With a mother as a governess, Abbie moved between Dublin’s good society and its poorer residents, learning how to make polite conversation and how to fight with a knife. After the death of her mother, Abbie moves to London to live with a grandmother that she hardly knows. Life amongst the tea-drinking, husband-hunting gentry is boring, so Abbie jumps at the opportunity of volunteering at Whitechapel Hospital for Women, whose patients are mostly prostitutes. Abbie gets to know several of the doctors and through them their friends and family. These men are varied: some handsome, some strange, some intense, some quiet. Abbie begins having visions, which include a glimpse of Jack the Ripper killing former Whitechapel Hospital patients simultaneous to the actual murders. The police think the Ripper may be a doctor, and the story has given us suspects galore, including two doctors who have become Abbie’s love-interests.
This is a fast-paced gothic tale, dark and overly dramatic, with a nice sprinkling of the supernatural. Unfortunately, it needs more editing. The dialog is forced, the emotions told more than shown, and in places odd things happen, such as a character burning her finger on a candle with no explanation (she’s not holding it).
If a reader can look past the awkwardness of the writing, a fun and frightening tale lies beneath.