Victorian thrillers: The Corset, by Laura Purcell

corset purcell bibliophileA woman is dead. And a Corset is to blame.

Ruth is in prison for murder. But it is the way in which she causes people’s deaths that is chilling: the teenage seamstress says she does it all with a needle and some thread. Her dark thoughts and anger, she claims, are sewn into the clothes she makes. And people who wear her clothes soon meet their untimely end.

Is Ruth mad? Can any hint of truth be hidden behind her words?


Dorothea Truelove is wealthy and unmarried. In a society that already regards her as a spinster at the age of twenty-five, this intelligent young woman spends her time studying phrenology. And that is what will lead her to Oakgate prison.

“But then, I have noted that murderous thoughts seldom trouble the pretty and the fashionable.”

This is where she meets Ruth. Intrigued by her allegations, Dotty will spend hours listening to Ruth’s heart-breaking, bitter story. At the same time, she will struggle to distinguish the truth from a disturbed person’s stories. What will she be able to find?

The Corset is a thrilling story that keeps readers on their toes. Plot twists are everywhere, keeping you guessing throughout the whole book: is Ruth sane? Is there any truth in her words?

Highly controversial and thrilling, the end is completely unexpected, making this all the more worth reading. With intricately constructed characters and impeccable story building, Laura Purcell has made it extremely easy for the reader to empathize with Ruth. After all, she is convicted of cold-blooded murder, but that doesn’t mean there’s no truth to her story.

The Corset is quite a dark story, but it is nonetheless beautiful. A book you’ll find easy to love, it will get you hooked immediately – and the time you spend reading this will certainly be worthwhile!