Review – The Taxidermist’s Daughter

The Taxidermist's Daughter

The Taxidermist’s Daughter – Kate Mosse

Sussex, 1912. In a churchyard, villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will die in the coming year are thought to be seen. Here, where the estuary leads out to the sea, superstitions still hold sway.

Standing alone is the taxidermist’s daughter. At 17, Constantia Gifford lives with her father in a decaying house: it is all that is left of Gifford’s once world-famous museum of taxidermy. The stuffed animals that used to grace every parlour are out of fashion, leaving Gifford a disgraced and bitter man.

I was really lucky to be offered a proof copy of Kate Mosse’s wonderful new book, The Taxidermist’s Daughter, to review. I had seen this book explode across social media, and as well as being a huge fan of taxidermy, I just had to get my hands on a copy.

The Taxidermist’s Daughter is set in Kate Mosse’s native Fishbourne in West Sussex, in 1912.

The story follows Connie Gifford who, as the title suggests, is the daughter of a local taxidermist. Connie finds herself at the centre of some rather strange and dark events that she must find the culprit of before it is too late.

The novel is a gothic, psychological thriller that keeps you guessing on every page. I found it difficult to put this book down as the chilling story played out so did the unseasonal storm that threatens the characters in the story. The fast-paced nature of the storm descending on the town adds to the tension as the book makes its way to the dramatic conclusion.

This book is great for anyone looking to read about a very different subject matter but want something thrilling, mysterious and with atmospheric descriptions that put you right there, in Fishbourne.

I’d highly recommend this book, and I’m really glad I got the opportunity to read it.

The Taxidermist’s Daughter is published by Orion on 11th September 2014 and is available to buy here.

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