Friday 29 January 2021

Book Review: The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell

Laura Purcell is fast becoming known for her gothic historical tales and The Shape and Darkness is another one to add to her growing list. Laura's other books are The Silent Companions, The Corset and Bone China, which I read earlier last year. Bone China was my first taste of Laura's writing and I really enjoyed it, so I could not resist the chance to read her latest book. I also treated myself to a signed copy! Read on for my thoughts on The Shape of Darkness below.


Agnes Darken is a silhouette artist, she cuts portrait shapes of people, which now with the rise of photography is becoming a dying art and Agnes is struggling to keep her business going. She's still recovering from an illness and with no husband to support her, it is up to her to support her elderly Mother and nephew Cedric. Things are tough, but they are about to take a very sinister turn when one of her clients is murdered, swiftly followed by another and another... Who is this killer and why are they targeting her business? What do they want from her? With no where else to turn and with no answers, Agnes goes to the only place she can think of, Pearl, a child Spirit Medium. Surely the dead will be able to tell her what happened to them? However what they soon begin to realise is that they may have opened the door to something that they never should have...

Set in Victorian Bath, we are instantly plunged into a dark, gloomy and very spooky side of Bath. Whilst reading I pictured darkened streets, fog and dim lamplight. Laura is excellent at setting the scene for her gothic novels and there was many a time I was spooked reading this.

The mesmerism was very cleverly done and hugely believable. I only have Bone China to compare this to, but The Shape of Darkness was a great deal spookier as the spirits were very much real in this story. 

I had so many different theories as to what was happening/going to happen. Laura keeps us all in the dark as to what sinister workings are going on and by who. Well over half way in I still was utterly clueless as to what Agnes and Pearl would find out.

Another deliciously gothic, spooky tale from Laura, keep them coming. If you're yet to read any of Laura Purcell's books, then you are in for a treat.

This review was part of The Shape of Darkness Blog Tour


  1. Huge thanks for the blog tour support Laura x

    1. Absolute pleasure - thank you for having me :) x