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My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Many thanks to Net Galley, Pan Macmillan and the author for a chance to read this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
Laura Shepherd-Robinson burst into the scene of literary fiction with the hugely successful Blood and Sugar and I have been looking forward to reading it for quite some time now. But like all crazy book addicts, TBR pile seems to be growing leaps and bounds and none of us hardly seem to make any dent in it. Honestly, I do wonder why in the world do we have a TBR if we are never gonna get into it.My new year resolution to concentrate on my TBR before taking up anything new has already gone for a toss and at the rate I am going, looks like it will be another 6 months before I even look into it.
Well, that’s me going blah…blah…blah… Now to this spectacular story called Daughters Of Night.
‘Vice, in its true light, is so deformed, that it shocks us at first sight; and would hardly ever seduce us, if it did not at first wear the mask of some virtue.’
The bowers of Vauxhall pleasure gardens is not a place to be seen visiting in the dead of the night. But Caroline Corsham is desperate and is therefore ready to take a chance but what she encounters is more shocking than ever imagined in her wildest dreams. And as Caro realizes that the Bow Street runners are not invested in the truth, she appoints Peregrine Child a thief taker who has his own share of troubles and nightmares to live with.
England in 1782 has been captured breath-takingly by the author, the beau monde with its fickle attentions, the gossips, the scandals, the sinful acts committed behind closed doors and above all, the women who bow to the men for their daily lives. As the tale alternates between Perry’s and Caro’s enquiries, the reader is given a clear picture of the darkness that may hide inside a human irrespective of the class or gender they belong to. The female characters in the story are strong and well characterized, be it Lucy or Pamela or Kitty or Theresa, each of them throwing light on the different aspects of life while the men like Edward, Simon, Lord March and Stone evoke anger and revulsion for their nonchalance and dare.
In the wrong hands, a secret is a weapon.
As the mystery deepens with secrets emerging out of each meeting and Caro is forced to let bygones be bygones, danger lurks in every corner and the insidious threats worm its way to Caro’s household. The author has penetrated the deepest layers of a human mind with myriad topics like money lending, sex trade, antique dealings, the secret clubs and their debauchery and the classical Greek paintings described informatively and effectively.
Daughters of the Night is an extremely thrilling and compelling read with twists that leaves the reader stunned, encapsulating a Georgian England that is so strikingly vibrant. I can’t wait to get my hands on Blood and Sugar after this.
From the brothels and gin-shops of Covent Garden to the elegant townhouses of Mayfair, Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s Daughters of Night follows Caroline Corsham, as she seeks justice for a murdered woman whom London society would rather forget . . .
Lucia’s fingers found her own. She gazed at Caro as if from a distance. Her lips parted, her words a whisper: ‘He knows.’
London, 1782. Desperate for her politician husband to return home from France, Caroline ‘Caro’ Corsham is already in a state of anxiety when she finds a well-dressed woman mortally wounded in the bowers of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. The Bow Street constables are swift to act, until they discover that the deceased woman was a highly-paid prostitute, at which point they cease to care entirely. But Caro has motives of her own for wanting to see justice done, and so sets out to solve the crime herself. Enlisting the help of thieftaker, Peregrine Child, their inquiry delves into the hidden corners of Georgian society, a world of artifice, deception and secret lives.
But with many gentlemen refusing to speak about their dealings with the dead woman, and Caro’s own reputation under threat, finding the killer will be harder, and more treacherous than she can know . . .
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