Penguin Uk have an #AskPenguin tag. Give them some ideas about the sort of book you would like to read, they will respond with their book choice. I had asked for a Victorian mystery and their suggestion was “The Limehouse Golem” by Peter Ackroyd. So I bought it and gave it a go.
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (24 Aug. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1784708208
- ISBN-13: 978-1784708207
- Amazon Link
- Other Formats available.
London, 1880. A series of gruesome murders attributed to the mysterious ‘Limehouse Golem’ strikes fear into the heart of the capital. Inspector John Kildare must track down this brutal serial killer in the damp, dark alleyways of riverside London. But how does Dan Leno, music hall star extraordinaire, find himself implicated in this crime spree, and what does Elizabeth Cree, on trial for the murder of her husband, have to hide?
Peter Ackroyd brings Victorian London to life in all its guts and glory, as we travel from the glamour of the music hall to the slums of the East End, meeting George Gissing and Karl Marx along the way.
Set in London, in the 1880’s. London is gripped by gruesome murders and the bodies are being found dismembered, the police have no idea who the murderer is. Alongside the murders, is the story of Lizzie, later to become Mrs Elizabeth Cree. When we first meet her it is as she is having the noose placed around her neck having been found guilty of a crime. From this point on we learn more about Lizzie’s life, her love and involvement in music halls and the characters she meets, as well as famous names of the time.
Peter Ackroyd has captures the dark and sinister aspects very well and made them quite believable. He has built up a picture of what you would expect of Victorian London, dark, atmospheric and suspenseful. I did at times feel that some of the descriptive passages were a little long at times, but not so much to detract from the story. It is told in quick chapters that flit from the perspectives of Lizzie , the murder, and also diary entries, keeping the whole story moving along at a good pace.
This is a book I enjoyed and would recommend to readers who like Gothic Fiction, Historical and Literary Fiction.
The book was originally titled “Dan Leno & The Limehouse Golem”. It has also been made into a film, and has a release date on DVD / Blu-ray of 26th December. Amazon link HERE.
About the Author:
Peter Ackroyd is the author of biographies of Dickens, Blake and Thomas More and of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers London: The Biography and Thames: Sacred River. Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet and historian. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature’s William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the South Bank Prize for Literature. He holds a CBE for services to literature.
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