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The Shape of Darkness


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Wicked deeds require the cover of darkness…

A struggling silhouette artist in Victorian Bath seeks out a renowned child spirit medium in order to speak to the dead – and to try and identify their killers – in this beguiling new tale from Laura Purcell.

Silhouette artist Agnes is struggling to keep her business afloat. Still recovering from a serious illness herself, making enough money to support her elderly mother and her orphaned nephew Cedric has never been easy, but then one of her clients is murdered shortly after sitting for Agnes, and then another, and another…

Desperately seeking an answer, Agnes approaches Pearl, a child spirit medium lodging in Bath with her older half-sister and her ailing father, hoping that if Pearl can make contact with those who died, they might reveal who killed them. But Agnes and Pearl quickly discover that instead they may have opened the door to something that they can never put back…

Shipping Starts: 3rd week of November 2021

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The Shape of Darkness:


Dripping with atmosphere with a corkscrew plot, Laura Purcell just gets better and better — Stacey Halls, author of The Familiars and The Foundling

It’s her best one yet and that’s saying something. A story of a woman haunted in every way possible, I think it’s a future gothic classic — Martyn Waites

Darkly addictive and utterly compelling. Reading Laura’s books is like watching a horror movie where you have to keep hiding behind a cushion because you dread what is coming next, but you simply have to find out! — Ruth Hogan

Every bit as brilliant as I knew it would be. The writing has all the gothic creepiness that only Laura can summon, with characters as darkly ambiguous as the silhouettes themselves. It truly kept me guessing to the very last page — Sonia Velton

Beautifully eerie . Laura Purcell’s brilliance is in showing you a place and a time you think is familiar, and making every atom of it uncanny – and in The Shape of Darkness, she does it better than ever — Natasha Pulley

Purcell is rapidly making a name for herself as the queen of the superior bone chiller ― i

Purcell has established a claim on Daphne du Maurier’s territory of psychological suspense and Gothic spookiness ― Sunday Express

clever and well-researched novel with a good twist, and it shows the nightmare of life for single women of limited means in the 19th century. ― Literary Review

The outstanding new novel from the author of the prize-winning The Silent Companions

About the Author

Laura Purcell is a former bookseller, she lives in Colchester with her husband and pet guinea pigs. Her first novel for Bloomsbury, The Silent Companions, was a Radio 2 Book Club pick, was selected for the Zoe Ball ITV Book Club and was the winner of the Thumping Good Read Award.

Author can be found online at
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Additional information

Weight400 g
Dimensions22 × 16 × 5 cm
Binding Style

Hardcover, Paperback


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