London’s East End, 1888: When darkness falls, terror begins…
The foggy streets of London’s Whitechapel district have become a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper, and no woman is safe. Flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to dread, but she is more preoccupied with her own strange experiences of late.
Clairvoyants seem to be everywhere these days. Constance’s mother has found comfort in contacting her late father in a séance. But are such powers real? And could Constance really be possessed of second sight? She longs for the wise counsel of her mentor and champion of the poor, Emily Tindall, but the kind missionary has gone missing.
Following the latest grisly discovery, Constance is contacted by a high-born lady of means who fears the victim may be her missing sister. She implores Constance to use her clairvoyance to help solve the crime, which the press is calling “the Whitechapel Mystery,” attributing the murder to the Ripper.
As Constance becomes embroiled in intrigue far more sinister than she could have imagined, assistance comes in a startling manner that profoundly challenges her assumptions about the nature of reality. She’ll need all the help she can get—because there may be more than one depraved killer out there…
I have never really read novels set in this era but the subject of this book intrigued me. I was captivated from the first chapter!
Set in 1888 as Jack the ripper has just begun his reign of terror the story is told from two perspectives, Constance and Emily’s. The story alternates between the two.
Constance is a flower girl and comes from a poor family, she and her sister make money by stealing from the rich, whilst Constance sells the flowers, Flo pickpockets the customers. She lives in Whitechapel, one of the poorest parts of London and the place where the Jack the ripper murders are taking place.
Emily Tindall is from a good background, she is a Sunday school teacher and has taken Constance under her wing, teaching her to read and showing her a life far removed from her own.
The sixth victim is one of those amazing books that pulls you into the pages, I connected with the characters and couldn’t wait to follow the twists and turns of the story. Very early on you find that Emily isn’t quite what you believe. I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but when you discover the ‘secret’ it makes you see the story in a whole different light.
The book runs alongside the murders of Jack the ripper but they are very much in the background, the main story is Constance’s search for Emily who seems to have gone missing and how her psychic abilities slowly, to her amazement grow. Constance is also approached by a lady from the upper classes who fears her sister has been victim to Jack the ripper. The lady asks for Constance’s help to solve the mystery.
I loved the way the stories entwined and developed, how characters ended up linking. The way Tessa portrays Emily’s story is beautiful, it is as if Emily is talking to the reader directly, here is a snippet of a piece of Emily’s story hat shows this perfectly;
”Constance does sleep, albeit fitfully, so we shall leave her to return to my own story. For now, it is time to take you on a terrifying journey”
This is the first in ‘Constance Piper Mystery’ series, I’m waiting with baited breath for the second installment which Tessa tells me will be out in 2018.
About the Author
Tessa Harris is the author of the acclaimed Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries, including Secrets in the Stones and The Anatomist’s Apprentice. A graduate of Oxford University with a History degree, Tessa has also been a journalist and editor, contributing to many national publications such as The Times and The Telegraph. She has also acted as a literary publicist for several well-known authors. Readers can visit her website at www.tessaharrisauthor.com
Thank you to Tessa harris for allowing me to review The sixth victim.