In amongst the dark twisting alleyways of Victorian London, the stories of two very different young women collide with terrifying consequences.
Fingersmith tells the story of charming con-man Richard Rivers (Rupert Evans), who embarks upon the most ambitious scam of his life. His plan is to defraud wealthy young heiress Maud Lilly (Elaine Cassidy) by seducing her into eloping with him. To achieve his aim, Rivers enlists the help of Sue Trinder (Sally Hawkins).
Since she was orphaned, Sue has been brought up amongst pickpockets and charlatans. She's been protected and cared for by Mrs Sucksby (Imelda Staunton), who believes Sue is too good a girl to get directly involved in such a world. But when Mrs Sucksby's old friend Rivers offers 20-year-old Sue £3000 to assist him in one of his scams, Mrs Sucksby agrees to conspire.
Arriving at the estate where Maud lives with her wealthy Uncle Lilly (Charles Dance), Sue enters another world. Maud and Sue are of a similar age and appearance but their experience of life couldn't be further apart. Maud's existence is one of wealth and prosperity inside a grand house, where her duties are limited to nightly readings to her uncle and his friends.
The two young women become friends but Sue's growing feelings for Maud cannot prevent her from going through with Rivers's scam. On Sue's advice, Maud accepts Rivers' proposal of marriage.
But not everyone is who they appear to be, and a series of plot twists leave viewers unsure of who can be trusted.
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