The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola

The Unseeing Anna Mazzola

Through her left eye she could see nothing now.

– Opening sentence

I received an intriguing-looking proof copy of The Unseeing from @TinderPress a few months ago, and was immediately drawn into the mystery.

I knew The Unseeing was based on a true Victorian crime, which intensified my expectations. I know how the Victorians were quick-to-judge and unjust (compared with our standards) in their methods and treatment of prisoners, so I had a rough idea what to expect.

I have to admit, however, I initially struggled through the first chapter – it didn’t grab my full attention from off. But I kept reading, and after the first chapter I got into it and from there it flowed naturally for the rest of the novel.

The Unseeing follows the stories of Sarah Gale, a woman with a death sentence for the murder/dismemberment of her ex-lover’s new fiancé, and Edmund Fleetwood, appointed to investigate and consider whether justice has been done.

Considering it’s a debut, The Unseeing is very well written and structured. The author, Mazzola, comes from  a criminal justice background, and this shows in the way the evidence is presented throughout.

I like to imagine that Edmund’s attempt at unravelling the truth mirrors that of Mazzola’s own reasoning when she stumbled across the case; sifting through the evidence, filling in the blanks and trying to understand why people would act in that way.

I’m one of those annoying people who usually unravels the puzzle and solves the crime pretty early on, but The Unseeing kept me guessing; I couldn’t figure it out. Despite looking for the subtle clue that would reveal the ‘aha!’ moment, I still audibly gasped when I discovered the truth.

Mazzola brought an old story to life, and in doing so, as many solicitors do, made me question the grey areas between what is deemed right and what is deemed wrong, and despite how much the criminal justice system has changed for the better, there are still plenty of grey areas that exist today.

The best bit? Mazzola leaves the reader with some historical notes, including the link to the transcript of the original trial. This allows the reader to further investigate the story, and makes it all the more real.

Your son, Edmund.

– Final sentence

4 Stars (4 / 5)


This post forms part of The Unseeing blog tour (my first blog tour guys!), with reviews, guest posts and Q+A’s from fellow book bloggers – check it out!

Unseeing blog tour



  1. I’ve been reading a lot of historical fiction recently, and I’ve got this, so I think I’ll read it asap. If you like historical crime, I’d thoroughly recommend Beloved Poison by ES Thomson and His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet. I love solving crime fiction too; I’ve read so much I guess I know what to look for. Love your blog; especially the “clean” look it has. Lovely! I’ve now subscribed!

    • Louise Dickens Reply

      Aww thanks so much 🙂 Once you’ve read this you’ll have to tell me what you think. I haven’t heard of either of those books before but I’ll add them to my wishlist!

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