Set in London in 1837, Anna Mazzola's THE UNSEEING is the story of Sarah Gale, a seamstress and mother, sentenced to hang for her role in the murder of Hannah Brown on the eve of her wedding. Perfect for any reader of Sarah Waters or Antonia Hodgson.
'A twisting tale of family secrets and unacknowledged desires. Intricately plotted and extremely convincing in its evocation of the everyday realities of 1830s London, this is a fine first novel' - The Sunday Times
After Sarah petitions for mercy, Edmund Fleetwood is appointed to investigate and consider whether justice has been done. Idealistic, but struggling with his own demons, Edmund is determined to seek out the truth. Yet Sarah refuses to help him, neither lying nor adding anything to the evidence gathered in court. Edmund knows she's hiding something, but needs to discover just why she's maintaining her silence. For how can it be that someone would willingly go to their own death?
Love, corruption, and retribution define Mazzola's absorbing and unpredictable debut novel. At the opening in London in 1837, Sarah Gale is arrested and charged with assisting James Greenacre in the "horrific murder of a blameless woman," Hannah Brown, who has been mutilated. However, Sarah repeatedly pleads that she had no part in the crime and that she also had no knowledge of it occurring afterward. Edmund Fleetwood, criminal investigator, is tasked with determining whether Sarah should be hanged through the evidence provided to the jury during her trial, upon her request of a petition for mercy. Murderess or not, it becomes clear Sarah is hiding something and as she and Edmund deal with their own personal demons along the way, the truth comes to light in a very satisfying conclusion. This is a cleverly written and intricate mystery that doesn't try to outsmart the reader or become convoluted, and that includes great characters and subplots that eventually intersect to make for a multidimensional read. The authentic setting of Victorian London enhances the reading experience.