Daughters of Night

Daughters of Night


London, 1782, Caro Corsham finds a woman mortally wounded in the bowers of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.

When the constables discover that the deceased woman was a high-society lady of the night, they stop searching for her killer - and it's up to Caro to seek justice.

But the hidden corners of Georgian society are filled with artifice, deception and secrets, and finding the killer will be harder, and more treacherous, than she can know ...

Our Review

Daughters of Night is a deeply engaging novel full of suspense and intrigue. It is richly detailed and obviously thoroughly researched.

I have read that this book gives voices to those female victims history often facts but I would argue it goes one step further – it makes you care about those same voices.

Daughters of Night is set in Georgian London and begins with a young woman’s body being discovered at a society party.

When it is discovered that the young woman was actually a prostitute the authorities seem to lose interest but Caro Corsham is not willing to let it drop and wants to see the murderer brought to justice.

“In the wrong hands a secret is a weapon.”

If there is one quote to sum up the book then it would be the above quote and it is also a wonderful opening line.

Caro is a strong, independent, intelligent and capable protagonist. A really well written and inspirational character.

Caro is at an opening night of an exhibition of classical scenes painted by Jacobus Agnetti when the novel begins.

“Men in helmets killing one another, killing monsters, killing women. The rape of Lucretia. Medea slaughtering her infant children. It’s how history remembers the lady, she thought. By our death or our dishonour or our sins.”

She was meeting someone in secretly in a shady part of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. The agreed signal for their meeting place is an ostrich feather attached to a bower. When she gets there, she doesn’t see what she is expecting.

“A lantern, a stone bench, willow stirring in the breeze. Those were the things she expected to see. Not a woman lying on the ground – her body curled like a question mark, the stomacher of her pink gown stained a shocking dark red. One of her gloved hands clawed at a wound in her throat, the other lay limp next to a bloodstained document.”

The young woman is her friend Lucia.

“Lucia’s fingers found her own. She gazed at Caro as if from a distance. Her lips parted, her words in a whisper. ‘He knows.’”

Once Caro realises the authorities are not interested, she decides to hire a thief-taker named Peregrine Child. Peregrine Child is a former magistrate from Deptford who is known to her absent husband.

“In Deptford, he’d had status and respect, not to mention a steady stream of income, much of it honest. Now he was reduced to grubbing around after stolen property, arresting the odd thief who tried his patience, and spending too much time in dog-hole taverns like the Red Lion.”

Peregrine has no choice but to except the job as he owes money to a thug who has recently given him an ultimatum to pay up or die.

As the book progresses, we learn how Caro came to know Lucia (otherwise known as Lucy Loveless.) We also learn more about the mystery of Lucy’s death and why a whole host of powerful people don’t want the truth to come out.

When Peregrine asks her why she is so interested this is the answer she gives.

“For two days I mourned Lucia Di Caracciolo, and now I find no such person ever existed. The magistrate, my brother, the newspapers…they only see a harlot now and harlots matter now. Yet a woman still died in that bower. I held Lucy’s hand as she breathed her last. They’d like me to forget that I ever met her but I cannot.”

I won’t say anymore about the book because it is so good I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but I loved it so much.

I was gutted when the book finished and if ever there were a book deserving of a book hangover then Daughters of Night is it.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

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