Synopsis: Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and no one is willing to speak out on behalf of the city’s vulnerable poor as they disappear from the streets.
Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.
When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock. But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations.
Hester and Rebekah find themselves crossing every boundary they’ve ever known in pursuit of truth, redemption and passion. But their trust in each other will be tested as a web of deceit begins to unspool, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking…
Title: The Wicked Cometh
Author: Laura Carlin
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pub Date: 8th February 2018
I received an ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Well… damn. I’m not quite sure how to review this one!
On the one hand, there are some aspects of the book that I really didn’t get, or feel it needed. The romance felt more like an attempt to be ‘different’ than a natural progression of a relationship. The characters were simplistic and stereotypical. And there were some pretty questionable sections that felt more like adding to the word count than meaning anything to the story.
This was especially true for the ending. It felt like our author was more interested in ticking the ‘happily-ever-after’ box than writing a meaningful, and believable ending. I’ve fallen in love with far-fetched endings before but this was just too much. It felt like the author did something they regretted and then clutched at any weak plot twist they could find to bring it all back together again.
Yet. Even with all the flaws, I really enjoyed it.
I know it makes no sense. I’ve read much better historical fiction and I should hate this book because of its weaknesses. But it was gripping... Really gripping. There were audible ooh’s on public transport; attempts to walk and read in the snow; and sneaking an extra 10 minutes at lunchtime (sorry boss!) just to get an answer.
So here I am, confused as hell. I can’t give the book more than 3 stars because, let’s face it, it’s pretty flawed. But it did get me out of a reading slump and I did enjoy it in general.
Make of that what you will.