Welcome to the dark world of poverty in 1830s Georgian London.
Hester White is an orphan living in cramped conditions with her former gardener and his wife but they harbour deadly secrets that are discovered throughout the book.
Hester is injured in a carriage accident and the wealthy owner takes her home to be educated and escape the slums. All is not what is seems here as Calder Brock becomes addicted to opium and fraternises with unpleasant characters from the Georgian underworld.
Hester and Rebekah make some truly gruesome discoveries and I felt genuinely sickened by some of the vivid descriptions about three quarters of the way into the book as the full depth of the depravity comes to light.
The developing romantic feelings between Hester and Rebekah are very subtle and their love defies the class and gender politics of the Georgian age.
There are lots of twists and turns in the book to keep the reader interested in the plot. The reality of living in poverty is evoked powerfully through the characters and narrative. The reader is drawn into the story through joining Hester on her journey of discovery towards the truth.
Overall this was a great read especially for those who love historical fiction but be warned about some of the darker aspects of the book and its grisly detail…