Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: Mayhem

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Historical fiction with supernatural elements/Horror
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Those interested in Victorian times, Jack the Ripper, unsolved serial killings, Slavic myths and legends
Book Available: January 14, 2014 in hardcover and Kindle formats
Trigger Warnings: murder, mutilation, kidnapping, rape

My Thoughts: Several years ago I read Sarah Pinborough's debut novel The Hidden and was completely blown away. Unfortunately, this UK author doesn't always release her books in the US, so I've had a little trouble picking up some of her newer stuff over the years. I was very excited to find this book in my Amazon Vine newsletter.

This is a really interesting book. The author has based it upon a series of unsolved murders that took place during the same time period as the Jack the Ripper murders, but were completely overshadowed by the flashier Ripper killings. Many of the characters and events in the books are real, although many others are completely fabricated. I don't want to reveal the monster to you, as that is not revealed for a good bit of the early part of the book and I want to avoid spoilers, but it was quite neat and some well-researched information is given.

Lest you be too comforted by the ending of this book, I should warn you another one is scheduled for release, called Murder. I have a feeling our monster will be back. Folks who are interested in reading books set during the Victorian era, interested in the Jack the Ripper killings and/or other unsolved serial killings of the time should find this a fascinating read. I enjoyed this book a great deal, and will definitely be looking forward to the follow-up, whenever it comes out.

Disclosure: I received an ARC copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: This book speculates about one of the most baffling and notorious crime sprees in Victorian times. A new killer that newspapers have dubbed “The Torso Killer” is terrorizing the streets of London’s East End, his crimes obscured and overshadowed by the hysteria surrounding Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel crimes. The victims are women too, but their dismembered bodies, wrapped in rags and tied up with string, are pulled out of the Thames–and the heads are missing. The murderer likes to keep them.  Mayhem is a masterwork of narrative suspense: a supernatural thriller set in a shadowy, gaslit London, where killers stalk the cobbled streets and hide in plain sight.

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