The Shape of Darkness
'A future gothic classic' Martyn Waites
*LAURA PURCELL'S THRILLING NEW NOVEL THE WHISPERING MUSE IS AVAILABLE TO PREORDER NOW*
'Dripping with atmosphere with a corkscrew plot, Laura Purcell just gets better and better' STACEY HALLS
'It truly kept me guessing to the very last page' SONIA VELTON
Wicked deeds require the cover of darkness...
A struggling silhouette artist in Victorian Bath seeks out a renowned child spirit medium in order to speak to the dead – and to try and identify their killers – in this beguiling new tale from Laura Purcell.
Silhouette artist Agnes is struggling to keep her business afloat. Still recovering from a serious illness herself, making enough money to support her elderly mother and her orphaned nephew Cedric has never been easy, but then one of her clients is murdered shortly after sitting for Agnes, and then another, and another...
Desperately seeking an answer, Agnes approaches Pearl, a child spirit medium lodging in Bath with her older half-sister and her ailing father, hoping that if Pearl can make contact with those who died, they might reveal who killed them. But Agnes and Pearl quickly discover that instead they may have opened the door to something that they can never put back...
What secrets lie hidden in the darkness?
A Victorian silhouette artist investigates a mystery with the help of a medium in the suspenseful latest from Purcell (The House of Whispers). With photography rapidly supplanting the art of the silhouette, Agnes Darken is barely making ends meet in Bath, England. Then a client is murdered immediately after sitting for her, and another is found drowned nearby. Agnes fears the deaths are related and becomes overwhelmed with guilt, believing her "gaze has cast a shadow over them." Her doctor brother-in-law, Simon Carfax, dismisses her concerns, but more of Agnes's clients successively wind up dead. Purcell shifts point of view between Agnes and Pearl Meers, a half-starved 11-year-old living in the poorer part of Bath who possesses the ability to channel the dead. Pearl's half-sister, Myrtle, is a mesmerist intent on maximizing profits from her sister's "gift." Eventually, the three meet and Agnes forms a pact with Pearl: Agnes will ask Simon to help Pearl's father (dying horribly from phosphorus poisoning) if Pearl will help her find answers about who is killing her clients and why. What the two unearth leads to a shocking ending. Purcell convincingly describes the grime and poverty in Bath, an appropriate backdrop to the story's tragedy and horror. Fans of gothic fiction will devour this.