L0035353 Black viper with Arbor foliis pinnatis, 1731
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
Illustration showing black viper (Vipera Nigra) with Arbor foliis pinnatis plant. This snake, a native of America, has a venomous bite.
Printed Reproduction
The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands ...
Mark Catesby
Published: 1731-1743

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


Meticulously researched, magnificently atmospheric, and written with Dickensian charm, this intriguing novel proves that sometimes the best stories lie hidden under ground. — Abir Mukherjee on UNDER GROUND

Screenshot 2023-08-15 at 16.25.09E. S. Thomson has done it again. A cast of vivid characters, gorgeously gritty settings and a rollicking plot, all backed up by meticulous research worn lightly. Immersive from the start and satisfying to the finish, a faultless tale from one of our best writers of historical crime fiction. — Jess Kidd on UNDER GROUND

I LOVED it. Fantastic characters – I never guessed!  So good … Underground is brilliantly steeped in the lore of Victorian London, i couldn’t take my eyes off it! — Sara Sheridan on UNDER GROUND

Civil engineering rarely features in gothic fiction but ES Thomson has taken the tropes of gothic fiction and fused them seamlessly with cutting edge Victorian engineering in this assured and deeply immersive book. … Under Ground abounds with satisfyingly Dickensian characters.A definite five star read. — Alis Hawkins on UNDER GROUND

Jem Flockhart’s London is vivid, pungent and perilous. The Blood takes you to places you will love to picture but be grateful you can’t smell — Chris Brookmyre on BELOVED POISON

skullES Thomson’s Jem Flockhart books are the best I’ve read in years. Jem is just my kind of heroine: scarred, smart, complex, and unapologetically queer — Kirsty Logan, author of The Gracekeepers

Jem Flockhart is a marvel. Cautious yet daring, a pursuer of the truth yet steeped in deceit herself, she is the best kind of detective – flawed, clever, conflicted, principled and determined to get to the bottom of whatever mystery comes her way. Her latest foray into the filth and grime of 1840s London is an atmospheric dissection of prejudice past and present set aboard a decaying hospital ship. With snakes, pox, strange tattoos and the scent of Henbane in our nostrils, this vivid journey into the dark side of the human soul is a thoroughly engrossing tale. — Mary Paulson Ellis, author of The Other Mrs Walker

Beloved Poison is a marvellous, vivid book with a thoughtful, engaging protagonist at its centre – and a fascinating story to tell. It’s immaculately researched and breathtakingly dark. Elaine Thomson’s descriptive powers are so great that that I was surprised to see twenty-first century London rather than grimy, smelly St Saviour’s around me when I – eventually – looked up from its pages — Janet Ellis, author of The Butcher’s Hook

shutterstock_93040984Following on from the events of acclaimed debut Beloved Poison, Dark Asylum vividly portrays the Gothic horror and questionable science of Victorian mental asylums in chilling detail. Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted, E.S. Thomson has written a complex, harrowing and highly enjoyable tale — Daily Express

Dark Asylum positively oozes gothic menace, and the author’s evocation of the city at that time is visceral and engagingly morbid . . . A first class piece of historical crime writing — Doug Johnstone, Big Issue

From the first page to the last, I enjoyed every brilliantly written, and often hideous, detail … A splendid read — Cambridge Magazine

A historical novel to be savoured — Lesley McDowell, The National

Here’s a tale of Victorian London to freeze your blood on a cold winter’s night — Alex Gordon, Evening Telegraph on Beloved Poison

After a while the Grand Guignol effects start to get under your skin – unless that’s just the leeches crawling out of their jar – Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

A debut mysteIMG-1457ry chock full of mysterious doings, riveting historical detail, and so many horrifying anecdotes that you can almost feel the evil miasma rising from the pages – Kirkus Reviews

This outstanding historical enthrals with its meticulously researched details of nineteenth-century hospitals; the result is a dismal portrait of unrelenting bleakness that will make readers grateful to be living in the twenty-first century. This is Showtime’s Penny Dreadful brought to life! – Library Journal (starred review)