The Shape of Darkness, is Laura Purcell’s fourth novel for Raven Books. Her emphasis is on silhouette representation and spiritualism. She has very quickly established herself as the Queen of Gothic creepy stories.
In 1854 Bath, artist of silhouette Agnes Darkin is battling to keep her business running. She is recovering from some serious illness and requires money to help herself as well as her older mother and her nephew Cedric who is an orphan. Then one of her customers is killed soon after sitting for Agnes, and afterwards one more and again… what’s happening?
Agnes looks for answers from Pearl, a child soul medium lodging in Bath with her older half-sister and feeble dad. Agnes trusts that if Pearl can connect with the individuals who died, they may uncover who murdered them. However things do not go very well and they rapidly find that they may have made the way for something that they can never send back…
With The Shape of Darkness “Laura Purcell” has again pen-down a convincing historical novel with a lot of Gothic components and some supernatural tingles. In a new article in The Guardian she wrote about her motivations and exploration. Which includes Elizabeth d’Esperance’s ‘Shadow Land’. Which she also mentioned at the start of the novel. To this strong establishment Purcell brings her significant narrating abilities to furnish an engaging and environmental story with certain fascinating twists along the way.
The issue for me is the ending. I am not one of those individuals that need a specific ending and toss my toys out of the pram when it does not go that way. In any case, this book has an ending that proposes that the writer had numerous thoughts of where it could end. However she could not choose, so went with every one of them. What that leaves is a fairly unsatisfying groan-worthy wreck. You need to read it to comprehend what I mean, as I will not give you any spoilers.
Laura Purcell effortlessly evokes her historical setting, including its social behaviour. This was particularly exhibited in the formality among Agnes and her brother-in-law, Dr. Simon Carfax. All things considered “The Shape of Darkness” is an excellent reading.