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The book is another Victorian London historical fiction. We meet Margaret, the eldest, single sister in her family, as she starts her first day as a Lady Visitor to the infamous Millbank prison. Millbank is not a particularly nice place. At least by this stage, the worst prisoners in England were sent to another prison in London, but this was still not a nice place to end up at all.
Inside Millbank, Margaret meets a prisoner called Selina, who is a spiritualist. We all know how fascinated the Victorians were with the occult, spirits, magic and the like, so it isn't a surprise that Margaret is fascinated with Selina and her abilities, and ends up being drawn in deeper and deeper.
Right, so, we can all guess by now that I am a skeptic. In my experience these kind of people prey on people desperate for a message from someone they throw tells and information into the medium's lap. HOWEVER, the disclaimer for this book is that I wanted it to be all true for the story. I am never one to let facts get in the way of a good story. Unless you swear to me something is a scientific fact and it is blatantly wrong. That pisses me off. Otherwise, I'm all for a bit of fun.
And while I wouldn't describe this book as fun, and while I couldn't completely disengage my disbelief this book drew me along quicker than I would have thought. And talk about a twisty ending!! I was hanging around 3 stars until I started hitting the twists. I didn't like it as much as Tipping the Velvet. I thought it may have been her first book, but looks like it was the second. And then it struck me, that was the problem with this book. It had a lot of second album syndrome to it. It wasn't bad, just felt a bit rushed and not quite as thought through as that debut.
A short review I know, but still a fun and surprising Victorian, gothic read.