London, June 1890. Just after the death of Prince Albert and the infamous Ripper case. Sarah Bain, a photographer, and her friends homosexual Lord Hugh Staunton and former street urchin Mick O'Reilly are crime scene reporters for the Daily World newspaper who do a bit of sleuthing on the side.
One night they are called to the bank of the Thames where the body of a naked woman is found by a whore and her punter. On close examination however Sarah discovers that the woman is still alive and she is rushed to hospital. But with a disfigured face and amnesia the next question is her identity and who has left her for dead. Sarah's fiancé Detective Sergeant Barrett is given the case to solve.
But are the people claiming to know her speaking the truth? Is Sleeping Beauty really unaware of who she is?
On the background there is also the mystery in Sarah's own life.
The central theme of the novel is the (lack of) love of parents and the yearning of children for love.
The story is entertaining and has a good plot. The characters however are not that much fleshed out. It keeps pace and you can finish it in a day or two.
4 stars out of 5. This is an ARC review