Title: A Child of Darkness
Author: Brett McBean
In: The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories (Maxim Jakubowski)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Family, Historical fiction
Dates read: 15th October 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: He looked out and watched with wonder at the falling rain.
He’s the son of the Ripper… and he’s finally found him. But now he wants one last favour from the man who abandoned him.
Many of the stories in the The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories collection have a bit of a focus on genetics. What would the children of the Ripper be like? The grandchild, the many times great-grandchildren? And mostly I’ve enjoyed them… but something about this slightly more fantastical take on the same story gave me a few heebie jeebies. Not sure why, but it definitely made me feel not so comfortable.
Of all the stories I expected to read, one where the child begs the father to perform another murder really wasn’t one of them. Especially when the child is doing it to regain his sight… and there’s something completely off about him as well. Although I can’t pinpoint that one so closely. It’s just uncomfortable and weird. This entire story. Weirdly uncomfortable. Not one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
This is a fairly clever story, but not one that I would be likely to read again. There is just something about it that is a little too intensely creepy for my taste. But it’s still very well written, and a completely imaginative Jack the Ripper story… one that is probably going to haunt me for a little while longer.