The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder's Sister

A thrilling debut novel, a literary historical thriller based on the devastating witch hunts in 1640s England conducted by "Witchfinder General" Matthew Hopkins--for readers of Sarah Waters and Katherine Howe. Before Salem, there was Manningtree. . . . "This summer, my brother Matthew set himself to killing women, but without ever once breaking the law." Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town sh...

Details The Witchfinder's Sister

TitleThe Witchfinder's Sister
Release DateApr 25th, 2017
PublisherBooks on Tape
GenreHistorical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Paranormal, Witches

Reviews The Witchfinder's Sister

  • Maureen
    Long before the Salem witch trials, there were the Manningtree witch trials in Essex England, and for many women it was a time of pure terror.London 1645, and Alice Hopkins finds herself pregnant, and having to return to her home village of Manningtree, Essex, after the death of her husband. She will be living with her brother Matthew Hopkins 'The Witchfinder General'. Matthew is a cruel, troubled, sullen individual, with a persona of evil about ...
  • Irena
    Actual rating: 3,5It has been 15 days since I read The Witchfinder’s Sister, and I still don’t know what to think about it.That happens rarely to me, almost never.I have to warn you that my review will probably be all over the place because I am still finding the words to express my thoughts, but there is one thing I can say for sure: The Witchfinder’s Sister left me confused.The story follows Alice Hopkins who returns to her childhood town...
  • Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
    The Witchfinder's Sister is exactly what the title implies: The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six...1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she has no choice but to return to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers...
  • Liz Barnsley
    The Witchfinder’s Sister is a tense, highly atmospheric historical drama based on fact, a book that it is easy to devour in quick smart fashion, with it’s vivid and emotionally drawn characters and a beautifully described sense of place and time.Alice loses her husband in a tragic accident and having no choice returns home to her brother. Matthew is a strange one, and deeply involved in the local community and wider, whispers of witchcraft ab...
  • Kate
    It's not often I can read a book in one or two sittings but this marvellous book demanded it. Do not miss this!A review:
  • Jules
    I always find myself drawn to books about witchcraft. The history of witchcraft and the witch trials is something that has fascinated me for years. When I was a child I visited Clarke Hall in Yorkshire (a wonderful museum that is sadly no longer open) on a school trip, and remember being told a story about a woman who was accused of being a witch because she used herbs to heal. She had to sneak out of Clarke Hall through secret passages and had t...
  • Karen Whittard
    The witch finders sister I love history. I love finding out about history. I especially love it when it is about true events and real life people. I have always been fascinated by the witch hunts and I would love to go to Salem to find out more. This story is set in 1640s in Manningtree England. Which was the original place that witch hunting started before it went to Salem. Alice Hopkins returns to Manningtree after her husband has died with a l...
  • Lucy Banks
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.A fabulously strong debut, focusing on witchcraft in the 17th century.I really enjoyed this book. It centres on Alice, a recently widowed woman who returns to live with her brother - a relatively taciturn, unpleasant individual who happens to be on a mission to condemn as many woman as possible to death for witchcraft.Based loosely on real events, it's an engrossing a...
  • Bandit
    Because those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it and almost no one ever learns their lessons, Salem wasn't the first, the most gruesome or even one with the highest body count. For that one must travel back to the source, the land of Puritans, England of the 1640s, where one man and his associates sat off on a witchhunt so accomplished (if that's isn't too flippant of a word for it) that it resolved in possibly 100s of women's...
  • Zuky the BookBum
    I think now that to be close to someone can be to underestimate them. Grow too close, and you do not see what they are capable of; or you do not see it in time. The Witchfinder’s Sister is based on true life witch hunter Matthew Hopkins that grew to fame during the English Civil War around East Anglia, hunting and killing “witches”. This book isn’t non-fiction, it’s fiction based around non-fiction! I love these sorts of books that crea...
  • Angela Smith
    I was interested to read this as it was about Matthew Hopkins "Witchfinder General" I had seen the old movie with Vincent Price in it and knew a little of the history of this terrible man. However, what also interested me was that a lot of what happened, happened in my part of the country including the hanging of several women in my city.The book, although written as fiction contains many facts about the real Matthew Hopkins and his ways of disco...
  • Warrengent
    Surely one of the best novels of 2017, absolutely stunning read where to be a woman in 1645, was a daily grind and if you spoke out of place or your name was out there as a witch your days were numbered highly recommend you read this novel
  • Laura
    Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.comThe Witchfinder’s Sister definitely has a unique premise – set in 17th century Essex and told from the perspective of Alice, whose brother seems to be rather too interested in the current whispers and rumours about witchcraft, the novel follows her as she slowly unravels her brother’s dark side and the past that may have led him to behave the way he does…The writing does a great job of really bringing th...
  • Karen
    This fictional account based on a real event in history is told through the eyes of Alice Hopkins, Matthew’s sister (or half-sister to be exact). Matthew’s mother (by now recently deceased) was her father’s second wife and with her older brothers having left home, Alice and her younger sibling formed a close bond with Alice being protective of Matthew. Badly scarred from fire burns as a baby Matthew’s life was not an easy one but he had s...
  • Theresa Alan
