From Goodreads: In 1888, following her mother’s sudden death, 17-year-old Arabella Sharp goes to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. At her grandmother’s request, Abbie volunteers at Whitechapel Hospital, where she discovers a passion for helping the unfortunate women and children there. But within days, female patients begin turning up brutally murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper.
Overall, this was a very interesting story concerning the identity of Jack the Ripper. I loved how Reeves was able to stay extremely close to history while also putting a supernatural spin on the mysterious murders that plagued London in the late 1800s. Having limited knowledge about Jack the Ripper, I did a little bit of research on him before I began reading this novel and, upon completion of the story, found that Reeves actually works the known events of the Ripper’s career right into her story, making it a very authentic retelling, save the supernatural elements. It always impresses me when authors are able to take true events and weave a fictional tale from them, explaining the unexplained, and I found this to be a very appealing read, especially once the story really got going.
In the beginning, though, I found that I wasn’t really grabbed by the story. I’m not sure why this was, especially as I became much more interested in the novel as it unfolded, but initially I wasn’t too interested in the events of the novel. Part of this, I think, may stem from the fact that I never personally connected with any of the characters. While I enjoyed them, I didn’t grow fond of them to the point that I feared for them. I didn’t want anything bad to happen to any of them, but, when the Ripper struck, I wasn’t really phased, which sounds really harsh, I know, but it’s true. However, as the story unfolded, and the supernatural elements became more distinct, the novel picked up a lot and I found myself turning pages as quickly as possible in order to find out the identity of the Ripper. And, though the conclusion of the novel was clean and to the point, I believe there may be a sequel, which I am looking forwards to, especially as there is room for one as the story isn’t really over. Three stars.
Flux Books has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read a copy of this novel, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.