The debut novel by actress and presenter Janet Ellis, The Butcher's Hook is the dark and twisted tale of a young girl in 18th-century London determined to take her life in her own hands.
No matter the cost.
Georgian London, in the summer of 1763.
At nineteen, Anne Jaccob is awakened to the possibility of joy when she meets Fub, the butcher's apprentice, and begins to imagine a life of passion with him.
The only daughter of well-to-do parents, Anne lives a sheltered life. Her home is a miserable place. Though her family want for nothing, her father is uncaring, her mother is ailing, and the baby brother who taught her to love is dead. Unfortunately her parents have already chosen a more suitable husband for her than Fub.
But Anne is a determined young woman, with an idiosyncratic moral compass. In the matter of pursuing her own happiness, she shows no fear or hesitation. Even if it means getting a little blood on her hands. A vivid and surprising tale, The Butcher's Hook brims with the colour and atmosphere of Georgian London, as seen through the eyes of a strange and memorable young woman.
'Do you know what this is?' He holds a short twist of thick metal, in the shape of the letter 'S', sharpened at both ends. I shake my head.
'A butcher's hook,' he says, testing the tip of his finger against each point. 'A perfect design. Whichever way up you use it, it's always ready. One end to hook, the other to hang. It has only one simple purpose.' He stands on a stool and fixes it over the bar above him. It waits there, empty.
He climbs down. 'Pleasing, isn't it?'
About the Author
Janet Ellis trained as an actress at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She is best known for presenting Blue Peter and contributes to numerous radio and TV programmes.
She recently graduated from the Curtis Brown creative writing school. The Butcher's Hook is her first novel.
The Butcher's Hook doesn't read like a first novel - it is a high-finish performance. Its heroine is an 18th-century teenage girl, who starts demurely although her sex drive turns out to be anything but demure. You need to be braced for violence to rival any Jacobean tragedy: The Butcher's Hook will hook you. - Observer (New Faces of Fiction)Janet Ellis has written one of the most hotly-tipped debuts of 2016 - Daily Express (Books To Look Out For In 2016)a spirited, dark debut set in Georgian London with a heroine who will stop at nothing to get what she wants - Woman and HomeEllis has created something marvellous in the character of Anne Jaccob - her voice is strange, dark and utterly mesmeric. This is historical fiction as I've never encountered it before: full of viscera, snarling humour and obsessive desire. I loved it. - Hannah Kent, bestselling author of BURIAL RITESBeautifully crafted. Janet Ellis is a masterful storyteller - Clare Mackintosh, bestselling author of I LET YOU GOThe Butcher's Hook is bewitching: Anne Jaccob is a dark and dangerous heroine and her story is gripping and full of surprises. This is an exciting and hugely impressive debut from Janet Ellis. - Antonia Hodgson, bestselling author of THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 23rd February 2016
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3 x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.57
Edition Number: 1