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Kate studied at Oxford and London and is the author of two non-fiction books: England's Mistress: the Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton and Becoming Queen. She lives in London. The Pleasures of Men is her first novel.
Pitch-perfect . . . This intoxicating and disturbing novel is properly thrilling and extraordinarily well-written * Independent on Sunday * A dark story of murder and obsession * Elle * An eerie murder mystery set in the corrupt heart of Victorian London * Marie Claire Good Book Club pick * Part-bodice-ripper, part-slasher, the book's elaborate plot moves along at a brisk clip with a nod to the likes of Sarah Waters and Peter Ackroyd * Daily Mail * A sure-footed evocation of seamy Victorian London * The Sunday Telegraph * A sinister picture of a country, and protagonist, on the brink of hysteria * Psychologies * As crowded with sensation as a Victorian parlour with furniture * The Scotsman * A spider's web of a plot and a spine-tingling atmosphere of menace and suspense * The Times * Mesmerising, elegant and compelling * The Lady *
Biographer Williams (Becoming Queen) does something new with a familiar trope in her promising first novel, a thriller set in 1840 London. A Jack the Ripper-like serial killer, dubbed the Man of Crows, leaves his stabbed victims displayed with their hair stuffed into their mouths, their chests gouged in the shape of a star, and a penny placed on the exposed heart. The search for the murderer's identity largely falls to Catherine Sorgeiul, an orphan living with an ostensibly kindly uncle. Still adjusting to the tumult of the big city, Catherine also struggles with her own sexuality and the hypocrisies of early Victorian society, even as the body count rises. In one distinctive touch, the author has Catherine identify so closely with the Man of Crows' victims that she writes narratives in their names. Readers looking for more psychological sophistication than is usual in such historicals will be pleased. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.