Review of The English Monster by Lloyd Shepherd
In the east end of Regency London, two families lie butchered. Residents of the notorious Ratcliffe Highway, the victims bear the mark of unprecedented brutality. Panic sweeps the country as its public cries for justice. But these murders stem from an older horror, its source a sea voyage two centuries old. In a ship owned by Queen Elizabeth herself, a young man embarks on England's first venture into a new trade: human souls. As a nation's sins ripen and bloom, to be harvested in a bloody frenzy on the twisted streets of Regency Wapping, an English Monster is born.
I am a bit torn since I liked one part of the book better than the other part. The other part was still good, but not for me. Let me explain:
In 1811 Charles Horton investigates the slaughter of two families. This was the part that was not for me. It's a good old detective story as he tries his best to find the murderer. The chase is on and he has new ideas that he tries. The Ratcliffe Highway murders are real but the authors takes his own twist to them. It's the beginning of real detective work.
The story jumps from the "present" to the past back and forth and we see the birth of the monster in question. Billy Ablass who in 1564 sails away to make his fortune to support his wife. But something happens along the way. It's a story about slave trade, pirates and all the horrible things going on as people fought to be on top. This was the story I liked the most as it was horrible, fascinating and interesting. It was darkness as he slowly loses a part of himself. It was adventure mixed with thriller and horror.
There you have it, some parts I just liked more then the rest as Billy's story was good. The detective part, well maybe I am just not that kind of reader. But I would love love to watch it on tv (of course then the Billy parts would be scary while now they are just the brutality of life then).
If you want a good detective story with a "paranormal" theme in it then this might be the book for you.
Genre: Historical fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Published: September 2012 by Simon and Schuster UK
Source: For review