    I’ve been fascinated with “witches” being burned or hanged as a way to control women for whatever reason for a long time, so I was excited to read this historical novel by Beth Underdown. It’s told from the point of view of the sister of the embittered Mathew Hopkins, who found a legal way to murder women.Hopkins was a real man, but much else of the story was conjecture or fabrication on the part of Underdown because there was so little d...
  • Roman Clodia
    Set in 1645, this takes an interestingly slanted perspective on Matthew Hopkins, the notorious self-styled Witchfinder General. The story is told by his half-sister Alice who returns to Manningtree in Essex to find her brother embroiled in accusations of malice, spelling and witchcraft aimed mostly, though not exclusively, at women. This is not an unfamiliar story but Underdown approaches it with a welcome lack of sensationalism. She keeps her ca...
  • Care
    Alice Hopkins finds herself returning to the town of her birth, Manningtree, after her husband passes away and ends the life they led in London. She returns to live under the watchful eye of her younger brother Matthew, who was mysteriously scarred as a child and carries many secrets. Alice soon finds her town swept up in a wave of witch hunting, a tide that finds Matthew at the center of it all, and she unwillingly is involved in the fervor as w...
  • Karen
    I received this ARC from in exchange for a review. London 1645, Alice is several months pregnant and suddenly widowed. She returns home to her brother Matthew who is engaging in a witch hunt and has gathered many names which he has written in 'a great book'. Alice unsuccessfully attempts to escape her brother before he can drag her with him on hunts and ultimately forces her to become involved in his dreadful business.I didn't reali...
  • Helen
    The Witchfinder’s Sister is Beth Underdown’s first novel. I was drawn to it first by the title and the cover, but the subject – the English witch trials of the 1640s – appealed to me too.The title character is Alice Hopkins, a fictional sister of Matthew Hopkins, the self-styled Witchfinder General who was believed to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of women in England over a period of several years in the middle of the 17th cen...
  • Wendy (Little Bookness Lane)
    Fascinating and unsettling, the essence of menace and misplaced belief spirals out of control in The Witchfinder’s Sister .It’s a certainty that dark forces were at work in 17th Century Manningtree, Essex but exactly what they were is open for debate as the basis and convenience of how someone could be accused of practicing witchcraft was astounding: “Every old woman with a wrinkled face, a furred brow, a hairy lip, a gobber tooth, a squin...
  • Stephanie (Bookfever.♥)
    It's a little hard to get my thoughts in order about The Witchfinder's Sister. Up until about 60% into the book, I had quite a "meh" feeling about the story because it read so very slow. A lot of the times I had to force myself to pick the book up to read. I didn't think it was totally bad, I just didn't love it and I wasn't sure if I liked it all that much either.BUT... those last 40% did save the book for me. That's where the story started pick...
  • Sharon
    England, 1645. Matthew Hopkins travels from town to town to collect testimonies from women accused of witchcraft. As Witchfinder General, he is influential in whether the women will be hanged as witches. His sister Alice has fallen on hard times so returns to her homeplace to live with Matthew. Alice is horrified at what is happening - but if she tries to persuade Matthew to see sense, will she put herself in harms way? This was excellent. It was...
  • Beadyjan
    I love a good meaty literary historical novel with a strong female protagonist and the Witchfinders sister ticks every box for me. It is a stunning and highly accomplished literary debut, a most wonderful atmospheric read which will stay with me long after I close the pages.We meet Alice Hopkins in 1645 when she is returning home to stay with her younger brother, after she has been suddenly and tragically widowed. Relationships with her brother h...
  • Leonie Byrne
    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC. The Witchfinder's Sister is the debut novel from Beth Underwood. It is historical fiction based on the real life character Matthew Hopkins in the 17th century. The story focuses on his fictional sister Alice Hopkins who returns to the family home after her husband dies. Alice returns to her once shy and reserved brother to find he has found new friends and with them a new purpose in life. Witch...
  • Thebooktrail
    Visit the locations: The Witchfinders SisterGripping and authentic story of the most famous Witchfinder in England - An Essex man who took it upon himself to pick women out as being evil and cast them aside and had them killed. This really is the story of evil, of Essex in the 1600s and the furore of how rumours and evil can spread if 'good men do nothing'. Frightening but utterly compellingA difficult and quite upsetting topic when you realise h...
  • Francesca
    This is a good book. It has a very consistent atmosphere through and through, complete with turns and twists that make it into a page turner. It is well written, well researched, and the author has the capacity to endow her characters with well-rounded personalities. Moreover, she deals with male violence of all kinds, each of them explored with care, which, although maybe they were hard to read, they were also necessarily written. Underdown does...
  • Andy Weston
    I've a certain compulsion in looking back at some of the most dreadful periods in our history, and the witch hunts of the 1600s must be amongst the worst. That compulsion is clearly shared by others, perhaps to see how such things could have occurred. Beth Underdown's research is very impressive, and she bases the novel's 'witchfinder' on an actual person, Matthew Hopkins, who in two years from 1645 hunted out, accused and was chiefly responsible...
  • Kels
    I loved the idea of it and I really couldn't wait to read it... unfortunately I found it a bit lacking. Not a bad book, by any means, but I also won't be rushing out to recommend it to anyone.
  • Beadyjan
    I love a good meaty literary historical novel with a strong female protagonist and the Witchfinders sister ticks every box for me. It is a stunning and highly accomplished literary debut, a most wonderful atmospheric read which will stay with me long after I close the pages.We meet Alice Hopkins in 1645 when she is returning home to stay with her younger brother, after she has been suddenly and tragically widowed. Relationships with her brother h...