A Treacherous Likeness - Lynn Shepherd In the dying days of 1850 the young detective Charles Maddox takes on a new case. His client? The only surviving son of the long-dead poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his wife Mary, author of Frankenstein.
Charles soon finds himself being drawn into the bitter battle being waged over the poet's literary legacy, but then he makes a chance discovery that raises new doubts about the death of Shelley's first wife, Harriet, and he starts to question whether she did indeed kill herself, or whether what really happened was far more sinister than suicide.

As he's drawn deeper into the tangled web of the past, Charles discovers darker and more disturbing secrets, until he comes face to face with the terrible possibility that his own great-uncle is implicated in a conspiracy to conceal the truth that stretches back more than thirty years.

The story of the Shelleys is one of love and death, of loss and betrayal. In this follow-up to the acclaimed Tom-All-Alone's, Lynn Shepherd offers her own fictional version of that story, which suggests new and shocking answers to mysteries that still persist to this day, and have never yet been fully explained.


Sorry but this had my hackles up once I saw the direction we were heading…how far is too far when it comes to creative license? Can you accuse someone of some of the most horrific acts imaginable and then justify it by saying in your author notes:

“In the notes at the end I set out what here is fact and what is invention, but I’ve tried to remain faithful to the lives and characters of these extraordinary and complex people. The story history tells us is one of death and love, of secrets and betrayal. My own version of that story is darker yet, but I do believe it is one plausible answer to many of the mysteries about the Shelleys that still persist even now, and have never yet been fully explained.”


I can't deny that the author writes very well and the evocation of Victorian London with all its dark, dirty secrets is well drawn.

I enjoy speculative fiction but felt this overstepped the mark by a country mile

Oh and I disliked that avuncular narrator as well....