the times. However, the marriage quickly takes a dark turn as her husband who at first showers her with love, becomes increasingly violent. As her own fascination with Jack The Ripper grows, she begins to suspect her husband.
This novel is full of intrigue and twists. The twists are very believable and it’s as if you’re slowly seeing behind the mist. Even Susannah has a dark side, which made me like her even more. Perhaps, because I believe people are rarely all good or all evil.
If you haven’t read this novel, I recommend that you do.