cover image Murder


Sarah Pinborough. Quercus/Jo Fletcher, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-62365-866-3

British author Pinborough manages to make this deeply disturbing sequel to 2013’s Mayhem even bleaker and more unsettling than its predecessor, which ended with the apparent resolution of the Thames Torso murders, a series of crimes overshadowed by Jack the Ripper’s simultaneous reign of terror in the late 1880s. In 1896, police surgeon Thomas Bond, who was present at the climax of the torso murders investigation, still feels “an awful sense of dread when walking the streets of London.” Bond’s worries increase after Edward Kane, a friend of the late killer James Harrington, shares some incriminating letters that Harrington sent to him years before. When more violence follows, the authorities have reason to hope that the Ripper himself may finally be identified and brought to book. The author’s ingenuity in weaving her macabre plot becomes fully evident by the powerful, jaw-dropping end, and she skillfully instills fear in the reader even with innocuous phrases. Agent: Veronique Baxter, David Higham Associates (U.K.). (Jan.)