1 July 2016, by Judith Baragwanath
Ann St Clair is a novelist living in Regency England. She writes “Gothic pap” and is a bit of a restless soul. One night, she meets another writer, Robert James, at a dinner party and everything changes. He’s an oddball, but highly amusing and a genius – according to him. She’s hooked. They leave together for Venice and things start going sideways.”Always,” writes Welsh-born Janet Todd in her debut novel, “he was one hop and a skip from outrage, but early on Ann thought she knew his dangers. The quicksand would appear before her and she should and could jump aside. So she believed.” Wrong! Ghastly Madness. A mysterious stranger. Ann is living her own Gothic horror story. Smelling salts essential.