I recently read The Silent Companions and loved it, so when my husband treated me to a new book at the weekend, I chose her new book, The Corset.
How beautiful is that cover?
From the blurb:
Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?
Dorothea and Ruth. Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless. Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.
When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted with the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.
The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations – of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses – will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality and the power of redemption.
Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?
Purcell has produced another fabulously gothic Victorian drama. The two narratives of Ruth and Dora keep you guessing about what actually happened. Until the last page I wasn’t sure if Ruth had actually killed her mistress or not.
The secondary plot about Dora and her father was very intriguing – I found him to be quite insufferable and wanted her to tell his simpering fiancee to bugger off.
Overall I gave this book 4.5/5 stars.