We're fascinated by the Jack the Ripper so a book that has as one of it's draws a number of murders based on the killings attributed to Jack the Ripper is a draw. If that was the only pull the book wouldn't sustain my interest.
I'm drawn in by the assembled characters—Lacey Flint, assigned to the case, is portrayed as a strong woman who lives by herself, enjoys sexual encounters that have an edge of danger because of where she meets the men.
When she was younger, and prior to becoming a policewoman, she was fascinated with serial killers. As an adult she joined the force and works in a unit that investigates sexual crimes. That fascination and her knowledge of the Jack the Ripper case cause one other officer to suspect that she is somehow involved in the present killing—and killings.
The first woman killed dies shortly after Lacey leaves an area of flats where she is talking to some possible witnesses about another crime. She inadvertently discovers a dying woman. The woman has been knifed—both her throat and stomach have been slit open.
There are a number of similarities to the Jack the Ripper case—letters sent with similar sayings, the manner of the killings. There's always the possibility that the letters are sent by someone involved in a hoax. Or it may be that someone is cognizant of Jack the Ripper case and is a copycat murderer.
The case twists and turns and Bolton never reverts to unrealistic possibilities. It's one of those rare mysteries where the ending really feels earned.
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