Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Murder Squad Again Faces A Deranged Killer

In The Devil's Workshop, Detective Inspector Walter Day and his partner, Nevil Hammersmith suffered at the hands of Jack-the-Ripper. Both are now recovering from their wounds, but neither man is happy. Day has been relegated to a desk job. Hammersmith has been fired for his own good.

Day's wife has given birth to twin girls and his in-laws have moved in to take care of them putting the Days in a very uncomfortable position. Hammersmith is still anxious to find the Ripper. Although he no longer wears a badge, he continues to follow clues to find the deranged murderer.

In addition to the Riper, another insane murderer is terrorizing London. The Harvest Man is searching for his parents. He's convinced they're hiding behind masks, so he follows couples to their homes and cuts up their faces trying to find his parents faces.

In addition to these murderers, there may be a third murderer taking off from the crimes of the Ripper. He's killing women using the same techniques as the Ripper.

I enjoyed this mystery. The gory murders are interspersed with quiet domestic scenes primarily form the Day's home. It makes a nice contrast to the violence. The major problem with the book is that so much is dependent on what happened in the previous novel. Sometimes it makes it hard to follow the relationships between the characters.

If you enjoy historical mysteries, this is a good one. It's set in the 1890s and the background is well described and suitable to the era. The characters come across as real people. I particularly enjoyed Claire Day and Fiona Kingsley. They were representative of their time, but struggling against society to be their own person.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.