Review: The Poison Thread by Laura Purcell

Laura Purcell is an author who is on auto-buy for me. I read The Silent Companions last year and fell head over heels for her writing! I devoured The Silent Companions in days and lost sleep not just from staying up reading but from the creep factor as well! Such an incredible book.

I was thrilled to see that she had a new book coming out, and intact, I sent off to the UK to have this one delivered because I loved the cover so much and couldn’t wait for her latest novel! I have had my eye on this book for months and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It sounds delightfully creepy and gothic!

Imagine my fan girl moment when I was approached to read this book early. I couldn’t wait t start reading and in fact, put everything else aside so that I could read this one first! Can you say, excited much?


A thrilling Victorian gothic horror tale about a young seamstress who claims her needle and thread have the power to kill

Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy, and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor, and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea’s charitable work brings her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted by the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets one of the prisoners, the teenaged seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another strange idea: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread–because Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations–of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses–will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality, and the power of redemption. Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer? The Poison Thread is a spine-tingling, sinister read about the evil that lurks behind the facade of innocence (summary from Goodreads).


As soon as I started this book, I knew I was reading something special. I was drawn in immediately and curious about this odd story. It often kept me up at night and I would find my mind drifting back to this book throughout the day or while I was reading something else.

The book is told by two women, Ruth and Dotty. One is a murderer and one is a girl there to save souls—oh and explore phrenology. Both have things that drew me in as a reader. Ruth for obvious reasons as the murderer or mad woman, and Dotty because she seemed so odd and macabre. This is a book who I can see Tim Burton making a film of—he does dark, odd, and macabre so well.

Most of the chapters alternate between the women and I loved how that pushed the story forward and made me want to keep reading. I constantly kept thinking that I would just finish that particular chapter and then it would leave me hanging and I would quickly try to read the next chapter to get back to the character who left me hanging. It was brilliant and fast paced.

There has been a huge hype leading up to this book. The Silent Companions was marvelous and I know that a lot of fans (like myself) have eagerly been waiting for this book to release, to see if it compares with The Silent Companions. For me personally, I liked The Silent Companions better. I thought it had a little more atmosphere and a little more horror than this one. However, but this one was definitely dark and disturbing, just not in the same way that The Silent Companions was.

However, this book met every one of my expectations. I loved all the gothic vibes I was getting in this book and I loved the quirky and odd characters, and I had many a nights when I was sitting up thinking about this book. With the Silent Companions I was more scared, with this book I was more disturbed. If you love gothic fiction, especially Victorian era gothic fiction, like I do, then this is your book and author. Purcell did an outstanding job and I can’t wait to read more books by her in the future. Such a stand out author with a chilling signature style!

Book Info and Rating

Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: June 18th 2019 by Penguin Books (first published September 20th 2018)
ISBN 0143134051 (ISBN13: 9780143134053)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Penguin Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: gothic fiction, historical fiction, Victorian era, horror


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