Tuesday, April 10, 2012

City of Darkness by Kim Wright


So he had walked back to the rooming house where Lucy slept, had crawled through her window as he had so many times before, slipped into her narrow bed beside her.   She had awakened with a start, almost crying out in her surprise, but he cupped his hand around her mouth. Beneath his palm he can feel her muffled cry turn into a smile.   She loves him.   God knows why, but she does...

Wright, Kim (2012-03-30). City of Darkness (City of Mystery) (Kindle Locations 7434-7437).

What a beautiful love story.  The picture of a man wrought with passion for a woman in an almost timid and innocent way.  The careful way he cups his hand to be sure not to hurt her as she finds relief to be with him, offering a smile.

Ahhh...romance.  And it would be, if this weren't the story of Jack the Ripper.  Ladies and gentlemen, Meet Jack.

City of Darkness by Kim Wright explores an interesting take on a very famous villain we all love to hate.  His rampant serial killings of prostitutes in the Whitechapel district of London in 1888 are still a mystery.  He was never caught.

Wright takes the reader on a twisted journey with multiple moments of suspense.  She seamlessly weaves this historical presentation of Jack the Ripper while simultaneously leaving the reader guessing at who the infamous man might be.

Her characters are strong and fleshed out with realistic detail capturing the essence of not only the Ripper, but the lives of those that might be intertwined with him.  More than once, I was misled while reading on who the real killer was, and while that could just be my ignorance, Wright does such an amazing job of foreshadowing several different plots lines, the reader can't help but be amused when the story reaches its finale.

***Minor plot spoilers***

Photo courtesy of The Illustrated London News, 1888
Trevor Welles, undoubtedly a conglomeration parallel to the many lead detectives that attempted to solve the murder cases, is both endearing and aggravating.  He is work obsessed, as most policeman are, but also has a tender and fun-loving side.  He spends much of his time looking for ways to advance the study of forensics for Scotland Yard, a science rarely heard of during the time period, and would most likely have been the absolute downfall of Jack the Ripper today.  The object of his affection is Miss Emma Bainbridge, a woman struggling with finding her own place in the world after being named the sole heir to her Grandfather's Estate, Rosemoral.  However, Miss Emma does not love Trevor, but rather fancies Dr. John Harrowman, a character that also leads a presumed double life.

Wright presents within this novel not only the gruesome details of Jack the Ripper, but a caste system present in London, the epitome of why Jack the Ripper was so successful in remaining a mystery.  He was a presumed gentleman with a taste for the impoverished.  Wright creates a dynamic reason of why the Ripper targets prostitutes.  I personally thought it was genius.  To further exacerbate the societal differences, Miss Emma, while wealthy for much of the book struggles with her new place in society.  City of Darkness explores the interesting dynamic of the simple girl concept being shielded from the world, but in fact finds herself smack in the middle of the action.  The two characters cross paths in a most unexpected way.

A romantic view of London is also readily available to the reader; it isn't all gore throughout the book.  This simple weaving is what makes City of Darkness such a fascinating read; you are falling in love with a city of murder.  I loved her use of British curse words, too - nothing like a good Balderdash! to set the mood or tone of a novel.

This mystery novel is available on Kindle through Amazon.com.  Right now it's a steal at $2.99!  And lucky for the reading world, this historically based thrilled is part of a series entitled City of Mystery.  City of Light will be available in August.  If you’d like to receive notification of its publication, you can either join the City of Mystery Facebook page or send your email address to cityofmystery@ gmail.com.

I give this mystery read two proverbial thumbs up!  You don't want to miss out.



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