The new Victorian chiller from the author of Radio 2 Book Club pick, The Silent Companions.
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 with 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?
“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 Thompson
The Corset will be released as The Poison Thread in the USA by Penguin. Date TBC