Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: The year is 1888 and Jack the Ripper begins his reign of terror.
Miss Sarah Bain, a photographer in Whitechapel, is an independent woman with dark secrets. In the privacy of her studio, she supplements her meager income by taking illicit “boudoir photographs” of the town’s local ladies of the night. But when two of her local models are found gruesomely murdered within weeks of one another, Sarah begins to suspect it’s more than mere coincidence.
Teamed with a motley crew of friends–including a street urchin, a gay aristocrat, a Jewish butcher and his wife, and a beautiful young actress–Sarah delves into the crime of the century. But just as she starts unlocking the Ripper’s secrets, she catches the eye of the local police, who believe she knows more than she’s revealing, as well from the Ripper himself, now bent on silencing her and her friends for good.
Caught in the crosshairs of a ruthless killer, Sarah races through Whitechapel’s darkest alleys to find the truth…until she makes a shocking discovery that challenges everything she thought she knew about the case.
I think I may have mentioned once or twice that I’m a little addicted to the mystery of Jack the Ripper and tend to jump on any new book on the subject whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. The Ripper’s Shadow not only gives a unique and imaginative spin to the unsolved murders, but also provides a cast of well-developed and endearing characters who I instantly became emotionally invested in. Sarah is the type of heroine that you can’t help rooting for. Smart, and stubbornly determined you can feel her frustration not only with dealing the indifferent and bigoted police, but also with her models as they fail to take note of her warnings. Her team of fellow amateur sleuths are truly a motley crew with each having their own interesting backstories. By the end of the book they’re not only a team, they’re a family. The story is action-packed and is filled with shocking plot twists, and surprising suspects. There’s also some humor included which nicely balances the darker aspects of the book. The author’s prose truly brings to life the Victorian London, from the fog and soot which seems to encompass everything, to the corrupt police and prejudiced attitudes towards women, immigrants, and homosexuals. I highly recommend The Ripper’s Shadow to readers looking for a suspense-filled historical mystery filled with colorful characters. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series!