Eminent historian Saul David is far better known for his non fiction work and TV presenting than for his novels – indeed there’s been an eight year gap between the second, and this, the third volume in this series.
All the books have been set towards the end of the nineteenth century, but this one differs in being set in Victorian London rather than in foreign climes, and although it features a continuation of characters from the previous novels, it still reads well as a standalone book. The main character, George Hart, is now employed as a bodyguard for the Prince of Wales, ostensibly to keep him out of harms way from Irish rebels, but also to curb his social excesses. In doing so, Hart becomes inadvertently embroiled in the investigation of the infamous Jack The Ripper murders. This is one of those books that merges actual historical events and the key well known figures of the time with the author’s own fictional characters,and is in some ways a little reminiscent of Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series. This era of British history is very much David’s specialist subject, and he captures the essence of London, and particularly the East End, at that time particularly well, using historical fact to give a solid foundation to his fiction. I’d say his dialogue and character building are maybe not quite up to the same high standard, but nevertheless this is still a good read, that offers some interesting and meticulously researched, if not entirely new, Ripper theories.
An enjoyable, lightweight holiday read that holds the reader’s interest without being too demanding.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Mixing fact with fiction.
One thing you’ve learned
The true identity of Jack The Ripper will never be known.