In this seemingly conventional historic thriller, the 18th century is brought vividly alive like a jigsaw puzzle of a hundred short chapters. I was drawn into both the corrupt high society and the dismal lives of the prostitutes, glad that Caro is determined to fight for justice when one of their number is murdered. Her anger at those responsible became mine too. The Furies, daughters of Night, will have their revenge.
A slice of lemon floated in the porcelain bowl of hot water. Caro lifted it out with the aid of a quill knife and laid it on her escritoire next to the little glass bottle. Dipping a finger into the water, judging it to be at drinking temperature, she unstoppered the bottle and added the contents to the bowl. It was almost odourless, a very faint trace of mint. Hard to reconcile with Lucy’s dire warnings.
She thought of Harry and Gabriel, then the child in her belly. Was God watching what she did? Many women lost babies a few weeks along – was it really so wrong to give nature a helping hand? And if she had a duty as a mother, wasn’t it to Gabriel, her living, breathing child? How would he fare, wrested from her? Without a mother’s guiding love? It was unconscionable.
Her skin damp with fear, she murmured a swift prayer. Then she lifted the bowl to her lips and drank it down.