Kate Williams' first novel, The Pleasures of Men, is a gothic thriller with a splash of brutal murder.
Spitalfields, 1840. A murderer nicknamed The Man of Crows. A heroine with a mysterious past and a vivid imagination.
Catherine Sorgeiul lives with her Uncle in a rambling house in London's East End. When a murderer strikes, ripping open the chests of young girls and stuffing hair into their mouths to resemble a crow's beak, Catherine is fascinated, and devours news of his exploits.
As the murders cause panic throughout the city, she comes to believe she can channel the voices of his victims and that they will lead her to The Man himself. But she's already far closer than she realises - and lurking behind the lies she's been told about her past are secrets more deadly and devastating than anything her imagination can conjure.
Dark and compelling, The Pleasures of Men marks Kate Williams as a stunning new voice in historical fiction.
'Wonderfully imaginative and gripping' The Times 'Intense, intelligent and hugely entertaining' Guardian 'Intoxicating and disturbing ... Shows a soaring talent let loose' Independent on Sunday 'Fans of Sarah Waters will love this' Good Housekeeping 'A spine-tingling and seductive thriller' Woman & Home
Kate Williams is an academic and historian who specialises in social history. Her first two historical biographies, England's Mistress, and Becoming Queen, were widely acclaimed and the Independent called her 'one of our finest young historians.' She discusses history regularly on TV and radio, including Newsnight, BBC Breakfast, The One Show and the Today Programme, covered the Royal Wedding for the BBC and presented a Timewatch programme on Queen Victoria. She is the social historian on Restoration Home with Caroline Quentin. Kate has a DPhil from Oxford and two MAs from London, and teaches on the MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway.
Pitch-perfect . . . This intoxicating and disturbing novel is properly thrilling and extraordinarily well-written Independent on Sunday
Kate studied at Oxford and London and is the author of two non-fiction books: England's Mistress: the Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton and Becoming Queen. She lives in London. The Pleasures of Men is her first novel.