Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wicked Cometh” as Want to Read:
The Wicked Cometh
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wicked Cometh

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  1,843 ratings  ·  435 reviews
The year is 1831

Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and no one is willing to speak out on behalf of the city's vulnerable poor as they disappear from the streets.

Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.

When Hester is thrust into the world of the
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published February 1st 2018 by Hodder and Stoughton
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,843 ratings  ·  435 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Wicked Cometh
Laura Carlin pulls us into the atmospheric, overflowing poverty, and the filthy, disease infested alleys and backstreets of 1830s London. In this distinctly Dickensian world, the young Hester White resides in the slums, she has lost her parents, and is in search of any route that will take her out of her dire circumstances. Dark nightmarish deeds are taking place as poor folk disappear in the city, but little attention is paid, after all, it impacts only those of little consequence. After being ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic gothic historical novel. We follow Hester White, a young woman keen to get out of the slums of London at any cost, from the capital out to mysterious mansions and back again. A novel brimming with atmosphere. A twisting tale of secrets, whispers and passions. A modern sensation novel indeed.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Despite some brilliance in the evocative and lyrically expressive style, the book spent far too long lost in itself and was resolved by an 'actually-this-is-what-happened' ending in the form of a reported tale that was beyond ridiculous.

The story started slowly, but for the most part that worked effectively to build the necessary character study of Hester as she escapes from her desperately poor situation into the possibility of a new life. Carlin was great here, building tentative but deep rel
This book was delicious. It was that delicious, that I can still Carlin's words on my lips. I actually think I might be in love. In my opinion, this book is very underrated and deserves a higher rating here on goodreads. I found this book very difficult to put down, and when I did, my mind was constantly thinking about it.
Carlin had the most beautiful, flowing writing style, that just draws you in from the first chapter. She manages to bring alive the sights and scents from victorian London, an
The Wicked Cometh could have been a perfectly adequate novel had it been written by someone with a modicum more talent for storytelling. It's unfortunate that a lesbian neo-Victorian thriller should be this devoid of passion and suspense, but as it stands, this was a rather dull and middling read.

From the very first page, everything about this book feels contrived. The premise is frankly absurd: a down on her luck young woman named Hester living in the slums of London gets into an accident one d
Louise Wilson
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hester White, is a bright young woman and is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible. Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent ans mysterious Rebekah Brock. But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations. Their trust in each other will be tested as a web of deceit begi ...more
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
So the circle is closed; the merchants have become the goods.

I enjoyed this story greatly. It was atmospheric and an interesting storyline. I didn't guess what was going on to well into the second half of the book. The crimes were definitely of the age. The pace was a bit slow in the middle. I enjoyed the blossoming romance too.
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
 photo The-wicked-cometh-image-1024x750_zpscalt0bq6.jpg

Release Date-8/2/18

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin is a middle of the fence story for me.
It is set against the backdrop of the slums of London in 1831 and features Hester White born the educated daughter of a parson she has fallen on hard times after the passing of her parents.
Taken in by the gardener and his wife Hester soon Finds herself far far down with the dregs of society Using an opportunity of chance Hester finds herself in service to the Brocks using a falsehood to secur
Oct 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: gothic
This book tries to be many things, too many really and there is a great deal going on. To begin with the cover art is good. The novel is set in 1831, so it is pre-Victorian, but is set in a London that Dickens would have known. There is a touch of the Gothic about it and mystery part of the novel involves disappearances of the “lower” sort of person. There are some suitably roguish characters and the trade of the resurrection men, supplying London’s anatomy schools with corpses is obviously at t ...more
Umut Rados
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-2018
You may find this review on my blog too:
Wow, what a journey this book was! It took me by surprise with its beautiful writing, gothic atmosphere, mysteries, twists and characters! I absolutely loved it.
I listened to this book on Audible and it was fantastic choice of artist with an amazing performance that reflected the protagonist’s character so well. Big thumbs up to Audible!
The Wicked Cometh is a gothic historical novel set in London in 1831. Our prota
I was so excited at the start of Laura Carlin’s The Wicked Cometh. A great setting (the slums of Regency London), a promising heroine Hester White (a young woman fallen on hard times but desperate to escape it), an intriguing mystery of disappearing people. The build-up was slow and effective. There were enough hints given by the author that all is not as it seems and you could sense the menacing darkness creeping in. We get a good grip on Hester, her needs and wants, her relationship with the s ...more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Wicked Cometh is a dark, gritty Victorian tale centering on heroine Hester White and her attempts to escape a life in the slums. All the while, whispers of wicked and dangerous acts appear to be happening to the poorest of the community, with people mysteriously disappearing. Thrust into upper society after a chance accident, Hester falls under the tutelage of the charismatic Rebekah as the pair set out to uncover what's really
Lucy Banks
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Lovely style of writing, intriguing topic, but meandering at times.

Victorian setting, mysterious disappearances, a family with more secrets than you can shake a stick at... what's not to like?

For the most part, this was a book that worked well - an authentic-feeling glimpse into Victorian life, told through the eyes of Hester, a quiet girl raised by a rough London couple after the death of her parents, then catapulte
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
On a dark winter night, a book that promised to draw me back into the 19th century, into a story of family secrets and terrible crimes, called to me.

It began with a newspaper report.

‘This newspaper has taken note that the past month has been remarkable for the prevalence of cases where men, women and children are declared missing. Scarcely a week passes without the occurrence of an incident of this type’

The Morning Herald, Tuesday 13 September 1831

And then it told me the story of Hester White.

