THE DARK LANTERN

Author(s): 

Secrets are revealed and characters come vividly alive in this deftly plotted novel with dark and sinister undertones. Brightwell has captured the essence of the era with masterful detail.

Jane Wilbred leaves her job at the country home of the Reverend and Mrs. Saunders to start a new job at the Bentley home in London. Mrs. Saunders has written a letter of recommendation to Mrs. Bentley, but Jane has altered it to exclude damning information about her unfortunate parentage.

The Bentley household is a most unusual one. The elderly Mrs. Bentley is at death's door, and her son, Robert, studies the taking of body measurements to aid police in classifying criminals. When Robert's wife discovers that Jane altered the letter, she forces her to do her bidding, for she has some dark secrets of her own. And when the widow of Robert's brother arrives, it becomes clear that she might not be who she has claimed to be. (Crown, Mar., 384 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick