Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough

I’m usually skeptical about novels based on Jack the Ripper, simply because he seems to be so overused. But for some reason, this book grabbed me and I was immediately enthralled! Pinborough introduces a supernatural element to this twisted whodunit which definitely spices things up.

The year is 1888, and Jack the Ripper has been terrorizing London for quite a while. The police are no closer to identifying Jack than they were when the crimes first began. And now a second series of hideous murders is taking place in another London neighborhood. Could these gory crimes also be the work of Jack, or is the so-called Thames Torso Killer a copycat? Thomas Bond, a surgeon who also serves as a forensic consultant to the police, is determined to uncover this demented murderer. The doctor suffers from severe insomnia and haunts shady, dangerous opium dens in the underbelly of London night after night, hoping to come across a clue while he feeds his fix. As he begins to get closer to the identity of his quarry, he uncovers a horrifying truth about these gruesome killings.

Atmospheric, moody and incredibly chilling, Mayhem is one that you won`t be able to stop reading – even if it keeps you up all night. Based on the true case of the Thames Torso killings and the police surgeon, Thomas Bond, who helped in the search for that murderer as well as the one for Jack, there is plenty of authenticity in Pinborough’s work. For another compelling novel based on Jack the Ripper, try The Frightened Man by Kenneth Cameron. If nonfiction is more your thing, check out Patricia Cornwell’s true crime book about Jack, Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed, and see if you agree that this notorious case is indeed finally solved.

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