Three weeks before Jack the Ripper goes through the slums of London, another murderer is making their way through New York City. In place of her sister, Harry investigates per request of a young couple, and finds evidence of demonic possessions. Except-Harry is convinced that the murderer is human.
Why this book?: With the NetGalley summary making allusions to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Sherlock Holmes, I was drawn to it. I also love some good murder mysteries!
I would like to thank the people at Acorn Publishing for allowing me to have an ARC of this book via NetGalley.
You know Sherlock Holmes, right? Most people have. The only way I can describe this book is “Sherlock Holmes + supernatural + badass ladies = THIS BOOK”.
Supernatural twists to an old-time classic
I found all the little nods to Sherlock Holmes so charming, I found myself gasping at little things. Some of the characters were reminiscent of those classic characters, but the author didn’t forget to give them her own spin, and make them her own characters. She kept returning to the original, but at all times it was her own book, with her own ideas. THIS is how you merge two things, without plagiarizing anything.
The fact that nothing was ever confronted as supernatural as well gave you the ability to have your own opinions at the end. Believe in the supernatural? Then there’s obvious facts that point to it. Don’t believe? There’s also facts that point to it being a huge farce.
The plot was interesting as well. I never lost my place in it, although the writing style sometimes confused me as to what moment they were referencing. About half-way, however, things were explained rather then left to the assumption that the reader would figure out what was going on. I felt personally invested in the plot, although for different reasons than Harry’s.
I was constantly trying to figure out the mystery before Harry, John, and Edward, and there were multiple times when I thought I had it. But a new addition to the clues and facts would throw me off, and I had to start back at step one. More than once, the same thing happened to them, and we would all be frustrated.
You know that feeling, when you’re sure that you’re right but there’s a small inkling in the back of your mind that you’re missing something? That’s how I felt, trying to figure out who the killer was and how each fact fell into place.
It was extremely helpful seeing a chapter that wrapped everything up and connected the facts for you, as well, because it was hard remembering every single clue and fact and trying to figure out how they connected. Especially because at the end, they give you the finale, but not how each things lead up to that.
Final Rating: ★★★★½☆
This book was so charming, and I still can’t get over each of the nods to Sherlock Holmes and even a small nod to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! There was no problem knowing that they weren’t the same, because there was enough difference between the two that one was obviously inspired by the other. I loved this book so much, for the unique mystery and lovable characters.
Would I Recommend?
If you’re a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes or supernatural mysteries, this is the book for you. I at first wasn’t a fan of the writing style, but I quickly warmed up to it. I was pleasantly surprised with this book, and probably found a new favorite. I can’t wait for the next book!!
Published: October 12th, 2016
Page Count: 334
Synopsis: via Goodreads
It’s August of 1888, just three weeks before Jack the Ripper will begin his grisly spree in the London slum of Whitechapel, and another serial murderer is stalking the gas-lit streets of New York. With taunting messages in backwards Latin left at the crime scenes and even more inexplicable clues like the fingerprints that appear to have been burned into one victim’s throat, his handiwork bears all the hallmarks of a demonic possession.
But consulting detective Harrison Fearing Pell is convinced her quarry is a man of flesh and blood. Encouraged by her uncle, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry hopes to make her reputation by solving the bizarre case before the man the press has dubbed Mr. Hyde strikes again.
From the squalor of the Five Points to the high-class gambling dens of the Tenderloin and the glittering mansions of Fifth Avenue, Harry and her best friend, John Weston, follow the trail of a remorseless killer, uncovering a few embarrassing secrets of New York’s richest High Society families along the way. Are the murders a case of black magic—or simple blackmail? And will the trail lead them closer to home than they ever imagined?