I got this as a preview copy from the nice people at
Netgalley. I will always be honest about a book no matter if I paid for it or not. There are also affiliate links in here, too 💜
If you’re after unnerving historical fiction that comes wrapped in a big ol’ bow, then let me introduce you to the Queen of Gothic Spooks, Laura Purcell.
Having read The Silent Companions, The Corset and Bone China I knew exactly what I was getting myself in for and this did NOT disappoint.
This is what you’re in for:
✨ Set in Victorian Bath (the era and the city, not a very old tub)
✨ Spiritual mediums who seem to _actually_ speak to the dead
✨ An artist losing the plot
✨ People dying left, right and centre
So if that’s caught your attention, lemmie introduce you to the characters. First up, the main gal Agnes Darken. A silhouette artist (legit had no idea this was a thing) and the breadwinner for her very small family. Only she has the slight issue of her clients dying after she’s done their portrait. Can confirm it ain’t good for business.
And then you’ve got wee Pearl. A wee 11-year-old spirit medium with the world riding on her shoulders. Essentially used by her half-sister to make them a chunk of cash for séances, she quickly finds herself tangled in Agnes’ mess when all she wanted to do was speak to her dead mum.
Yet there was just something lacking from this. And all I can think about are two things:
– I didn’t fall in love with any characters. Except maybe the dog.
– It took me a while to get sucked in which I’ve never had to deal with when it comes to the other books.
Throwing that aside though, this is a wonderful little book with a very clever story woven through it. Legit never seen the ending coming. Was 100% a pow, right in the kisser moment and I’m real glad my noggin didn’t work it out.
Grab The Shape of Darkness on the 21st January 2021.