Book Title: The London Monster
Author: Donna Scott
Publication Date: 21stNovember 2020
Publisher: Atlantic Publishing
Page Length: 322 pages
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In 1788, exactly one hundred years before Jack the Ripper terrorizes the people of London, a sexual miscreant known as the London Monster roams the streets in search of his next victim…
Thomas Hayes, having lost his mother in a vicious street assault, becomes an underground pugilist on a mission to rid the streets of violent criminals. But his vigilante actions lead to him being mistaken for the most terrifying criminal of all.
Assistance arrives in the form of Sophie Carlisle, a young journalist with dreams of covering a big story, though she is forced to masquerade as a man to do it. Trapped in an engagement to a man she doesn’t love, Sophie yearns to break free to tell stories that matter about London’s darker side—gaming, prostitution, violence—and realizes Tom could be the one to help. Together, they come up with a plan.
Straddling the line between his need for vengeance and the need to hide his true identity as a politician's son becomes increasingly difficult as Tom is pressured to win more fights. The more he wins, the more notoriety he receives, and the greater the chance his identity may be exposed—a revelation that could jeopardize his father’s political aspirations and destroy his family’s reputation.
Sophie is also in danger as hysteria spreads and the attacks increase in severity and frequency. No one knows who to trust, and no one is safe—Tom included, yet he refuses to end the hunt.
Little does he realize, the monster is also hunting him.
4 out of 5 (very good)
THE LONDON MONSTER is set about one hundred years before Jack the Ripper, and tells the story of a man who attacked women at night. It became known that he would only attack beautiful women, so it was almost a 'badge of honour' to have been chosen.
I have to say, I had no idea who it was, right up until The Final Note. The characters all intermingle, and you have no idea how much until it is revealed by the author. Simply wonderful!
This book reads as a standalone and I have no idea if the real London Monster was ever truly identified. I would love to know more about Tom, Sophie, and in particular, Dalton and Cuthbert. Those two got off very lightly in my opinion.
A long book that you can fully immerse yourself in, I found this to be one of the best mysteries I have read in a long time. Absolutely recommended by me.
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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Donna Scott is an award-winning author of 17th and 18th century historical fiction. Before embarking on a writing career, she spent her time in the world of academia. She earned her BA in English from the University of Miami and her MS and EdD (ABD) from Florida International University. She has two sons and lives in sunny South Florida with her husband. Her first novel, Shame the Devil, received the first place Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction and a Best Book designation from Chanticleer International Book Reviews.
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