1655. England swelters under clouds of paranoia and suspicion following the brutal civil war, and the exiled king Charles Stuart sends two women on a dangerous mission to wrest back control of the fragile peace. Their task? To turn Parliament’s spymaster John Thurloe into their unwitting accomplice. Killing Beauties is a dark tale of spies and subterfuge, jealousy and betrayal.
England 1655. Following the end of the brutal civil war, England still swelters under clouds of paranoia, suspicion and the burgeoning threat of rebellion. With Cromwell’s ever-efficient Secretary of State, John Thurloe, winning the fragile peace, the exiled king Charles Stuart sends two spies on a dangerous mission to wrest back the initiative, their orders being to infiltrate Thurloe’s organisation and turn Parliament’s spymaster into their unwitting accomplice by any means necessary.
The spies, Susan Hyde and Diana Jennings, share more than just their sex – as members of a secretive sisterhood, Les Filles d’Ophelie, their loyalty is more complex than their handler, Sir Edward Hyde, and their parliamentary opponents. Their plan is simple, and if it succeeds, will ruin both their lives and reputations. Failure, however, would be far, far worse.
Killing Beauties is based on the historical documents that survive from the real lives of Susan and Diana.