Pub: Tinder Press
It is 1837 and the city streets teem with life, atmosphere and the stench of London. Sarah Gale, a seamstress and mother, has been sentenced to hang for her role in the murder of Hannah Brown on the eve of her wedding.
Edmund Fleetwood, an idealistic lawyer, is appointed to investigate Sarah’s petition for mercy and consider whether justice has been done. Struggling with his own demons, he is determined to seek out the truth, yet Sarah refuses to help him. Edmund knows she’s hiding something, but needs to discover just why she’s maintaining her silence. For how can it be that someone with a child would go willingly to their own death?
Hannah has been murdered. Her right eye gouged out and her dismembered body parts are being found in parts of London.
Sarah stands accused with her accomplice and lover James Greenacre and most people are not so convinced of the extent of her involvement. During the trial Sarah has done nothing to protest her innocence and has even changed details of her statement.
Edmund, after a night of gambling has received a letter from the Home Secretary and he is asked to look into the facts of Sarah Gales conviction. He has one month, maybe two.
Sarah’s incarceration at Newgate Prison is realistically portrayed in Anna Mazzola’s debut novel. From the bang of her cell door, the cries of the other women inmates and the process of her re-investigation makes interesting and intriguing reading. An Historical crime story based on true events, it is fantastically told and one that I raced through in a day.
In order to help Sarah, Edmund tries to get her to tell him her story from the very beginning, but at times the question is ..Can she be believed? Is what Sarah tells him the truth or is it just ‘her truth’.
The Unseeing is at times a tragic and horrifying tale. It is brutal, and shows just how human emotion and feelings can blight another persons life and compel someone to act in an unscrupulous manner.
This is a book that was everything I wanted. It is part fiction, part fact and because of this there is no real twist, although there is a surprise. It ended perfectly and is written superbly. It is a fabulous first novel and I await Anna’s next one with great expectation.