Thrown from a life of privilege into one of servitude in a London medical hospital, Juliet Moreau has kept her intelligence to herself and always made sure to attend church services in an effort to shed the family scandal caused by her father’s horrendous experiments. Her memories tell her that Father was a kind man, and that the rumors of his work must have been born of professional jealousy. But when she walks in on an illegal after-hours vivisection, her own interest has her questioning if madness is hereditary.
When evidence arises that her father may be alive – and continuing his work – on a deserted island, Juliet leaps at the chance to leave a life of drudgery behind her. Solving the mystery of her past and learning the truth of her father’s character drives her to a place no dignified young lady would go – a place both dark and powerful, one where walls are built to keep the monsters out at night.The island’s power over Juliet’s natural curiosity only intensifies when she finds her father’s operating room- and what it’s been producing.
The island isn’t the only thing raising questions. Juliet’s attraction to her childhood playmate and assistant to her father flies in the face of propriety. Meanwhile, Edward, a noble young castaway saved by her passenger ship on the way to the island, can offer her a life like the one she left behind – but with restored respectability.
As Juliet dissects her father’s character she makes gruesome discoveries about her own, and does not know whether she will choose the dark path of the unknown, or the respectable one her father insists upon. More importantly, she questions which one she was truly born for.