cover image Anatomy of Evil

Anatomy of Evil

Will Thomas. Minotaur, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-04105-0

Thomas puts his Holmes and Watson stand-ins, Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn, on the track of Jack the Ripper in their less than satisfying seventh outing (after 2014’s Fatal Enquiry). In 1888, Robert Anderson, newly appointed assistant commissioner of Scotland Yard and known as England’s “spymaster general,” approaches Barker, London’s preeminent private investigator, after two prostitutes are butchered in Whitechapel. Anderson is about to leave the country to recover his health, and with Queen Victoria herself very interested in the crimes, he asks Barker to abandon his business and accept a temporary assignment to serve as a special inspector to catch the killer. Barker and Llewelyn move into the East End, to better understand the terrain, and divide their time between walking the streets and navigating the infighting among the police. Thomas is best at depicting the police tensions, which hampered the real-life search for the Ripper, but the contrived resolution to the case leaves some significant questions unanswered. [em]Agent: Maria Carvainis, Maria Carvainis Agency. (May) [/em]