Delighted to be taking part today in the blog tour for Clare Whitfield’s debut thriller PEOPLE OF ABANDONED CHARACTER. Thanks so much to Gabriella Drinkald of Midas Public Relations and to the publisher Head of Zeus for my proof copy and invite onto the tour.
PEOPLE OF ABANDONED CHARACTER
PUBLISHED BY HEAD OF ZEUS
RELEASED 1ST OCTOBER 2020
He is my husband.
To honour and obey.
Until murder do us part.
London, 1888: Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. After a passionate honeymoon, she returns home with her new husband wrapped around her little finger. But then everything changes. His behaviour becomes increasingly volatile and violent. He stays out all night, returning home bloodied and full of secrets.
Lonely and frustrated, Susannah starts following the gruesome reports of a spate of murders in Whitechapel. But as the killings continue, her mind takes her down the darkest path imaginable. Every time her husband stays out late, another victim is found dead.
Is it coincidence? Or is he the man they call Jack the Ripper?
People of Abandoned Character is a dark and devilish novel that really gets stuck into the period and setting of it’s story. 19th century London.
The main character and narrator of the story Susannah, has left Reading after the death of her controlling grandmother , to become a nurse in The London Hospital Whitechapel. Poverty, Prostitution, Dirt and Disease are rife in the area, but a few years on in 1888, she has a world-wind romance with the seemingly wealthy Dr Lancaster and with her thoughts always on continuing to make a better life for herself, soon marries him.
After the honeymoon she moves into her grand new home in Chelsea, but very soon all does not appear well. The domineering housekeeper, Mrs Wiggs, seems to have a strange relationship with her employer and is not at all welcoming to her new mistress. Her husband’s behaviour is getting darker and more frightening by the day, and while Whitechapel is terrorised by the murderer known as Jack The Ripper, Susannah starts to notice that her husband doesn’t return home on the nights that a new victim is found. Could she have married a murderer?
With gruesome accounts of the murders and scenes of domestic violence this is quite a dark novel but with the plot moving quickly along and wonderful, vivid accounts of what London could be like for many of it’s poor at this time, and the well researched references to Jack The Ripper, it makes for a very real and interesting read.
We learn more about Susannah in the chapters that refer back to her time as a nurse and learn more about the strange relationship between Mrs Wiggs and Dr Lancaster. Lots of other period references are used in the story which add brilliantly to it’s setting and really set the perfect backdrop to this novel, as danger mounts for our protagonist.
There are a number of class and gender inequalities referred to in this novel that still have a relevance to today and I found the parts in the book which mention housing and the gentrification of London very interesting. Period dress, jobs, transport and other characters in the book really add to the story.
The ending is pacy, dark and concludes a real Victorian thriller.