Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping novel by Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Daughters of Night.

BLURB

From the pleasure palaces and gin-shops of Covent Garden to the elegant townhouses of Mayfair, Laura Shepherd-RobinsonDaughters of Night follows Caroline Corsham as she seeks justice for a murdered woman whom London society would rather forget . . .

London, 1782. Desperate for her politician husband to return home from France, Caroline ‘Caro’ Corsham is already in a state of anxiety when she finds a well-dressed woman mortally wounded in the bowers of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. The Bow Street constables are swift to act, until they discover that the deceased woman was a highly paid prostitute, at which point they cease to care entirely. But Caro has motives of her own for wanting to see justice done, and so sets out to solve the crime herself. Enlisting the help of thieftaker Peregrine Child, their inquiry delves into the hidden corners of Georgian society, a world of artifice, deception and secret lives.

But with many gentlemen refusing to speak about their dealings with the dead woman, and Caro’s own reputation under threat, finding the killer will be harder, and more treacherous, than she can know . . .

MY THOUGHTS

I loved Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s debut novel, Blood & Sugar when I read it a couple of years ago. I was really excited to get a copy of her latest, Daughters of Night and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get round to reading it. This is an outstanding book and Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s writing draws you into the setting and she brings Georgian London to life to well. It is so rich in historical detail that it feels as though the past has come back to life.

Following the brutal murder of a young woman, Caroline Corsham employs Peregrine Child, a thief-taker, to help her find out what happened and who murdered her. The young woman, whose body has been found, is a prostitute and most of society would much rather forget about her. There are many people high up who, it appears, are trying to cover up their tracks and prevent the murder from being solved. But Corsham and Child are determined to find out what happened, regardless of what the rest of society says. Their investigations take them into the city’s dark underbelly and into the treacherous world of prostitution and they put themselves in very real danger.

Laura Shepherd-Robinson has written a really intriguing mystery on Daughters of Night. Her writing is very immersive and although this is quite a long book, it didn’t feel like that at all, I was flying through the pages. I really admired Caro for wanting to get justice for the young woman who had been murdered, Lucy Loveless, who it feels would not have had a voice to be heard otherwise were not for Caro. Caro did briefly appear in Laura’s debut novel so it has been good to get to know her better. She is the wife of Captain Henry Corsham, the main protagonist in Blood & Sugar, and is waiting for the return of her husband, who has been abroad in France for many weeks. Although she did appear in the Laura’s last book, this book can easily be read as a standalone.

I thought Peregrine Child was also a very engaging and intriguing character. He and Caro work together really well as they both fight to get justice for Lucy. We also meet Pamela whose viewpoint the story is also told from and she is a very intriguing character as well. There are so many layers in this book which add depth and mystery to the plot. I loved how Laura brought her characters to life. They feel like real historical figures who you might read about in a history book.

Daughters of Night is a book which you can really lose yourself in. It is very entertaining and it is crying out to be turned into a television drama. I can’t wait to read what Laura Shepherd-Robinson writes next.

Publisher: Mantle

Publication date: 18th February 2021

Print length: 592 pages

Daughters of Night is available to buy:

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Top Ten Reads of 2019

It’s that time of the year again and we’re nearly into a new decade. It’s crazy isn’t it? New Year’s Eve 2009 only feels like yesterday to me.

Over the last twelve months, these ten reads have really stayed with me, long after I’ve finished reading them, which is why they are included here. This year, so far, I’ve read 131 books, and it has been really hard to pick my top ten.

So without any further ado, here are my top 10 reads of 2019.

10.

The Guilty Party by Mel McGrath.

The Guilty Party: Dive into a dark, gripping and shocking psychological thriller from bestselling author Mel McGrath by [McGrath, Mel]

This is the second book I’ve read by Mel McGrath and I felt it was a masterclass in plotting and suspense. I had no doubt at the time I read it, that it would be in my top ten reads this year. You can read my review by clicking here.

9.

The Whisper Man by Alex North

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and it didn’t disappoint. Alex North created such a chilling atmosphere in this book. You can read my review by clicking here.

