Anatomy of Evil by Will Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of the best entries in this series to date, largely because it finally takes on the inevitable Victorian London trope of investigating the case of Jack the Ripper. This interpretation jam-packs all manner of ethnic and sociopolitical issues as well - par for the course for this series, with the usual involvement of London's Jewish community, anarchist circles, and another minority I admittedly never saw coming - the gay underground. (One surprise - Oscar Wilde was never seen in any of the book's scenes at the Drake Club.) Another surprise - the true reason why Barker always, always, ALWAYS wears his signature dark glasses. It's, erm...it's freaky.
And the biggest surprise of all is that this book actually postulates who the Ripper may have been, as well as suggesting that he was, in fact, caught, but the arrest was never made public for sociopolitical reasons. And if the book's afterword is to be believed, this man, along with many of the book's supporting characters, was real. Now we're edging onto Rollins/Cussler/Berry/Brown territory here. Or, perhaps more accurately, Preston and Child (White Fire, anyone?)
Now that Jack the Ripper's over and done with, here's hoping the next Barker and Llewellyn book does what I've been hoping this series will do from the beginning - feature a collaboration with Holmes and Watson!
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