1871. An age that points to an exciting future. For the Wainwright family, residents of the remote Teesbank Hall in County Durham, however, it’s the past that continues to cast shadow over their lives.
Harriet Fleet arrives as governess to the resentful Eleanor, a fiercely bright eighteen year old, tortured by demons and feared by relations and staff alike. But it quickly becomes apparent that Harriet is not there to teach Eleanor, but rather to monitor her erratic and occasionally dangerous behaviour – the result of a frustrated intellect strangled by the stifling, malevolent atmosphere at home.
Increasingly worn down by Eleanor’s unpredictable hostility, Harriet soon finds relief in immersing herself in Eleanor’s obsession: the Wainwright’s dark, tragic history – one mired in a murder that took place twenty years ago. And as family secrets are unearthed once more, Harriet becomes convinced these ghosts are determined to reveal her own shameful past.
For Harriet, like Eleanor, is plagued by deception and untruths.
But hers are much more recent, and soon past and present threaten to merge… with devastating consequences for both her and Eleanor.View book
Press and Reviews
“An utterly thrilling Gothic tale of two women, secretly striving to break free from the female conventions of Victorian England.”
“Rich in atmosphere and suspense, The Deception of Harriet Fleet is a deliciously dark and Gothic tale that transports you into the Victorian age.”
“This book could have been written especially for me as it contains all my favourite things: Gothic setting, wild landscape, family secrets and not one but…”
“I so enjoyed this. With terrific characters and a deep feeling for the Gothic, this is quite a debut. Helen Scarlett is obviously a writer who…”
“I was completely transported to bleak Teesbank Hall where the corridors echo with murder and madness. The Deception of Harriet Fleet is a deliciously unsettling tale…”
“Raced through this engrossing debut. It’s a tale full of familiar Gothic ingredients given a modern twist. Just the ticket for a chilly January night.”
“A fabulously engrossing mystery – a richly woven tale of Victorian Gothic suspense that’s spine-tingling, riveting and keeps you guessing to the end. The Secret Garden…”
“A haunting, richly imagined novel, suffused with dread. Harriet Fleet's is the poignant story of a brave woman fighting to break free from the constraints of…”