Family Secrets | The Witchfinder’s Sister | A Review

We’re whizzing through the end of 2019 aren’t we? And I’m currently 5 books behind schedule, according to Goodreads, not that it should matter of course, but listening to Audio books and reading shorter books may mean I hit my goal this year – wish me luck!

Today I’m reviewing The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown.


Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth–but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew’s soul.

There is a new darkness in the town, too–frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice’s blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he’s become, Alice is desperate to intervene–and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew’s reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul.

Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother’s brutal mission–and is drawn into the Hopkins family’s past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils–before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.

Inspired by the real-life story of notorious “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins, Beth Underdown’s thrilling debut novel blends spellbinding history with harrowing storytelling for a truly haunting reading experience. 

Star Rating3.5 Stars

What I’ve loved about listening to audio books the past few months is that I’ve managed to read books that have been on my ‘to buy and to read’ list for a while, like The Witchfinder’s Sister.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve found that I quite like historical fiction and what I most liked about this book was how it was inspired by a real-life person, the Witchfinder Matthew Hopkins. I think that makes it all the more real, and spooky, and a tad scary!

The best way to describe this book is a little like a snowball effect. Alice; alone, afraid and a tad uncertain, returns home to her brother, thinking that he’ll be able to take care of her and her unborn child.

Her expected quiet life is thus, not to be found and the town is surrounded by whispers of witches and a witch hunt ensues, with her brother front and centre of it.

The book also made me feel a little suffocated, especially listening to Alice’s chapters when she’s not retelling her story, but is trapped, locked in an old attic room.

I really enjoyed this book and am glad I finally got round to reading it. If you like historical fiction, or things a little bit spooky and mad, this would be a pretty good read.

As always, let me know in the comments below if you’ve read the book and what you thought of it. And if not, will you be adding it to your TBR list?

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