1718: Sixteen-year-old Eliza Tally sees the gleaming dome of St. Pauls Cathedral rising above a rebuilt city. She arrives as an apothecarys maid, a position hastily arranged to shield the father of her unborn child from scandal. But why is the apothecary so eager to welcome her when he already has a maid, a half-wit named Mary? Why is Eliza never allowed to look her veiled master in the face or go into the study where he pursues his experiments? It is only on her visits to the Huguenot bookseller who supplies her masters scientific tomes that she realizes the nature of his obsession. And she knows she has to act to save not just the child but Mary and herself.
"Starred Review. [T]his suspenseful tale contains no whodunit element, but as in her previous book, Clark's empathetic portrait of the powerless and the victimized will remind many readers of Dickens." - PW.
"Readers who are not put off by the graphically documented grotesqueries and perversions will be drawn into the spellbinding gothic netherworld Clark spins." - Booklist
"As she did so successfully in The Great Stink, Clark again transports readers to another time and place in this mesmerizing tale of life in the mean streets of 18th-century London. Highly recommended. " - Library Journal.
"[A] a climax so absurd it would seem excessive in the lamest of bodice-rippers.... Clark has talent and energy to burn. But she's burning both up in wasteful displays of gratuitous pyrotechnics." - Kirkus.
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Clare Clark was born in London in 1967. A senior scholar at Trinity College Cambridge, she graduated with a double first in history. She is married with two children and lives in London.
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