On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping novel by Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Daughters of Night.
From the pleasure palaces and gin-shops of Covent Garden to the elegant townhouses of Mayfair, Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s Daughters 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 . . .
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.
Publication date: 18th February 2021
Print length: 592 pages
Daughters of Night is available to buy: