As soon as I discovered that there was a Sherlock Holmes tale about Jack the Ripper, I was kind of excited. After all, Sherlock Holmes is an amazing storyline and character. And he always catches the bad guy. So I knew there would be a new version as to just who Jack the Ripper was. The answer to that was not what I expected in the slightest. But it was oh so good.
Well. This didn’t end like I expected it to. At all. But it did end in a great way. Well, not for Wil, but for me and my sick, happy little brain… it ended brilliantly.
This short story really made me decide to pick up my book on The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper. It had this beautiful complexity and background to the storyline that I wasn’t expecting. There was also a lot of information and context in it that completely went over my head because I really don’t know all that much about Jack the Ripper.
I actually found this short story a lot more difficult to put down than the other stories which preceded it in Black Feathers. It still had that slightly dark horror feel to it, but the storyline was a lot more linear than I had expected. Where many other horror stories have an incredibly jumpy and disjointed feel to them, this followed a chronological path and one that made a lot more sense to me. It was a nice change from the more abstract horror short stories I have been reading lately.
This story was intense. I thought that the lead female was going to get offed pretty quickly. After all, it starts with her having an affair. And Jack the Ripper went after promiscuous women… it seemed like a pretty potent parallel. But that really wasn’t the case.
It took me a really long time to get through this book. And it isn’t because it wasn’t amazing… it was more so because I was so freaked out by the villains voice that I couldn’t read this at night. Or when my partner wasn’t likely to be home. Or really in any number of different circumstances, because I’d kind of freak out and feel extremely uncomfortable. Which, I still did. And this is also the reason that I love reading these types of books… they’re so real that I get goosebumps and the heebie jeebies just reading them.
I really need to do a little more research on Jack the Ripper before I continue reading too many of these short stories. They’re amazing, and I love the journey that they take me on, but I don’t click as to the character’s names and the theories as quickly as I do with topics I’m far more knowledgeable on. So, it took me a while to figure out whether Martha was a woman who was a likely suspect, or one that was a likely victim.
This had a very crime, noir theme and atmosphere to this story. The call in the middle of the night, leaving a comfortable bed. The idea that a murder down a dark alley is being investigated.
This kind of wigged me out. But in a really good way. To start with, this story was about a man practicing to be a tour guide. Talking about Jack the Ripper, highlighting his crimes and the mystery surrounding the Butcher of Baker Street. Then it becomes far more twisted…
I haven’t picked up anything in The Dresden Files for a while. Mostly because I’ve just been distracted by the multitude of amazing books that are out there. And reading this short story reminded me of just why I love this series so much. It’s funny. It’s quirky. And it always abides by Murphy’s Law – anything that can go wrong will go wrong.