BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin

The year is 1831.
Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and no one is willing to speak out on behalf of the city’s vulnerable poor as they disappear from the streets.
Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.
When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the friendly intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock. But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations.
Hester and Rebekah find themselves crossing every boundary they’ve ever known in pursuit of truth, redemption and passion. But their trust in each other will be tested as a web of deceit begins to unspool, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved  than either of them could ever imagine is lurking…

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 352

I have to hold my hands up to the fact that the reason I bought this book was the beautiful cover design! I’m pleased to report that I was also impressed with its contents.
The Wicked Cometh is set in 1831 and follows Hester White; she is an orphan in desperate circumstances who seizes on an opportunity to escape the slums of London. Hester finds herself in the Brock family household where she is under the charge of Rebekah. Her new mistress is rather mysterious and Hester is desperate to impress her and secure a better future. However, Hester’s past situation is about to catch up with her and she finds herself and Rebekah in a very dark and dangerous tangled web.
The Wicked Cometh has a very Charles Dickens feel to it. Laura Carlin goes out of her way to present the squalor and danger in London’s slums at the time. Some of the descriptions are beautiful and I enjoyed her use of language and the vivid images it conjured up.
As a protagonist, Hester is very likeable, and I wanted her to do well as her past has been filled with much tragedy and misfortune. Her relationship with Rebekah dominates the book and it wasn’t what I expected. Although the two women have had very different life experiences, they have a powerful connection and bond. Both are willing to put themselves in danger for each other and do so on several occasions.

I did feel that the book had a small lull in the middle in terms of pace but I was so glad that I stuck with it as the author has several surprises up her sleeve in the final part of the book.
The Wicked Cometh is a very interesting read. If you are a fan of historical fictions and like your books with a bit of a darker edge then I would highly recommend this one.

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