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The Unseeing
     

The Unseeing

5.0 1
by Anna Mazzola
 

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A thrilling debut based based on the real case of Sarah Gale, a seamstress and mother sentenced to hang for her alleged role in a shocking murder, bringing together the accused with an idealistic young lawyer assigned to investigate whether she is a guilty murderer or an unfortunate victim.

Something is keeping Sarah Gale silent despite the risk of a death

Overview

A thrilling debut based based on the real case of Sarah Gale, a seamstress and mother sentenced to hang for her alleged role in a shocking murder, bringing together the accused with an idealistic young lawyer assigned to investigate whether she is a guilty murderer or an unfortunate victim.

Something is keeping Sarah Gale silent despite the risk of a death sentence. Is it guilt? Fear? Love?

Sentenced to hang for her alleged role in a shocking murder, Sarah confronts the young lawyer asked to examine her guilty verdict. She says she is innocent, but she refuses to explain the evidence given in court — the evidence that convicted her. Battling his own demons, Edmund Fleetwood is determined to find the truth — and to uncover why Sarah won't talk.

Darkness hides in Sarah's past, Edmund is certain, but surviving on the streets of London often means that one has to make difficult choices. Does it matter what else she's done, if she's innocent of murder? As the day of execution draws closer, Edmund struggles to discover whether she is the victim of a terrible miscarriage of justice, or a dangerous and devious criminal.

Bringing 1837 London alive in the most visceral way, The Unseeing is a tense novel of human frailty and fear — and of the terrible consequences of jealousy and misunderstanding.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/22/2016
Love, corruption, and retribution define Mazzola’s absorbing and unpredictable debut novel. At the opening in London in 1837, Sarah Gale is arrested and charged with assisting James Greenacre in the “horrific murder of a blameless woman,” Hannah Brown, who has been mutilated. However, Sarah repeatedly pleads that she had no part in the crime and that she also had no knowledge of it occurring afterward. Edmund Fleetwood, criminal investigator, is tasked with determining whether Sarah should be hanged through the evidence provided to the jury during her trial, upon her request of a petition for mercy. Murderess or not, it becomes clear Sarah is hiding something and as she and Edmund deal with their own personal demons along the way, the truth comes to light in a very satisfying conclusion. This is a cleverly written and intricate mystery that doesn’t try to outsmart the reader or become convoluted, and that includes great characters and subplots that eventually intersect to make for a multidimensional read. The authentic setting of Victorian London enhances the reading experience. Agent: Sasha Raskin, the Agency Group. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"This is a cleverly written and intricate mystery that doesn't try to outsmart the reader or become convoluted, and that includes great characters and subplots that eventually intersect to make for a multidimensional read. The authentic setting of Victorian London enhances the reading experience." - Publishers Weekly

"Sizzling first novel.... the characters- cleverly and sympathetically imagined - are of the story " - The Times

"[An] accomplished debut... Mazzola quickly draws the reader in to this intriguing mystery...Mazzola skillfully conjures up a bygone world...If you like historical fiction then you'll love this compelling murder mystery." - Daily Express

"...a satisfying resolution. Haunting characters propel this well-paced story of true crime and imperfect punishment." - Kirkus

"Drawing on the notorious 1837 Edgware Road murder, debut author Mazzola has written a worthy "did she/didn't she" historical crime drama and a vivid portrait of life and criminal justice in Victorian London. For fans of Sarah Waters" - Library Journal

"well-documented, unsettling, and impressively written." - Huffington Post

Kirkus Reviews
2016-10-19
A grisly murder in an England on the cusp of the Victorian era sets the scene for this thriller.In 1837, a series of discoveries of scattered body parts led to a sensational trial known as the "Edgeware Road Murder." The novel follows the true case of Sarah Gale, convicted of "aiding and abetting" that murder by helping her lover try to cover it up. Debut author Mazzola displays her research chops with epigraphs at the heads of several chapters quoting genuine newspaper accounts from the time or actual excerpts from the trial. Mazzola has invented a sympathetic investigator to explore what might have happened: the fictitious Edmund Fleetwood, a young solicitor, is hired by the Home Office to reinvestigate the case in order to determine whether there are circumstances which would convince a judge to spare Sarah from the gallows. Both the convicted murderer, James Greenacre, and Sarah herself denied at trial that she had any part in the whole affair. Though she professes innocence, Sarah has failed to offer any further explanation or defense. Sarah is maddeningly passive but truly suffering from her secrets, which Edmund is determined to expose. He coaxes out the story of her genteel upbringing, which ended with the sudden plunge into poverty which led her on the road to misadventure. Edmund also struggles with finances and the weight of his more successful, overbearing father, who is unforgiving of any woman gone astray, including Edmund's own mother. No merrie olde England this, but a dirty, hardscrabble London in which even the clergy offer no mercy. Sarah's misery in Newgate Prison is particularly cruel and harrowing. As Edmund's doggedness eventually prevails, a number of plot points which seemed like loose threads are cleverly woven into a satisfying resolution. Haunting characters propel this well-paced story of true crime and imperfect punishment.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781492635475
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
02/07/2017
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
209,297
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Anna Mazzola's short fiction has won or placed in several competitions. She is a criminal justice lawyer who lives in the UK. This is her first novel.

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The Unseeing 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Deb-Krenzer 12 days ago
Sarah Gale is being held for aiding and abetting to murder in 1837 of Hannah Brown. She says she is innocent, however, she didn't speak during the trial. Her companion who she was living with at the time said she knew nothing about the murder of Hannah Brown and was innocent. He was found guilty and sentenced to hang. Edmund Fleetwood is called upon to investigate further and determine whether or not Ms. Gale did know about the murder and should she be hung or not. Fleetwood investigates. Interviewing Ms. Gale and trying to get answers out of her is like pulling teeth. It takes her weeks to finally tell him what he needs to know. This comes out on the eve of his deadline. He finalizes his answers and sends them in. Meanwhile, Ms. Gale is not getting quite the proper treatment she should in jail. The main guard knows she is guilty and is caught whipping her and trying to get the truth out of her. She is also starving Ms. Gale and doing other inhumane things to her. Then there are the twists and turns that come out after the final answer is handed down determining Ms. Gale's future. I found this book extremely entertaining with a jaw dropping ending that definitely came out of left field. A read that I will remember for a long time. Huge thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.