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The Corset

by Laura Purcell

Book Club Recommendations Crime / Mystery Historical Fiction Relationship Stories Spine-Chilling Fiction

LoveReading View on The Corset

A beautifully chilling gothic story set in Victorian England that gripped me from the start.

It tells the stories of Ruth Butterham and Dorothea Truelove, two very different women from opposite ends of the social scale. Ruth’s is an abusive, bleak, harrowing tale and the narrative splits between Ruth and Dora as their lives intersect in Oakgate Prison where Ruth is imprisoned for the death of her mistress, and Dora attends to comfort prisoners as part of her charitable work.

Dora becomes obsessed with Ruth driven by her interest in phrenology - is she mad or murderer, victim or villain? A story of abuse, murder and a hint of supernatural. I couldn't put it down.

The Corset Synopsis

Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder. When Dorothea's charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she finds herself drawn to Ruth, a teenage seamstress - and self-confessed murderess - who nurses a dark and uncanny secret. A secret that is leading her straight to the gallows. As Ruth reveals her disturbing past to Dorothea, the fates of these two women entwine, and with every revelation, a new layer of doubt is cast... Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer? 

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The Corset Press Reviews

A compelling slice of early Victorian gothic ... Vivid and well researched, this book is an evocative portrait of a society that punishes women who dare to contravene social norms ... as well as a splendid mystery with suitably melodramatic flourishes - Guardian

The Silent Companions was a chillingly note-perfect take on Victorian gothic and [Purcell] makes a brilliant return to the genre with this much-anticipated tale ... Heart-pounding ... A classic Victorian tale of murder most foul, twisted with a curious supernatural thread - Stylist

Laura is a masterful writer, her deliciously gothic stories so skilfully woven that you can't get them out of your head even if you wanted to -- Stacy Halls, author of Sunday Times bestseller, The Familiars The Corset [sent] chills shooting down my spine ... Nods to the classic gothic novel and Sarah Waters's Affinity - Red

This gothic chiller casts an addictive spell - Sunday Mirror

Intricate, atmospheric and chilling - with a wonderfully dark premise at its heart - Woman & Home

[A] thrilling, chilling Gothic tale ... [A] deliciously dark mystery - Psychologies

Chilling ... All but the most cynical will find it hard to stop turning the pages - Observer

The Silent Companions was a gothic masterpiece and The Corset follows with confidence ... 16-year-old Ruth is on trial for murder but finds herself on the receiving end of Dorothea Truelove's charitable ministrations ... their joint narrative twists and turns, leading readers to the most haunting of endings - Emerald Street

Deliciously creepy and atmospheric with a gripping plot, this book will disturb your sleep. And I didn't see THAT ending coming -- Sarah J. Harris, author of 'The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder' Purcell's tale brilliantly captures the restricted lives of Victorian women, while pitting magical thinking against scientific rationale - Mail on Sunday

The Corset is a contender for my Book of the Year. Ruth and Dorothea will live in my mind for a long time. Beautifully written, intricately plotted, a masterpiece -- Sarah Hilary She's done it again. More macabre magnificence from Laura Purcell - intricately stitched together like one of seamstress Ruth's terrifying creations. The Corset will have you crushed within its vice. Brilliant' -- Anna Mazzola An intriguing premise deftly executed, The Corset is genuinely thrilling -- Elizabeth Haynes A romping read with a deliciously dark conceit at its centre. Reminded me of Alias Grace. A worthy successor to The Silent Companions -- Kiran Millwood Hargrave With the skill of a born story teller Laura Purcell has crafted a tale as intricate and flawless as Ruth's stitches. By turns horrifying and humorous, The Corset is a darkly compelling, unsettling and fascinating book, where pseudo-science meets needlework in the most chilling and unexpected ways ... The Corset is the very best kind of gothic fiction. Reminiscent of Sarah Waters and Margaret Atwood, but uniquely and unmistakably Laura Purcell -- ES Thomson The Corset is a sharp-edged, emotionally freighted mystery, rooted in the pitch-black darkness of Victorian poverty. An intriguing, page-turning gothic tale of murder and the supernatural -- Sophia Tobin Praise for The Silent Companions: 'A sinister slice of Victorian gothic ... Creepy and page-turning - The Times

A perfect read for a winter night ... An intriguing, nuanced and genuinely eerie slice of Victorian gothic - Guardian

This intriguingly plotted novel is the full-blown gothic, maintaining throughout an unsettling claustrophobic atmosphere mixed with some unusual historical detail - Daily Mail

The nights are drawing in, low mists hang over the ground... What you really need is something to terrify the bejeezus out of you. And Laura Purcell has nailed it with a story that conjures up Susan Hill's The Woman in Black, Henry James's The Turn of The Screw and a little bit of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier - Emerald Street

Irresistibly creepy, this romps along, Purcell turning her screws with skill. It's what crumpets and dismal afternoons were made for - Glamour

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781408889527
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Publisher: Raven Books an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408889527
Publication date: 2nd May 2019
Author: Laura Purcell
Publisher: Raven Books an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 416 pages
Genres: Book Club Recommendations, Crime / Mystery, Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories, Spine-Chilling Fiction,
Categories: Crime & mystery, Historical fiction, Historical romance,

About Laura Purcell

Laura Purcell is a former bookseller, she lives in Colchester with her husband and pet guinea pigs. Her second novel for Bloomsbury, gothic chiller The Corset, will be published in 2018. laurapurcell.com @spookypurcell

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