Bookish Ally
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Wicked Cometh is Victorian London murder mystery with a love interest story alongside . That love story was different than I expected, taking me a bit by surprise and, while I do appreciate the sentiment, I dislike descriptives around physical intimacy, of which this tale has none. I thought the premise well conceived and told, and give it 3.75 stars (rounded up), for a story which, by half way through, truly held me captive. I enjoyed the gothic atmosphere. The crimes herein revolve around ...more
Ova - Excuse My Reading
This was quite an atmospheric novel in the way it paints 1800's London. But I found it difficult to get into the story. In a lot of ways it was very similar with Sarah Water's The Fingersmith.
I can fault the writing and setting it's just wasn't original enough, it resembled me other books I've read, so settled on 3 stars.
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
↠ 3.5 stars

I actually didn’t know this was so dramatically gay until I read it and wow, my heart 😭 The heroine Hester is so passionate when expressing her love for Rebekah and it’s quite incredible. (There’s even a line that compares Rebekah to a sunset that gilds Hester’s day.)

The Wicked Cometh is a gritty Victorian novel that’s 50% romance and then 50% murder mystery, and I admit the fact the romance part wasn’t intertwined with the mystery part doesn’t sit all that well with me because ... th
Rosemary Standeven
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book, set in the murky sub-world of Victorian London, and beautifully written in Victorian-style prose, tells the story of Hester White, a young educated orphan, who has fallen upon very hard times. When being involved in an accident offers Hester the opportunity to move up in the world, she grasps it with open arms, and considers any deceptions on her part, to be the price she must pay. She does not reckon with the attachment she will soon feel to her benefactors, and her guilt in having d ...more
Following a narrow escape from under the wheels of a carriage, Hester is taken under the wing of a handsome young surgeon, Calder Brock, who, in an echo of Pygmalion, sets out to educate her in an effort to prove that the poor are capable of education. Hester finds herself drawn to Calder’s sister, Rebekah, who is charged with her tuition. Soon Hester becomes eager for any excuse to be in Rebekah’s presence, daring to hope that her own feelings might be returned. ‘Then something changes - the me ...more
Hester Hester what a character you are. How I loved being dragged into your world. I say dragged as it’s a fully immersive experience and the stench and squalor of your London is not for the faint hearted but what a journey it was!

A girl from a poor family, raised by a rough couple and then in to a world of gentrification. There’s a good story right there. But this had missing children, missing children no one seemed to care about as they were from the poor part of town.

Full review nearer the ti
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc, historical
In brief - Decent enough read, story was ok and characters were good. More than a 3, less than a 4 and rounded up for now.

In full
I found the start of this book very atmospheric. Set in the London of 1831,it talks about the reported disappearance of Master Hogget. He is not the only person to have gone missing recently. We are then introduced to Hester and her life in much reduced circumstances. The story revolves around Hester, Miss Rebekah and their concerns about the missing people. Through a
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book reviews on

The Wicked Cometh was a mixed bag for me. Firstly, I loved the way this book was written. It evoked a real sense of time and place, and you could imagine being there with Hester as she navigates and lives among the shady characters of murky 1800's London. The narrative is easy enough to read and the characters are interesting. I liked the element of mystery that hung over the novel, too.

There are some good twists and turns that kept me wanting to read on, with
MaryannC. Book Freak
A gothic, engrossing read about a young woman living in the far depths of poverty who is given the chance to change her circumstances and live among the gentry in London, 1831. After tragically losing her parents, young Hester White is taken in by her gardener's family where she lives in squalor and hunger but seeks and dreams of a way out to a better life. In a chance encounter Hester White finds herself taken in by the wealthy Brock Family who have agreed to have her tutored by the family's al ...more
Robin Stevens
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A glorious, gothic mystery story that felt like a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint from Doctor Who. Victorian mystery solving ladies! I loved it. (14+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This Victorian, gothic, lesbian excellence. I ADORED.

The crafting and pacing of the story were wonderful, the writing was stunning (just ethereal honestly), the characters captivating.

The ending? incredible. The novel keeps you gripped and takes you places you don't quite expect.
I hold Hester and Rebekah very dear to me, and my god do I hope Laura Carlin writes more historical novels. The fact that this is her debut blows my mind. Stunning. More people need to read this.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am so underwhelmed, jeez. I skimmed through the last 50 pages because I was just really, really bored.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
An intense and melodramatic tale of love and peril in darkest Victorian London. Velvety and rich atmosphere. 3.5 stars.
Angela Smith
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well it was a good book and I found it easy to have read big chunks of it without realising so many pages had been read. In other words it told a good story and had a rather unconventional relationship (for the time it was set in) I hadn't been expecting it going into the book but it was well written and convincing.

The story was set in 19th century London during some of the worst times with slums barely habitable and filth/crime ridden streets where Hester had unfortunately found herself. She'd
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Official rating 3 and a quarter. A enjoyable bit of escapism with a historic twist. There was never a point didn’t enjoy reading it. It wasn’t brilliant it was good. The writing style was sometime is a bit too much.
Wouldn’t rush to read another book by this author but I did enjoy it.

Ps sometimes found the main plot confusing.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Doll Factory
  • The Corset
  • Bone China
  • The Familiars
  • Wakenhyrst
  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton
  • The Coffin Path
  • The Way of All Flesh (Raven, Fisher, and Simpson, #1)
  • The Silent Companions
  • The Foundling
  • Blackberry & Wild Rose
  • The Binding
  • Pine
  • The Illumination of Ursula Flight
  • Wrecker
  • The Poison Bed
  • The Heavens
  • The Unforgetting
See similar books…
THE WICKED COMETH is Laura Carlin’s first novel. Having left school at 16, she turned to writing after 28 years of working for a local bank. She lives in Derbyshire with her civil partner, two children and a Siamese cat called Antigone.

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
56 likes · 30 comments