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Sophie GeeDonoghue has written two other successful historical novels—the critically acclaimed Life Mask and Slammerkin—and it shows. She knows her way around a period drama. A ride on London's new underground railway, a visit to Fido's printing presses, descriptions of Victorian interiors, shops and streetscapes, all these details are absorbed into the narrative, and you barely notice they're there, except that mid-Victorian London feels so real you can almost taste it…Donoghue is masterful in handling the theme of Fido's possible erotic desire for Helen and Helen's manipulation of same. She depicts female sexual attraction as a complex threat, both enthralling and taboo.
—The Washington Post