Book Review | City of Darkness
Author: Kim Wright
About the Book:
City of Darkness takes place in 1888 London, where Jack the Ripper roams the streets with impunity and Scotland Yard seems helpless to stop him. The science of forensics is in its infancy but a few detectives – Trevor Welles among them – recognize that they are dealing with a different sort of killer, a “modern criminal” who chooses his victims at random. If Jack is to be caught, he won’t be caught with Scotland Yard’s normal methods of deduction for there is no logic to this madness. The question is no longer “Why was the victim killed?” but rather “How was the victim killed?” For the first time in the history of detection, science is trumping deductive reasoning.
When a twist of fate puts Trevor in charge of the case, he hastily assembles Scotland Yard’s first forensics team: Davy Mabrey, the first bobby on the scene of the grisliest of the murders, whose working class common sense proves an invaluable asset, Rayley Abrams, a cautious intellectual whose future at the Yard is marginalized due to his Jewish heritage, Tom Bainbridge, a medical student with aristocratic connections and a secret drinking problem, and Emma Kelly, sister of the Ripper’s last victim who has a troubled past and a gift for linguistics. The team finds an unlikely ally in the form of Queen Victoria herself, who takes an unusual level of interest in the Ripper case and secretly funds the unit. But will they stop Jack in time to spare Leanna Bainbridge, the young heiress with whom Trevor has fallen madly and improbably in love?
City of Darkness is the first ebook I read on my new Kindle Fire and it was a great experience! The book was phenomenal and I looked forward to sitting in my bed curled up with blankets reading about the city of London in 1888 while Jack the Ripper roams the streets.
I read Kim Wright’s Love in Mid Air two years ago and enjoyed it as well. This book, however, is in a different genre. While Love in Mid Air was more of a women’s fiction novel, City of Darkness is an historical mystery. I find her writing style easy to read. I was hooked from the first few pages and had a hard time putting the book down.
I could vividly picture all the characters especially Aunt Gerry, Leanna and Emma. I love that she had such strong female personalities even back in the late 1800s. I got a kick every time Aunt Gerry was mentioned because she was so eccentric, but with a huge heart. They were all very likable and interesting.
I also really liked Trevor Welles and how dedicated and professional he was in trying to solve the Jack the Ripper murders. He went above and beyond and strived to improve the way cases were handled. I imagined how different cases were processed back then with the primitive technology they had. Trevor mentions his desire to learn forensics from the French and tried out a few of their techniques on his own. His experiments always didn’t turn out so well though! I was rooting for him to get his big break in the case.
I was fascinated reading the scenes with Jack the Ripper. I’ve always been interested in true crime books and this case has always intrigued me. Some of the scenes were pretty brutal and I cringed knowing that they are based on fact and real women actually endured his brutality. I was hoping they would catch the guy and put him to justice, but we all know that they never caught the Ripper and City of Darkness stays true to that. Although, I did find out which character was the Ripper in this book and I didn’t see it coming. That’s all I’m going to say though because I don’t want to ruin the suspense!
I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, City of Light which takes place in Paris during the World’s Fair!
You can purchase it now to read on your Kindle or wait a few weeks when the hard copies are available!
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.*