(A Dominion Mystery, #1)
Publication date: October 12th 2016
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Young Adult
It’s August of 1888, just three weeks before Jack the Ripper will begin his grisly spree in the London slum of Whitechapel, and another serial murderer is stalking the gas-lit streets of New York. With taunting messages in backwards Latin left at the crime scenes and even more inexplicable clues like the fingerprints that appear to have been burned into one victim’s throat, his handiwork bears all the hallmarks of a demonic possession.
But consulting detective Harrison Fearing Pell is convinced her quarry is a man of flesh and blood. Encouraged by her uncle, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry hopes to make her reputation by solving the bizarre case before the man the press has dubbed Mr. Hyde strikes again.
From the squalor of the Five Points to the high-class gambling dens of the Tenderloin and the glittering mansions of Fifth Avenue, Harry and her best friend, John Weston, follow the trail of a remorseless killer, uncovering a few embarrassing secrets of New York’s richest High Society families along the way. Are the murders a case of black magic—or simple blackmail? And will the trail lead them closer to home than they ever imagined?
This was quite a departure from the other books I’ve read by Kat Ross thus far (The Midnight Sea and recently released The Blood Prophet) but I really enjoy when an author can switch up their genres and still make me fall for the book. And fall I did. The synopsis and cover had me all kinds of interested, but in no way prepared for what truly lay in store. Honestly I almost expected this to be a horror story, but what we have is a truly gorgeous gothic mystery and a bit of a psychological thriller, or suspense, depending on how you look at it. The many references to horror classics completely swayed me to the side of loving this particular novel, as did Ross’s ability to draw me into the story and the surroundings. It feels like a well-researched historical novel, even though there is not necessarily a great deal of focus on the actual details. I’d love to find out more about what drove the author to use certain characters in certain ways (avoiding spoilers here so forgive my vagueness.) I am honestly very glad this will be a series instead of just one book, not just because of how it ended *ahem* but also due to the fact that I absolutely want to spend more time with these characters and in this world. Recommended for mature YA readers, even though this is actually a bit less graphic than the Fourth Element books, there’s still an intensity to it that might be too much for younger readers.
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.