Review: Dangerous Women by Hope Adams
The Rajah sails for Australia.
On board are 180 women convicted of petty crimes, sentenced to start a new life half way across the world.
Daughters, sisters, mothers - they'll never see home or family again. Despised and damned, all they have now is each other.
Until the murder.
As the fearful hunt for a killer begins, everyone on board is a suspect.
The investigation risks tearing their friendships apart . . .
But if the killer isn't found, could it cost them their last chance of freedom?
Based on a real-life voyage, Dangerous Women is a sweeping tale of confinement, hope and the terrible things we do to survive."
TW/CW: abortion, murder, miscarriage, self-harm, rape
I received Dangerous Women by Hope Adams for free by Hanifa at Penguin Michael Joseph in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much Hanifa, Penguin Michael Joseph and Hope Adams for this gorgeous early copy!
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Dangerous Women is set in the 1800's on a boat called The Rajah which is ready to set sail and take female convicts all the way to Australia. When a murder happens onboard a ship full of convicts, who could possibly be responsible?
Throughout the story we follow three points of view. The first is Kezia who is the matron of the ship. She is responsible for the ladies and is going to be the one who helps them settle in when they get to Australia. She's kind, sympathetic and understanding and she genuinely believes in the women and the good they can do. She doesn't judge them for their pasts and helps them look towards the brighter future.
The second is Hattie who is our unfortunate victim of the attack on the boat. She wants a better life for herself and her son Bertie. However, she may just know something that has endangered her life.
The third view we follow is Clara and interestingly she is an imposter on the boat. She is a stow-away trying to escape the harsh punishment that was awaiting her in the UK and wants to stay invisible.
All of these women on The Rajah wish for a new life, a clean slate, but one is willing to kill.
The characters were really interesting to read and I enjoyed getting to know more about them and their backstories, it really shows that they are more than just their crimes. I quickly felt connected to them and I was swept up into the story as though I was on the boat myself!
I really admired how the author handled the difficult topics that the women struggled through with great sympathy and empathy without losing the impact or the emotion. It was very well done!
I thought the concept of the book was absolutely brilliant and the execution was done excellently. The best way to describe Dangerous Women is Agatha Christie on a whole new level! It was a very interesting part of history to focus on and made for a very fun historical fiction read!
Dangerous Women is an exciting murder mystery on the sea that will keep you guessing until the very end!