A Jack the Ripper aficionado is on the loose.
Someone is following Jack the Ripper’s playbook, brutally eviscerating women, sending blood-soaked notes about his (or her?) accomplishments to the media and the police, and scurrying away unseen. The principal difference between the 100-year-old crimes and the current wave is that these women aren’t prostitutes; they’re all well-to-do mums with husbands who love them and sons they love. DC Lacey Flint, who arrives on the scene moments before the first woman dies, arouses the suspicion of Special Operations DI Mark Joesbury when it becomes clear that she’s not only covering up her past but having to explain why each body has been found in a place dear to her. Despite Joesbury’s doubts about Lacey, Dana Tulloch, who leads the Major Investigative Team, supports her, and matters are supposedly resolved when Lacey survives a dip in the Thames while chasing scumbag suspect Samuel Cooper, who doesn’t. Unfortunately, the Rippings continue apace until Jonesbury ties the victims’ families to the rape 10 years ago of the young Llewellyn sisters down in Cardiff. One sister has died, but where is the other, and how does her past intersect with the time Lacey was living rough on the streets of London? A twist, another twist and a final twist reveal the deeper motives of the Ripper wannabe and guarantee the final pages will be splotched with tears.
Bolton (Blood Harvest, 2010, etc.) provides excruciating tension and much else. Romantics can drool over Jonesbury’s turquoise eyes; amateur psychologists can mull Lacey’s one-nighters; and Ripperologists can ponder theories of Jack’s real identity, one of which helps tie up the plot.