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Saturday, 13 June 2015

Alex Scarrow - The Candle Man

Review written by Brian Lowen and read live on the bookshow 11th June 2015
An excellent thriller set in Victorian times and around three major names – Prince Albert, Jack the Ripper and Titanic.

The prologue is on Titanic in 1912 as it is sinking after hitting the iceberg and a stranger is telling a young lady an extraordinary story.

We then go back to 1888 to start the story.  Prince Albert has been indiscreet and had an affair with a young street girl which has produced a baby.  The local Masonic Lodge has been asked by Prince Albert to sort things out to stop a scandal which could cause a revolution in the country.  They hire in a hit man from America to eliminate all the persons who could cause trouble and so the murders of young prostitutes start, provoking the legend of Jack the Ripper.

The descriptions of life in the slums of Victorian London are vivid with few pulled punches and we learn of the inner struggle of the hitman with his normal self and his alter ego with its killer instinct caused by seeing his family butchered by Indians in the far west of America.

An excellent story with several threads merging together and with strong characters.  This is a real page turning thriller.

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