I am sharing “The Wicked Cometh” by Laura Carlin today. I would like to thank the lovely people at Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me an eARC via NetGalley. This book is available in various formats with a publication date of 1st February for some formats.
‘We have no need to protect ourselves from the bad sort
because we ARE the bad sort . . .’
‘This newspaper has taken note that the past month has been remarkable for the prevalence of cases where men, women and children are declared missing. Scarcely a week passes without the occurrence of an incident of this type’ – The Morning Herald, Tuesday 13 September 1831
Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and the city’s vulnerable poor are disappearing from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.
When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock.
But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking. . .
Starting in London in 1830, we are introduced to Hester White, told about her life and her reasons for being where she is. When she is involved in an accident and taken in by the wealthy Brock family she thinks she may be on the up. What starts as an amiable situation takes a turn for the worse and we are taken into a deep, dark evilly twisted world set in the murky gloomy depths of London back streets.
This is a historical fiction that from the outset feels right. The descriptions given build up a vivid picture of the murky, dark slums and back streets of London as well as the lavish and elaborate villas and large country houses of the wealthier London. The characters have a mix of the flamboyant, the dodgy, rich and poor, honest and just down right nasty. The plot leads you down deep, dark alleys and along bright well-lit streets as we are gradually taken further into the story and discover the depths some people will go to for the sake of their career and reputation. I did feel it took me a little while for the book to really grab my attention, but gradually I could feel myself getting caught up in it, some passages were a little long, but the descriptions have been done well. But this I think is another book where I am greedy to read what happens next, I must be more patient. I really liked the character descriptions in this story, they were a good mixed bag of traits and memorable little details.
This is a book I would recommend to readers of historical mystery books, set in 1800’s London with two female sleuthing leading ladies uncovering a dark and twisted puzzle. I would like to thank Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for my eARC of this book. My views are my own and are unbiased.
About the Author:
Laura Carlin left school at 16 to work in retail banking and it was only after leaving her job to write full-time that she discovered her passion for storytelling and exploring pockets of history through fiction. She lives in a book-filled house in beautiful rural Derbyshire with her family (and a very naughty cat). When she’s not writing she enjoys walking in the surrounding Peak District. THE WICKED COMETH is her first novel.
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