Title: A Small Band of Dedicated Men
Author: Andrew Lane
In: The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories (Maxim Jakubowski)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Historical fiction
Dates read: 7th July 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: I really don’t think that will replace “Leather Apron” in the minds of the public.
Druitt has called together all of the men accused of being Jack the Ripper. Their patrols might stop one killer, but are there more hiding amongst them?
This took a turn that I really wasn’t expecting. I thought that maybe this would be a story of innocents who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I mostly kept thinking this until the very end. Which quickly made me not so happy and more than a little uncomfortable. And incredibly glad that these men are dead, it was just a little too easy to believe this story.
Of all the Ripperologist theories I’ve recently been exposed to, the one that features Druitt is always what I feel closest to. Not necessarily because the evidence against him is the strongest, but more so because of the fact that this theory features in a Science Fiction series that I love (Sanctuary on SyFy). Which means that his central place in this storyline made me sink my nose right into the story and refuses to pay attention to anything around me.
Stories about teams of serial killers and mad men are starting to become a bit more frequent in my reading roster. Which is both terrifying, and kind of fun. There’s a totally different, unsettling feeling to these types of tales and I, for one, can’t wait to read more like this Small Band of Dedicated Men.