The new Victorian chiller from the author of Radio 2 and Zoe Ball ITV Book Club pick, The Silent Companions.
Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?
Dorothea and Ruth.
Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless.
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 is delighted to have the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.
The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations – of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses – will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality, and the power of redemption.
Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?
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 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 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 * Phantasmic thrills ... A true page-turner ... Neatly crafted and compelling ... The story ticks along at a good pace, with a spine-tingling revelation every few pages * Times Literary Supplement *