Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Word Count: 99,000 words
Pitch: A romance flourishes in London between a nineteenth century doctor of the mad and a girl plagued by haunting secrets.
Her fairy tale was over. These words flashed through Katherine Whittemore’s mind as she inched her shoes closer to the edge. They almost appeared as two shafts of ice among the blinding snow, which was now gathering along the pieces of the half-finished Westminster Bridge.
Kat raised her eyes toward London, the peaks of its rooftops ominous stalagmites against the dark cave of night. This would be the last she would see of the city she called home. She allowed her eyes to drift to Bethlem Royal Hospital, one of London’s institutions for the mad. A shudder shot through her body. The asylum held secrets which she would now take to her grave.
Big Ben tolled, jolting the girl to her core as she tottered on the precipice. She gripped the beam above her head to steady herself, the jagged edge of the stone tearing her flesh. As the wind whipped the hem of her dress around her ankles, shackling her, she peered through an opaque wall of tears at the black snake of the river Thames as it wound its way through London. Her arms, with two small beads of blood charting a downward course upon them, shook as they held her from her destiny. Or, perhaps they shook because of it.
It had all been a lie. All of it.
As she stood upon the threshold of death, she realized where it had all gone wrong, and she hated herself for it. If she had only handled it differently, if she had only been stronger, this would not be her fate.
CLUE: Mr. Boddy is found in the lounge, crumbled in a doorway in the far corner. Seems someone came through a secret passage and surprised him, splitting his scalp. A waxy substance covers one side of his face. Gripped in his fingers is a necklace with a small Peacock charm. On the back the words “Love you, from Mom” are engraved.