1837. Sarah Gale is sentenced to hang for the death of her ex-partner’s new wife, but not everyone is convinced that she is guilty. Lawyer Edmund Fleetwood is set the challenge of revisiting the evidence and making an appeal. But an untrusting Sarah isn’t cooperative, and very few people are – and even the stories Fleetwood hears are twisted and confusing, and no one seems to be telling the truth, even within his own family…
Oh. My. Goodness. This was amazing! For some reason I wasn’t expecting much when I picked this up, but I enjoyed it immensely. And also got so scared that I asked my husband to come downstairs with me when I had been reading in the middle of the night. We were in desolate, pitch black Scotland, in a pitch black and creaky house. He said no. I just about coped. But the twisting and turning and tales told and lies and mysteries here were just fantastic!
When reading it, I was surprised at how much we knew from the beginning of the book. The story of the death is known – and from then on, gone over and over from different angles. I am amazed that this could be so compelling, because in some ways it didn’t hugely expand or move forwards, but it was. I was completely hooked.
The historical period was well displayed; but it wasn’t at all intrusive. It was as gripping as any modern day thriller: the setting adds but doesn’t detract anything.
We engaged primarily with the characters, who all seemed relatable and human without any old-world distance put on them. Sarah was inscrutable to us as well as Edmund, and her story became more and more compelling as I read it. It just didn’t make sense for a long time! And Edmund was relatable if frustrating; we had no perfect characters here, but were very invested in finding out the truth.
The plot moved forward fantastically, drawing out different pieces and clues and puzzles as it went. There wasn’t violence or particular threat, but the mysteries and lies themselves developed and opened and closed as you wondered who on earth you could trust.
And it kept me hooked until the very end, which was satisfying and complete. I missed reading it, but I was pleased. I think I’ll keep this book and re-read it in a few years, and enjoy it all over again. I don’t think I’ve done it justice in this review; in many ways it was very simple but that simplicity was done so, so well. Go and read it!
Bookbridgr, Tinder Press, thank you sincerely for allowing me to read this book which I never would have encountered otherwise. I was tremendously glad to get it, but my review is sincere from the depths of my heart.