The Poison Thread

Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy, and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor, and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea's charitable work brings her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted by the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person's skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets one of the prisoners, the teenaged seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another strange idea: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread--because Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations—of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses—will shake Dorothea's belief in rationality, and the power of redemption. Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer? For fans of Shirley Jackson, The Poison Thread is a spine-tingling, sinister read about the evil that lurks behind the facade of innocence.

My Review

This is a nice read. The Victorian aspect of this story is present. In fact, it is my favorite element about this book. Then there is the mystery surrounding Ruth. Is she innocent or guilty? Her story is slowly drawn out like pulling a string from a yarn ball. It slowly unravels.

Dorothea is the other main character in this story. She is very likable. She is not stuck up and prissy like you might expect from someone who comes from wealth. She truly wants to learn the truth about Ruth and help her.

While, I did like this book; I will admit that I did find the pacing to drag on too slowly. It kept up like this for about the half way mark. After this, the story did pick up speed. The latter half was faster reading for me. The ending was a good one. I was under a reading spell with this book (in a good way).


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