SO! I think I'm just going to have to go from the beginning and just get stuck into it all really! (Can you tell I'm excited? That's what the exclamation marks mean, excited.) So firstly, OMG, Marian got all ill after her rooftop ninja antics (because, after all, she's still just a woman and obviously can't deal with being out in the night air, although also, she just heard some dudes plotting to kill her sister) and then Fosco found her diary and wrote a really creepy message in it. He's so... well, he makes me feel icky, anyway. Because he's all like 'oh Marian, you are so wonderous and a worthy opponent, but if I had to, I'd eat your young.' Just very very creepy. And then, straight after that, even though it was actually too much magnificence to bear, was Mr Fairlie's narrative.
I think we can all agree that was literally the greatest part of the book, right? Of ANY book, maybe? He's just so... so hard done by, and yet has the biggest superiority complex I've ever seen! 'Why do these people bother me with their problems? Why did the poor person tell me that she stayed at a pub when it literally has nothing to do with me/what I want to hear?" I mean, I hate it when people include unnecessary information in their stories too, but come on! The poor girl's just trying to tell how she got there! He's just far too excellent, far too easy for the Count to manipulate, and basically just the best minor character that's ever been in anything ever.
But anyway. In spite of his magnificence, he's maybe not that vital to the story so I should probably move on, yes? I felt really sorry for Laura getting all duped into going to London- I'm actually a teeny bit ashamed to admit that I kind of didn't see that deception coming! I honestly believed that Marian was in London too, at least, and that they'd use her to keep Laura there or something. But nope, far more twisted-ly, she'd been moved to a disused part of the house and not even the housekeeper knew she was there! That's pretty messed up, Percy. I would like to say that I didn't for one moment believe that Laura was dead though, apart from, stupidly, a bit into the Third Epoch when I was like 'oh shit, but what if Anne really is just pretending to be Laura?!' a thing which I'm mostly over now, but I'm still looking at Laura sideways a little bit, just like 'hmmm... hmmm.'
And may I add, poor Anne! I'm dying to know whether the switch was intentional, and whether Fosco was being sortofkindof kind in just putting Laura in the nuthouse rather than killing her, or if he genuinely believed that she was the one he was killing (or... did he kill her? I guess it was Anne's weak heart, but if she was horrified by Fosco in some way, then I guess that basically means he killed her.) All of that is basically why I'm going to read the rest of the book probably by the end of the day, because I just NEED to know now! Seriously!
And then there was blah blah blah, Walter the man is protecting the two delicate ladies, Laura is being treated like an absolute child ("You want to help? That's so cute! I know, why don't I pretend to sell some of your drawings and actually give you the money I earn because obviously you're completely useless!" Ugh. It bugged me, I'm not going to lie. And how creepy is this, from Walter: "In the right of her calamity, in the right of her friendlessness, she was mine at last!" Nice. Very nice.) And what also bugged me is that Walter gets to go off and do all his investigative work in Hampshire, when clearly Marian is the man for the job! But anyway, yes, Victorian times, and it's easier for Walter to get information and Marian would be an unescorted woman and blah blah blah. So. Mrs Catherick's a bit of a weird one, isn't she? "Oh, my daughter's dead? I'll just change my gloves, no worries. I never liked her anyway." And, and, Anne isn't Percy's daughter, which is good to know, and do we now think she is Mr Fairlie's, i.e. Laura's half sister? I'm undecided, but we do know that Laura looks like her father, and that Anne is basically not Mr Catherick's daughter, so, I don't know. Maybe, although at this point I hardly even care because there's not going to be some wonderful reunion at the end, so *sulk*.
And, (nearly) finally, there was The Secret. Now, this may have just been me, but was this a bit of an anti-climax? I mean, I was reading this bit when I was really tired and had spent the morning at the hospital so I was a little bit like 'blaefrgh' (I actually missed the bit where there was a fire, and had to go back some pages. 'What? There's a body? Why is there a body and whose is it?' were literally my thoughts) but the secret is that he's not really a baronet? I can see why that would be a reason to kill Laura if he thought she knew, but at the same time, I really wanted Mr Catherick's body to be in his lake! I guess we'll find out more about this in the last bit, but do we think that Percy is maybe a 'foreigner' like Fosco, and that's why they're such good friends/dastardly villains? And if so, a tiny bit xenophobic Wilkie? Really?
Since I'm not as good a person as Walter, I really can't feel sad that Percy's dead, mainly because he was a giant asshole. But here's what I'm thinking. Now that Percy's dead, are we to assume that Fosco has really been the majorest major villain all along, in spite of the fact that he's so damn charming and nice to the animals? Was the fire in the church set by Percy who accidently locked himself in, or did Fosco not want him to get out for some other reason? I don't really know why I want Fosco to be behind everything, but I sort of really do! And in case I wasn't sure how to feel about him, my rule-of-Marian was there to set me straight:
"'Walter!' she said, 'if ever those two men are at your mercy and you are obliged to save one of them- don't let it be the Count.'"Something tells me Marian can think of another word that she'd like to call him, but she's too much of a lady to do so...