This is a great flickering story – it jumps between the present and the past surrounding Kate Eddowes murder. And brings to life the woman who lost her life. By showing the before and after of her murder, The Ballad of Kate Eddowes brings to life a woman who is only normally considered as a victim, and not a being in her own right.
It took me a little while to click as to why and how this was a Jack the Ripper tale. The only clue I had was the fact that it was in a Jack the Ripper collection. But, as the story unfolded and the macabre collection was added to, it became a little more understandable. And then I kind of loved it.
This story was really and truly weird. And not in a, huh, that was a little weird, but fun kind of way. Just in a… yup. That was weird. I don’t know how to feel about it kind of way.
Every time I pick up a Dresden Files short story, I feel an insane urge to run up to my shelf and grab whichever novel I’m up to. There is just something amazing about this series that makes me want to sink my nose into it every time. But, I did exercise some self-control after reading Something Borrowed… because I have a pile of books I’m currently reading that is fairly high (I’ve been told I have to get them off the couch and use some restraint).
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.
This was a nice, creepy little contemporary take on the Jack the Ripper mythos. For starters, it is in present day and deals with his descendants. For another, it is written from the point of view of one of these descendants. You spend most of the time wondering who is about to get themselves murdered… and just what genetics do mean for the serial killer gene… or if there even is one. Actually, this definitely swayed me towards the belief in a serial killer…
Unlike every other short story in The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories collection, this one had an intriguing element of fantasy. Nothing too overt, but enough that I had a bit of a smile and a feeling of fantasy nostalgia hanging across my face when I turned the last page. And a few goose bumps, considering the fact that it had a kind of horror spin on it.
This story felt so very, very British. After all, it starts off with the cricket whites and a bunch of gentlemen playing the age-old sport. Just something which is far too English to be ignored… and then it jumps over into the realm of Jack the Ripper and things get really intense really quickly.
I read this in almost one sitting. Not just because it was spine-tinglingly creepy, but also because the writing was so unbelievably fantastic that I just couldn’t look away. Luckily for me, it was an incredibly short read. One that I look forward to picking up again and again in the future. Although, maybe a little further into the future since I like to get a decent nights sleep as often as possible…
This is the first story in the The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories collection which deals with racism as an aspect of finding the killer. Although there was an obvious aggression towards Jews at the time, none of the tales in this collection have specifically addressed this topic. Which made this kind of amazing. After all, a tale of perceptions, understandings and inherent racism is always going to be a good kind of read.