I fell in love with this chonk of a book pretty quickly, & as I turned each page I just became more & more obsessed with Caro & I slowly felt myself becoming almost as determined as she was to solve a murder. I don’t read a lot of mystery books but when I do they have to have female leads like Caro & they must be set in the past, & I always end up loving them. Daughters of Night was incredible & left me pondering why I don’t own more books like it.
I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in return for an honest review.
⚠️ Graphic violence, murder, anti-semitism, abortion, sexism, homophobic slurs/attitudes, scenes of a sexual nature, rape & other adult themes ⚠️
From the brothels 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 . . .
Lucia’s fingers found her own. She gazed at Caro as if from a distance. Her lips parted, her words a whisper: ‘He knows.’
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…
Despite this book being 600 pages long, I don’t actually have a lot of reading notes from whilst I was reading, & the simple reason for that is that I could. not. put. it. down. When I requested a copy of this book I was taking a bit of a chance because I don’t read a lot of murder mysteries, & the only ones I’ve really enjoyed are the Heloise Chancey books by M. J. Tjia (Reviews: She Be Damned; A Necessary Murder; The Death of Me coming soon) which are a lot shorter than Daughters of Night. But, Daughter’s of Night just jumped out at me & I just had to have it. Thankfully, I absolutely loved it, & I’m desperate to get my hands on Laura’s other book Blood & Sugar.
It only took a couple of chapters for me to get into this story & I found the whole thing fascinating. As I’ve said, I took a chance on this book, & if I’m honest I was worried that it would be too much of a crime novel for me (which is dumb, I know) but thankfully, it was the perfect combination of historical fiction with a strong female lead & murder mystery for it to work for me. The historical fiction themes were brought to the reader within Caro’s chapters, where we got to learn a lot about her life & attitudes, exploring the high-life of 1780s London & the struggles of being female. With Child’s chapters we then got the nitty, gritty bits of ‘police work’ during this time period & having the book split between Caro & Child helped to balance the story, making it perfect for readers like myself.
Reading Daughters of Night provided brilliant escapism for me, & despite it’s length, I never lost interest in the story. All of the layers of the plot were put together meticulously & I don’t think I ever had any idea of what was actually going on around Caro & Child. I ended up falling in love with Caro – she was a fantastic lead & her development throughout the story was smooth & effortless. I appreciated how mixed Child’s background was, & how his intentions were always good, even if it didn’t always seem that way, & I think him & Caro united really well, each complimenting & challenging the other at all times.
Laura effortlessly builds scenes within the reader’s mind as you read, & it was really easy to imagine all the different settings, be them glamorous or gruesome, even as a reader who struggles to imagine events whilst reading about them. Laura’s writing was engaging throughout all 600 pages & I was easily able to forget the world around me. This book made me feel & experience so many different emotions, including pure excitement for the book I was reading & the kind of joy all books should bring to their reader.
I am so incredibly grateful that I was sent a copy of Daughters of Night, especially as the release date had to be pushed back due to the small matter of a global pandemic; unfortunately, y’all will have to wait until January to get a copy but you can preorder now to give yourself a post-Christmas prezzie:
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