Book Reviews

Book Review: The Women of Blackmouth Street

The Women of Blackmouth Street

(A Georgia Buchanan Historical Thriller)

By Thea Sutton

Published 2021

294 Pages

After her young patient commits suicide, alienist Georgia Buchanan flees to London to leave the scandal behind her in Boston.  She may have crossed an ocean, but she hasn’t outrun her troubles.  Summoned to Bedlam in the middle of the night to prevent a woman’s death, she finds nothing amiss at the asylum, but London’s Assistant Commissioner of Police, Major Arthur Griffith, intercepts her and demands her assistance in identifying a serial murderer.  Almost immediately after she declines the request, they are joined by Charles Knight, the publisher of a London newspaper, who insists she does not help the Commissioner.  Both men threaten her with publication of photos of the scandal she feels responsible for and that would destroy both her and her father’s reputation.

With no clue who sent the original summons or which man to trust, if either of them, Georgia finds herself in the middle of the Ripper murders in London’s East End.  When Georgia is commanded to indict a man who is clearly innocent and more women die, she becomes certain of only one thing: she must find the real killer while trusting no one.

I feel like I’ve read or watched a lot of fiction based on the Ripper murders lately and almost didn’t download this novel because of that.  If I’d passed it by, it would have been a shame, because The Women of Blackmouth Street has something the other similar novels/shows didn’t:  tension.  From the first paragraph, I was drawn into this story and needed to know what happened next.  I’ve referenced The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle before and when I pick up a mystery or thriller, I’m hoping for a story that good.  This one delivered.  The historic details are on point, the sensory details put the reader smack in the middle of dank, 1890s London, and the plot twists kept me guessing all the way through.  I will admit, I guessed the actual killer before the end (although I loved the spin the author gave to the world’s oldest cold case) but the subplots twisting through the novel took me by surprise when they were tied up.  Since I’m unable to read without mentally critiquing, my reviews tend to be harder than if I were just reading for pleasure.  But this work was so gripping, I happily ignored the fact it began with a dream prologue.  In fact, Sutton’s prose was so good, I found myself jotting down notes for future reference.

I read this as an ARC copy prior to publication, but it’s now available for purchase.  If you like Historical Thrillers, I strongly suggest buying a copy.  This story raised the bar on what I’ll use to compare other similar novels.

I gave this book five stars.

My rating system:

5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.

4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.

3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.

2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.

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