1831: Assigned to a good family in Sydney Town and now learning the art of tattoo, convict girl Harrie Clarke is still haunted by the horror of the brutal murder she and friends Friday Woolfe and Sarah Morgan committed the previous year. Powerful and vindictive criminal Bella Jackson continues to demand money in exchange for her silence regarding their crime. And just when it seems that Harrie and her fervent admirer James Downey might finally be united, an act of pure malice threatens their chances – and Harrie’s life.
When things go from bad to much, much worse for Harrie, she is left teetering on the brink. But Friday is battling demons of her own, and Sarah is forced to lie low for fear of attracting the attention of the police. Who will be the one to rescue Harrie?
In this story I wanted to look at what happened when you went mad in 1830s Sydney. Or even England. What I discovered wasn’t quite what I’d expected – it seems treatment for mental health at the time was slightly more enlightened than I thought – but still, bags not me. Poor Harrie. Poor anyone committed to an asylum in those days.
‘Challinor has been dubbed Australia’s answer to Philippa Gregory.’
Brisbane Times 8/12/14