“A reinterpretation of Jack the Ripper with a supernatural touch . . . a convincing portrait of London’s seamier side and a neat twist of an ending.” —Kirkus Reviews
London’s East End, 1888: When darkness falls, terror begins . . .
The foggy streets of London’s Whitechapel district have become a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper, and no woman is safe. Flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to dread, but she is more preoccupied with her own strange experiences of late.
Clairvoyants seem to be everywhere these days. Constance’s mother has found comfort in contacting her late father in a séance. But are such powers real? And could Constance really be possessed of second sight? Following the latest grisly discovery, Constance is contacted by a high-born lady of means who fears the victim may be her missing sister. She implores Constance to use her clairvoyance to help solve the crime, which the press is calling “the Whitechapel Mystery,” attributing the murder to the Ripper.
As Constance becomes embroiled in intrigue far more sinister than she could have imagined, assistance comes in a startling manner that profoundly challenges her assumptions about the nature of reality. She’ll need all the help she can get—because there may be more than one depraved killer out there . . .
“A highly imaginative and entertaining book, brimming with atmosphere and suspense. This latest work, set in a time dominated by the murders of Jack the Ripper, exemplifies Harris’s ability as a storyteller and demonstrates her outstanding knowledge of London's history.” —David Bullock, author of The Man Who Would Be Jack
Harris's late-Victorian historical, a series launch, is less successful than her Dr. Thomas Silkstone mysteries (The Anatomist's Apprentice, etc.). Although flower girl Constance Piper must struggle to make a living, she recognizes that she's better off than the desperate women working the London streets, and she is deeply disturbed when they begin falling prey to the serial killer who will become known as Jack the Ripper. Meanwhile, Constance is preoccupied with another puzzle the whereabouts of Emily Tindall, a teacher who taught her how to speak and act properly. Part of the problem is the familiar plot. The Ripper murders have been the basis for countless whodunits, and Harris's depiction of London's impoverished East End, while solid, is just not at the level of authors such as Paul West and John Brooks Barry. Even focusing on the woman whose torso was found in the building site of what was to become New Scotland Yard the sixth victim of the title has been done better by Sarah Pinborough in 2014's Mayhem.