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12 January 2015

Review: 'The Hourglass Factory' by Lucy Ribchester (2015)

1912 and London is in turmoil...

The suffragette movement is reaching fever pitch but for broke Fleet Street tomboy Frankie George, just getting by in the cut-throat world of newspapers is hard enough. Sent to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly laced acrobat and follows her across London to a Mayfair corset shop that hides more than one dark secret. Then Ebony Diamond mysteriously disappears in the middle of a performance, and Frankie is drawn into a world of tricks, society columnists, corset fetishists, suffragettes and circus freaks. 

How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the mysterious Hourglass Factory? From the newsrooms of Fleet Street to the drawing rooms of high society, the missing Ebony Diamond leads Frankie to the trail of a murderous villain with a plot more deadly than anyone could have imagined...

I'm incredibly honoured to have received an early review copy of Lucy Ribchester's highly anticipated debut novel 'The Hourglass Factory.' The novel will be released on the 15th of January by Simon & Schuster and looks like quite an amazing read, based on the cover and blurb. I personally really enjoy historical novels, especially ones set in particular time periods which I find most interesting. I've always been fascinated by the suffragettes movement in the UK and was already looking forward to the film 'Suffragette', which will be released this year. In short, I couldn't wait to read 'The Hourglass Factory' and had high hopes for it!

Set in London 1912, the story of 'The Hourglass Factory' revolves around tomboy Frankie George who is a reporter who wants to make a name for herself within the male-dominated world of newspapers. However, this is no easy feat as her boss only wants her to write articles for the Ladies section and nothing else. When Frankie gets the assignment to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, she is immediately intrigued. However, when Ebony never shows up for their meeting, Frankie starts to wonder what could have happened and decides to investigate. This unexpectedly leads her to the scene of a murder, which is just the start of a whirlwind mystery including circus artists, suffragettes and the mysterious Hourglass factory...

If this novel sets the bar for 2015 book releases, all I can say is we have got an incredible year ahead of us. What an amazing read! I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this book, from the author's detailed and alluring writing style to the gripping storyline and the wonderful collection of unique and captivating characters. I loved the main character, Frankie, and her drive to uncover the story of what is going on. All of the other characters such as trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, snake dancer Millie, the eccentric Twinkle and shifty Liam managed to add their own touch to the story, just like the chapters told from the point of view of one of the police officers. 

I also loved the setting of the novel. The suffragette movement is a really fascinating part of history and I loved discovering more about it while reading this novel. Lucy Ribchester managed to describe everything so detailed and vividly, making it really easy to picture it all and really get immersed in the story. I was constantly guessing what was going to happen and what Frankie would stumble upon next; I was quite disappointed when I reached the ending, but at the same time I couldn't wait to get there to finally figure it all out. 'The Hourglass Factory' is an incredibly fascinating and thoroughly entertaining book, set during a time of great change, and I'd like to applaud author Lucy Ribchester for writing such a convincing and intriguing debut novel that will undoubtedly receive many more raving reviews!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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