What if...Jack the Ripper moved from London to New York?
Letters from a Murder, an alternate history of Jack the Ripper--the unknown murder who has captivated authors and readers for generations, begins a new series featuring a London pathologist and a New York detective who are tasked with solving the murders of women in 1892 New York.
Pathologist Finley Jameson, part of a team investigating the Ripper murders in London, has moved to New York after inheriting a house from his aunt. Jameson is accompanied by Lawrence, his autistic assistant with the ability to remember everything he has read.
Murders are nothing new in certain areas of the city where crime flourishes, but the murder of a prostitute has all the trappings of a Ripper murder, and Joseph Argenti, a New York detective is assigned the case. Did the London murders stop because the murderer moved to New York?
A letter arrives addressed to Finley Jameson, a copy of which also goes to the NY Times, and it seems that New York is in for the same turbulent fear that London has experienced.
Jameson and Argenti must work together and overcome their many differences to find the murderer who enjoys taunting them through letters. This is a Ripper tale so be prepared for some pretty gruesome murders--which shouldn't surprise anyone. On the other hand, I'm not really sure who is worse--the Ripper or the New York gangster Tierney. Tierney is not as showy, but his body count is higher.
There are a number of things that just don't hang together well and areas that could be eliminated or drastically cut to keep the plot moving along, but this is an Advanced Reader Review copy and future editing may be in store.
Jameson and Argenti have promise as characters in future books and the descriptions of historical New York are vivid. I look forward to seeing the characters develop and would like the character of Lawrence enlarged.
UK version of cover.
Historical Mystery. May 31, 2019. Print length: 404 pages.
Today, he’s back.
And Anna doesn’t believe in ghosts.
I've enjoyed most of Rachel Abbot's books about DCI Tom Douglas, but this one is not one of my favorites.
Maybe because I didn't like Anna, who keeps making bad choices and continues to get herself deeper and deeper into a morass of lies and deception.
Maybe because there wasn't enough of DCI Douglas and the procedural part of the story.
Maybe because the plot was hard to wrap my head around and genuinely believe in.
I guess the combination of all three factors made The Shape of Lies less of what I expected.
I didn't guess the bad guy which was a plus, but the twist at the end did not "hook" me as it was obviously intended to do. And as for Anna, I'm not at all interested in any more about her. I want DCI Douglas and a police procedural, not an unlikable character who takes over the book with flashbacks and dumb decisions (even if I do kind of feel sorry for her).
Mystery/Thriller. Feb. 19, 2019. Print version: 384 pages.