Monday, 18 April 2011

Belle by Lesley Pearse

BelleBelle by Lesley Pearse My rating: 4 of 5 stars Theres something very intriguing about the seedier side of Victorian London. Belle is set in a brothel in a rat infested court in Seven dials, London. She is a remarkably innocent young woman considering her upbringing, having been shielded from the activities in the cat house, owned by her mother, where she works below stairs, cared for and protected by Mog, maid of all work. Lifes looking pretty good when Belle meets a new friend, street wise young Johnny, but things are about to take a downwards spiral when she witnesses the brutal murder of one of the prostitutes in the brothel, together with a rude awakeing as to what the trade really involves which has been going on above her head, day and night. All too soon Belle is to experience the degradations of enforced prostitution herself, when she is kidnapped by the murderer and shipped to France to begin a horrific ordeal of captivity and rape. We follow her journey from France to New Orleans and meet the namy characters who shape her life, many cruel and unpleasant, most fascinating and a few kind. This is the first part of a soon to be published trilogy and (as another reader has pinted out, it ends rather abruptly) The author has left the story open enough for us to want to continue reading about Belles life, yet concludes this chaper satisfactorily. A jolly good yarn, with some gritty, quite explicit scenes, I'm delighted to say Ms Pearse is back on form with Belle after having disappointed this reader somewhat with her last offering Stolen View all my reviews

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