It Tightens… | The Corset | A Review

The best thing about February this year?

Blue sky, sunshine and bitterly cold walks.

Before diving under the duvet for a nap or reading session in the afternoon (I picked nap by the way!)

Today I’m reviewing The Corset by Laura Purcell. I’ve previously read, loved and reviewed Laura’s first book, The Silent Companions and you and can check out my review for that here.


The new Victorian chiller from the author of Radio 2 Book Club pick, The Silent Companions.

Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?

Dorothea and Ruth. Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless. Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted with the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations – of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses – will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality and the power of redemption.

Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

Star Rating3.5 Stars

This is another book that I wanted to read Autumn 2018 and just never did (uni has a lot to answer for!), I managed to listen to the audio book version of this just this autumn gone (yay for audio! – perfect for train journeys!) and would definitely recommend it as an autumn/winter read!

So first off, there’s a lot of blood. At the beginning of the book, Ruth is involved in the birth of her younger sister and there’s a lot of blood. This comes to haunt Ruth throughout the story, predominately at the start.

There’s also some scenes in the book that some readers may find hard to read, as Ruth goes through a lot before she’s caught the attention of Dorothea. I certainly had to read some of Ruth’s story behind my fingers.

I quite liked how Ruth and Dorothea’s stories jumped from one to the other, with madness slowly over-taking the narrative. The ending is also quite shocking, leaving the reader to question – what just happened?

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

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