The Deception of Harriet Fleet by Helen Scarlett #BookReview #Gothic #Mystery @NetGalley @QuercusBooks

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Are You a fan of Jane Eyre? If YES, please do read this book without any fail.

NOPE, this is definitely not a story in a similar vein and am really not comparing the two but the absolute aura of the bleakness of Teesbank Hall and its menacing and brooding ambience was perfect for that gothic chill reminiscent of reading a Jane Eyre novel.

Harriet is the governess who is escaping from a dreadful past but the future she’s looking forward to is like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, literally. Her presence is unwelcome and none of the family members are endearing. Being a governess is also a laugh as Harriet realizes that her charge Eleanor is much more learned than her and her real task is to spy on the young girl and curtail her freedom.

What exactly are the secrets of Teesbank Hall with its loveless inhabitants brimming with hatred towards each other, rumors of deaths and madness circling around them, a sly and manipulative Eleanor, even the servants colluding to hide facts, Harriet finds herself tormented by more than loneliness in what seems to be the remotest part of the earth. It is only Henry the young master of the house who shows some kindness but the friendship also comes at a price.

The story is charged with a sense of disquiet and unease as Harriet’s curiosity give rise to more questions than answers. The gloom and doom foreboding causes a thrill in the reader’s mind as the story becomes more gripping and exciting. A powerful narrative that lures a reader in, The Deception Of Harriet Fleet has one twist after another being revealed leaving the reader in a state of high-pitched anxiety.  There’s only the part of child’s murderer being discovered at the end that felt a little off-key but otherwise this was one outstanding Victorian gothic mystery.

Highly recommended.

Dark and brimming with suspense, an atmospheric Victorian chiller set in brooding County Durham for fans of Stacey Halls and Laura Purcell

1871. An age of discovery and progress. But for the Wainwright family, residents of the gloomy Teesbank Hall in County Durham the secrets of the past continue to overshadow their lives.

Harriet would not have taken the job of governess in such a remote place unless she wanted to hide from something or someone. Her charge is Eleanor, the daughter of the house, a fiercely bright eighteen-year-old, tortured by demons and feared by relations and staff alike. But it soon becomes apparent that Harriet is not there to teach Eleanor, but rather to monitor her erratic and dangerous behaviour – to spy on her.

Worn down by Eleanor’s unpredictable hostility, Harriet soon finds herself embroiled in Eleanor’s obsession – the Wainwright’s dark, tragic history. As family secrets are unearthed, Harriet’s own begin to haunt her and she becomes convinced that ghosts from the past are determined to reveal her shameful story.

For Harriet, like Eleanor, is plagued by deception and untruths.

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