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?
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)
The Silent Companions was a chillingly note-perfect take on Victorian gothic and [Purcell] makes a brilliant return to the genre with this much-anticipated tale … Heart-pounding . A classic Victorian tale of murder most foul, twisted with a curious supernatural thread (Stylist)
The Silent Companions was a gothic masterpiece and The Corset follows with confidence … 16-year-old Ruth is on trial for murder but finds herself on the receiving end of Dorothea Truelove’s charitable ministrations … their joint narrative twists and turns, leading readers to the most haunting of endings (Emerald Street)
The Corset [sent] chills shooting down my spine … Nods to the classic gothic novel and Sarah Waters’s Affinity (Red)
W H Smith