The Shape Of Darkness by Laura Purcell
Laura Purcell’s The Shape of Darkness is a gothic ghost story set in Victorian Bath. I loved the setting; Bath felt so real, so bleak, I could vividly picture the characters going about their days and the eeriness in the air was palpable.
The main protagonist is Agnes Darken, a struggling silhouette artist, whose clients are picked off and murdered, one by one, after sitting for her. Agnes contacts a child spirit medium, Pearl, known as the White Sylph, who is ‘managed’ by her sister, in order to engage with those who have died, to try to find the killer.
The sense of place created by Purcell is incredibly impactful — you will feel like you are right there, in the story, as it unravels. The pace picks up to a point where you’ll find yourself just desperate to understand ‘whodunnit’, as the story unravels and I challenge you not to race to the end to get the answers you will find yourself needing.
I advise you to read this with all of the lights on wherever you are. By the end every noise in my house was making me jump. It’s not even that frightening, Purcell just builds so much tension that I found myself thoroughly discombobulated. This is the kind of book you are going to need to discuss afterwards so this would be perfect for a buddy read.
There are twists and turns in the storyline that knock you completely out of kilter and the ending… @laura.purcell85 I demand answers!!! It is incredibly clever in that it leaves you questioning the characters and what really happened. I have read reviews in which people finished this and immediately started reading it again to experience the story and believe me I was tempted to do the same. This is historical fiction blended with gothic fantasy and Purcell brings to life with ease the difficulties of the time together with the complexities of the characters she creates. Any fans of this type of genre will love this. Thank you so much to @bloomsburypublishing@adonegan2 for our gorgeous copy.