Books Magazine

Power by @csalleyne

By Pamelascott

Maude Caulkin finds out the hard way that if you're poor and female in Victorian London, you are powerless.

After continued beatings from her stepfather, she tries to escape his fists, working for a pittance, and starvation. But, she soon finds herself facing even worse. Hired by Ned Hicklin, a prolific photographer and publisher of dirty books, he introduces her to one of his customers: the sadistic Charles Courtney-Duff.

After a devastating encounter with him, she turns the table s, and Courtney-Duff finds himself in her power. Maude has learned a lot from the freak shows she loves to frequent. But sometimes, you can go too far.


[Out in the street, a snowy veneer lay over the east end of London, concealing its winter coat of soot and dirt with one of almost silver beauty]


(@crystallakepub, 7 December 2019, 61 pages, ebook, copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed)



Oh boy did this little novella pack one hell of a punch. The book starts of well and appears to be quite a simple tale, Maude is unhappy with her lot, sewing hours every day for a pittance and trying to avoid her stepfather's wrath. I cheered for her when she starts working for a man who takes glamorous almost erotic photographs and publishes dirty books. This is when things get very dark. Charles Courtney-Duff is the villain, a creepy letch who uses his rather dubious charms on Maude. He clearly thinks she a delicate little thing and easy prey. Not so much. At this point the book turns into a revenge fantasy which made my flesh crawl. In a good way.

Power @csalleyne

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