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A bewitching historical gothic tale of obsessive love ‘recommended to fans of Sarah Waters’ [Heat] from the author of the highly acclaimed TV Book Club-selected THE SOMNAMBULIST.

Saved from the Thames one foggy London night, Pearl grows up at the House of Mermaids – a brothel that becomes the closest thing to home. But despite being cosseted and spoiled by the Madame, come her 14th year, Pearl is to be sold to the highest bidder.

Orphaned twins Lily and Elijah are on a rare trip to London when they meet the ethereal Pearl. And the repercussions of this chance encounter will bind all their fates together, in a dark and dangerous way.

Bewitching, gothic and sensual, this is a tale of love and betrayal in a world where nothing is quite as it seems.


Fox's vivid, sensual prose is - fittingly - as seductive as a siren's song, drawing you into a shadowy Victorian world of obsession and guilt... An intoxicating follow-up to 2011's acclaimed THE SOMNAMBULIST. Recommended to fans of Sarah Waters
A fabulous foray into a shadowy Victorian world
Fox's story of obsessive love is memorable and unusual
Vividly compelling, dark and dazzling
Katherine Webb on THE SOMNAMBULIST
Transports us to the Victorian squalor of London's East End for a tale of illegitimacy, incest and theatricality with so many twists that you'll want to read it in one sitting
[THE SOMNAMBULIST] has taken me to new worlds, is riven with suspense, has made my imagination wander, and my fingers itch to turn the last page
JoJo Moyes
The author behind the Virtual Victorian blog has followed up her Channel 4 Book Club choice THE SOMNAMBULIST with this Wilkie Collins-style sensation novel... An obvious comparison is with early Sarah Waters...The glee with which Fox approaches her material is infectious. All Victorian life is here ...Intriguing.
Expose[s] the mouldy underbelly of Victoriana... the effect can be deliciously unsettling.
Weaving an intoxicating tale that is both sinister and seductive as it depicts passion, betrayal and obsessive love in every guise, the novel certainly captures the less-palatable aspects of Victorian society with sensuous conviction
This is a modern Gothic novel with a beguiling story at its heart. Big themes of love, obsession, betrayal, tragedy and madness fill the pages, as a shadowy underworld collides with the art and literature elite. Fox weaves her story with dramatic style and allure, creating a cast of enticing characters and an intriguing plot that I couldn't get enough of
The White Company 'What We're Reading'