This gothic romance, set in foggy, late 19th century London, revolves around Darcie Finch, a once well-to-do young lady newly forced into service by dire financial circumstances. Her employer is the handsome, golden-haired anatomist Dr. Damien Cole, and though young women are being viciously murdered on London’s streets by someone using doctor’s instruments, Darcie has seen the good doctor burning a shirt covered in blood, and has been cryptically warned against him and his secrets (“He is a man to fear…”), she can’t help but fall head over heels. Could the man she loves obtain his bodies for dissection from Resurrectionists, or worse?
This conglomeration of clichés borrows heavily from other sources, both fiction and nonfiction. The grisly murders are straight Jack the Ripper, and the Darcie and Cole plotline is strongly reminiscent of Valerie Martin’s Mary Reilly, though lacking its delicious tension and literary acumen. The reader will peg the murderer by the middle of the story, if not the very beginning, and the end of the novel is sheer melodrama. Though there isn’t a single unfamiliar prospect in this entire panorama, readers of the genre may enjoy sexy Dr. Cole, the gothic atmosphere, and the sensuality of the romance.