Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review: Only the Thunder Knows - East End Girls

Only the Thunder Knows - East End Girls
Only the Thunder Knows - East End Girls by Gord Rollo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Dark urban fantasy/Historical fiction
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of horror, dark fiction, reading about serial killers
Trigger Warnings: murder, body snatching, serial killing, mutilation

My Thoughts: This is a double-feature, so to speak: two books in one binding. They are each a blend of historical fiction with urban fantasy, each dealing with a serial killer or killers. They are not available to review separately as nearly as I can tell, so I'll just be writing two reviews here. First up:

Only The Thunder Knows” by Gord Rollow: Combining the story of Britain's first serial killers with a dose of horror and a bit of Arthurian legend, this dark story was a real pleasure to read for someone like me who is interested in the mythology of the British Isles. The point-of-view is limited third person, so there isn't a lot of introspection, although we do go into both William and Billy's heads at different times for short periods. Still, the point of the story is the mystery and the search, and that is what this novella focuses on, moving from Edinburgh to London, spending time in cemeteries and dive bars and creaky boarding houses. A really great story that feeds nicely into the second novella in this book...

East End Girls” by Rena Mason: This is Ms. Mason's debut book, and it creates an interesting theory about Jack the Ripper. Unfortunately I can't provide many details so as to avoid spoiling the story, but it was a really good book, very well-written. It provides an interesting look into the lives of women in Victorian England, and through Eliza we see how imbalanced society was. She dreamt of being a doctor, but of course was expected to drop all that once she married. An outstanding book and character study, this is an author whose work I'll be wanting to read again in the future. I see a bright future.

These two stories fit together well and were both a highly entertaining read. For those who enjoy reading horror, dark fiction, especially about serial killers, you will definitely want to check this double book out. Highly recommended.

Disclosure: I received this two-book combination novel from JournalStone in exchange for an honest review through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer's program. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: “Only The Thunder Knows”: William (Billy) Burke and William Hare were two real-life, beer-swilling, fist-fighting lowlifes who managed to stumble their way into infamy in Edinburgh, Scotland in the late 1820s. Step by step, they graduated from the unemployment line to petty thievery, to grave robbing, and then on to cold bloody murder—ultimately becoming Britain’s first documented serial killers. 

What history doesn’t know about, or consider is the possibility that Burke and Hare may not have been acting on their own; and the blame for those heinous crimes might not entirely be theirs. Two mysterious strangers have arrived in the city—an old sculptor and a stunningly beautiful actress—both of which use their money and influence to manipulate the young Irishmen into searching for an ancient artifact rumored to have the awesome power of Heaven and Hell combined. 

East End Girls”: Seized by the vicious killings of Jack the Ripper, Victorian London’s, East End is on the brink of ruin. Elizabeth Covington, desperate and failing to follow in her beloved father’s footsteps, risks practicing medicine in the dangerous and neglected Whitechapel District to improve her studies. News of a second brutal murder spreads. Elizabeth crosses paths with a man she believes is the villain, triggering a personal downward spiral taking her to a depth of evil she never knew existed. Only she knows the truth that drives the madness of a murderer.

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