8.

A Window Breaks by C.M. Ewan

A Window Breaks: A family is pushed to breaking point in this addictive, pulse-racing, emotionally-charged thriller by [Ewan, C. M.]

This was a fast and furious read that literally had me turning the pages well into the night. You can read my review by clicking here.

7.

Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen

This was one of the most unique thriller’s I’ve read this year which is why it thoroughly deserves a place in my top ten. You can read my review by clicking here.

6.

Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear

Stone Cold Heart: the addictive new thriller from the author of Sweet Little Lies by [Frear, Caz]

I was eagerly anticipating the return of Caz Frear’s detective, Cat Kinsella. Caz’s writing is so addictive and I finished it in just a couple of days. Read my review by clicking here.

5.

Violet by SJI Holliday

Violet by [Holliday, SJI]

This was another book I found to be really original. SJI Holliday takes us across Asia in her latest book and both the settings and the characters, to me, is what made this book stand out. You can read my review by clicking here.

4.

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver

Nothing Important Happened Today by [Carver, Will]

There isn’t a writer out there, who I have come across, who writes quite like Will Carver. Whatever Will Carver publishes next, I know it’s always going to be straight at the top of my list. You can read my review by clicking here.

3.

The Neighbour proves that Fiona Cummins is a writer at the top of her game. This is her best book to date. You can read my full review by clicking here.

2.

Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

This was an absolutely terrific debut which takes us back to a dark time in Britain’s and the world’s history. You can read my full review by clicking here.

1.

Breakers by Doug Johnstone

Breakers by [Johnstone, Doug]

This is a read that will really pull at the heartstrings and it made me feel so tense as I was reading this. This book has remained my favourite read of the year. You can read my review by clicking here.

 

And that’s a wrap for another year.

I hope you have a great Christmas and a great 2020 filled with brilliant books!

2019 Reads: Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson #bookreview @LauraSRobinson @MantleBooks

Blood & Sugar by [Shepherd-Robinson, Laura]

BLURB

Blood & Sugar is the thrilling debut historical crime novel from Laura Shepherd-Robinson.

June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock – horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark.

Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham – a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career – is visited by the sister of an old friend. Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry. He’d said people were trying to kill him, and now he is missing . . .

To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend’s investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed. His investigation will threaten his political prospects, his family’s happiness, and force a reckoning with his past, risking the revelation of secrets that have the power to destroy him.

And that is only if he can survive the mortal dangers awaiting him in Deptford . . .

MY THOUGHTS

From the moment I saw the cover of Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s Blood & Sugar I knew I wanted to read this book and I became even more intrigued when I read the blurb. This is a novel that I really wanted to savour as I was reading, as Laura’s writing was so utterly immersive and it brought to life the sounds, smells and the people of London in the 1780s. There are so many brilliant descriptive phrases in this book which added depth and colour to the landscape that Laura was writing about. She is a very talented writer, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

We are taken back to a dark time in British history, at the height of the slave trade which is fuelling Britain’s trading empire, as well as many other countries across Europe. The book opens with the discovery of a body on Deptford’s docks; the man who has been found murdered is Thaddeus Archer, who was firmly against the slave trade. Captain Harry Corsham is determined to find out who killed him, and as his own investigations deepen; he discovers some alarming and uncomfortable truths directly linked to the slave trade.

As Laura stripped back the layers of this brutal time period in our country’s history, I did get a sense of the horror the slaves faced, Laura handles this sensitively without, however, shying away from the brutality. I really liked Harry Corsham, who was a protagonist I rooted for from the beginning. During his investigations, he certainly gets on the wrong side of several powerful people in Deptford, and you get a real sense of him sailing closer and closer to danger and threatening his own security and interests, which is what made this read so riveting.

With untrustworthy and barbarous characters and an utterly compelling plot with wonderful atmospheric writing, Blood & Sugar is a strong debut from Laura Shepherd-Robinson. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for her next book. I highly recommend this read. Thank you to Rosie Wilson at Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Mantle

Publication date: 24th January 2019

Print length: 448 pages

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