I did not know about this book until I was lucky to receive a copy, initially by way of recommendation by a good amount of people on Twitter, and then I came across the author and he kindly sent me a copy, to read.
Set in 1842, two drunken sisters (Judy & Maggie), both not married and running a failing business until Maggie has the idea of opening a Seance Parlour. Judy has other ideas and dreams of becoming a successful writer and then to meet a man of her dreams but gives into starting up the Seance Parlour whilst Blackheath has dead bodies appearing on and around the Common, oh, and there are Demons in it, sort of! You see, the book is also a book 'within' a book and we get to read the novel that Judy is writing which captures your imagination and, well, you just need to read it.
The way the story 'within' a story is written is genius, Alan Williams, who writes in a style as if it is written by the hand of a woman writing fantasy in the 19th Century, in that it being by Judy from the main story; even at one point I thought I was reading something written by Mary Shelley when I was reading this story 'within' a story! I guess that you could say that you have '2 books for the price of 1' here! Alan Williams also perfectly describes London for the year of 1842 and I have learnt a lot about such places like Bethlem Hospital (Bedlam) and the 'not so friendly way' the clergy treated certain findings back then (not real spoilers); don't get me wrong, this is no history book but I feel the research Alan put into this book is worthy of anything I have ever read about historical London.
This book deserves a wider audience and I insist you must download a Kindle Amazon sample first to give you a taster of what I feel is a hidden gem of a book that came out in 2013, and then purchase the rest of the book.
9.5 out of 10 - a must read!
Click here to download a sample from Amazon