Kit, a work-obsessed literature student, decides on a whim to go to a dance class. And for a while it looks like Joe, the shadowy figure she meets there, may tempt her to put her books aside and live a little.
But as Joe's world becomes increasingly threatening and Kit's research leads her to an extraordinary historical mystery, she is faced with a choice. Will she hide herself away in her studies or will she make the leap of faith that could change her existence forever?
The Twisted Heart is both a hugely enjoyable novel about the challenges of love and a startling exploration of previously unrecognised links between the young Charles Dickens and the deranged murder of a prostitute known as The Countess. Brilliantly weaving these threads together, it confirms Gowers as one of the most exciting voices in Britain today.
Rebecca Gowers is the author of The Swamp of Death (Hamish Hamilton), the true story of a fatal showdown between a late Victorian conman and a corrupt detective, shortlisted for the 2004 CWA non-fiction Golden Dagger Award, and of a debut novel, When to Walk (Canongate), longlisted for the Orange Prize, 2007.