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Death at Hungerford Stairs: A serial killer is on the loose in Victorian London (Charles Dickens Investigations Book 2) Kindle Edition
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"The pages keep turning, and the evocation of foggy Victorian London is excellent." --Historical Novel Society on The Murder of Patience Brooke --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B07KSB72J6
- Publisher : Sapere Books (27 December 2018)
- Language : English
- File size : 1866 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 307 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 215,733 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Dickens and Jones continue looking for Scrap, and for Poll. Their search takes them into danger in the poverty-stricken slum backstreets of London. The bodies of two more boys are discovered. There’s an image, a sketch of a mask found near each of the corpses. It must be significant, but what does it mean?
‘Secrets. Behind every murder there were secrets.’
The search for Scrap and Poll becomes the search for a serial killer. Can Dickens and Jones find the killer before more boys are killed?
This is a fast-moving story, with well-developed characters and with more than a few twists.
This is the second book in Ms Briggs’s Charles Dickens and Superintendent Sam Jones series. While the murder mystery at the heart of this novel does stand alone, I strongly recommend reading the series in order. Several of the characters appear in both books, and Ms Briggs has paid a lot of attention to backstory, character development and setting. I enjoyed this novel as much as the first and am now looking forward to reading the third novel in the series. I loved the descriptions of Victorian London (I could almost feel the dank fog and smell the decay). I liked the way Ms Briggs introduces fact into her narrative, and her depiction of Charles Dickens as both man and author.
Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Sapere Books for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.
Top reviews from other countries
I felt that this story was an improvement on the first in the series and mostly enjoyed the character development and plot twists. Some I felt we didn’t get enough of and hope to see more of in subsequent books like Isabella Gordon and Sesina.
That said, there were some elements that seemed under explored. For instance, I would have liked to have found out more about the giant; where did he come from and what was his story? The idea that Dickens, a regular visitor across the Channel and noted Francophile, would have taken the character names for two different books from one short visit to a Parisian milliners shop was too much of a stretch for me. Interestingly Mme Rigaud seemed to have changed her name to Renier by the epilogue! Personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to try and crowbar so many references to Dickens’s literary works into the text as for me it detracts from the otherwise high quality writing.
So overall a solid 3.5 from me with the issues identified above just bringing it down from a 4.
The contrast of the sheer pathos of the era with the lively, engaging personality of Dickens (and all the secondary characters) is very skilfully done, luring you into the 19th century so easily. Descriptively, the grinding hardship, harsh brutality and filthy poverty is powerfully evocative - and deeply shaming that man's inhumanity to man was so prevalent. The murder mystery itself was gripping, shocking and full of suspense, as only a truly good detective novel can be - the sensitivity and tragedy of children being murdered is handled masterfully well.
This is clever writing, with wit and humour deftly balancing the pathos and darkness. I honestly cannot recommend this series highly enough.
The storyline was provocative, and the author managed to capture the essence of Dickensian London, the misery that so many had, yet so many were carefree.
The author manages to get people using their imagination and transports you to the era.