Thursday, 11 July 2019

Lantern for the Dark by Jessica Stirling

Good Reads Revisited


Lantern For The Dark: Book One (Frederick and Clare)

" I really enjoyed this book. There is a fair amount of 'author's voice' but it is used to wicked, delicious effect as Stirling describes the vast array of characters who come and go but, crucially, who also have a part to play"

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US 
AMAZON CA


Mystery
1700/1800s
Scotland

In Georgian Glasgow, a seventeen-year-old mother stands trial for her life...
Clare Kelso has been locked in the Tolbooth, accused of murdering her own infant son. The baby's father has vanished and she has no one to turn to.
Maverick lawyer Cameron Adams, summoned from Edinburgh to defend the guilty, soon comes to believe that the frail girl who refuses to defend herself could be a murderer's second victim.
The key to the truth lies with Frederick Striker. Gambler, seducer, adventurer, he alone can save Clare from the gallows. If he wishes to . . .

And then we rewind. The opening pages of the book are set in the prison but then we are taken back to the time when Frederick Striker appears in Glasgow and gradually we see the effect he has not just on Clare's life, but the wider society. I really enjoyed this book. There is a fair amount of 'author's voice' but it is used to wicked, delicious effect as Stirling describes the vast array of characters who come and go but, crucially, who also have a part to play in the seemingly irrevocably-tangled plot. However, the plot does unravel, slowly and satisfyingly and the final revelation was a total surprise. For some time I had been trying to work out 'whodunnit' and was genuinely at a loss to guess. The book is peppered with people from high society (with high and low morals!), petty criminals, innocent victims and those out for revenge. Acerbic comments and one-liners abound, and the historical setting is very well-drawn. Witty, but full of drama and pathos, this is a great read. So much so that I am currently about three chapters into the sequel.


© Annie Whitehead


Good Reads Revisited


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