Author: Matthew J. Kirby
Published: September 27, 2016
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Fear the living more than the dead.
It’s London 1888, and Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the people of the city. Evelyn, a young woman disfigured by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, who has nowhere to go, does not know what to make of her new position as a maid to the Elephant Man in the London Hospital. Evelyn wants to be locked away from the world, like he is, shut in from the filth and dangers of the streets. But in Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, she finds a gentle kindred who does not recoil from her and who understands her pain.
When the murders begin, however, Joseph and Evelyn are haunted nightly by the ghosts of the Ripper’s dead, setting Evelyn on a path to facing her fears and uncovering humanity’s worst nightmares.
I enjoyed reading this book. It’s a simple and unique story. The story was easy to follow, but a little slow in some places. I liked how I hadn’t read anything like it before, but I found myself disappointed with some situations. Kirby did a great job of building the tension with the spirits of the murdered women coming every night and requiring their unfinished business to be resolved before they can rest in peace. Jack the Ripper is one of history’s most fascinating characters and adding The Elephant Man to the mix was a great idea. However, the ending was a little anticlimactic to me. I was so excited to see how the story would come together and who the murderer was . . . and it was just a letdown.
But the setting was amazing! I loved the London Hospital and Victorian London filled with street bazaars and theaters. I fell in love with Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man, very quickly. He was a gentleman and someone who just wanted everyone to look past his deformity. He was just so sweet!! Evelyn was a believable and likeable character. This book is classified as YA and Evelyn is only 17, but her maturity level is high. She’s not afraid to work and ends up pushing herself out of her comfort zone when it’s required. She gets a little whiny, but considering her circumstances, it wasn’t bad. Overall, this was a good read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a different and historical read.