Title: Autumn of Terror
Author: C.L. Raven
In: The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories (Maxim Jakubowski)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Horror
Dates read: 17th December 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: Even the gas lamps were scared to venture into the alleyways that sneaked through London like blackened veins through the devil’s dark heart.
A lot of people like to go on serial killer tours. But, this tour about the Autumn of Terror is more than a little different. And the tour guide? Don’t follow him into a dark alley at night…
This so far has been one of the least graphic short stories in the The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories collection. Yet, the idea of an immortal Ripper recommitting his acts every night… that makes it one of the most terrifying tales in this collection. I like to imagine immortality being granted to the good and the just, not the evil and sadistic. But that might just be a personal preference.
Although this story is written from the point of view of the actual killer, it is filled with maybes. Rather than saying that this person did this because of this, the voice says maybe I did it because of this. Maybe because of that. Plus, although he states that everyone on the tour circuit knows the true face of the killer, there is absolutely no description. The vague ambiguity of this really helps to add to a feeling of mystery. The mystery that has surrounded the most famous serial killer for generations.
In the past I have briefly considered going on a Ripper tour. This has cured me of that. There was just something a little too intense about it. And although I’m sure I want see the murders occur again and again like they do in this… maybe I don’t actually want to give such a horrifying man the power of my attention. Even this many years later. But, you know, first I actually have to get to England…