Historical Fiction · Read-Reviewed-2021

People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield. (2020).

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People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield. (2020).

**3.5 out of 5 stars**

London, 1888. Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. After a passionate honeymoon she returns with her new husband. But then everything changes quickly. Thomas’s behaviour becomes increasingly volatile and violent, he stays out all night and returns home bloodied and full of secrets. Lonely and frustrated, Susannah starts following the gruesome reports of a series of murders in Whitechapel. Every time Thomas is out late, another victim is found dead. Is it coincidence? Or is he the man they call Jack the Ripper?

I couldn’t help but be intrigued by this synopsis; could you even imagine if you thought your spouse was a serial killer?! Which of course, when you think about it logically, would actually occur in reality. Susannah was an odd lead if I’m being honest: she was intelligent but naive, likeable at times but also off-putting personality wise, she felt like an unreliable narrator. Thomas was clearly unwell mentally but was he Jack the Ripper…you’ll have to read the book to find out! I think I felt like the last quarter was a bit rushed in comparison to the rest of the novel, the tone just felt a bit different and everything changed very quickly.
Overall: I did enjoy it, I just didn’t love it. It’s definitely a clever and unique story and worth a read if you like historical fiction and/or murder crime stories.

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