Monday, June 21, 2021

West of Whitechapel: Jack the Ripper in the Wild West - Wayne D. Dundee


In the late 1880s, a series of grisly murders swept through the Whitechapel slums of London. The victims were all prostitutes, each found with her throat cut and her stomach sliced open. Sensationalized newspaper accounts of the killings spread throughout England and beyond to a horrified yet fascinated reading public. Heightening interest all the more were the taunting letters sent by the killer to Scotland Yard – boldly signed “Jack the Ripper”.

But then, abruptly, the killings stopped. The Ripper was never identified or captured, but the terror seemed over.

A few months later, however, on the American frontier in the raucous, rowdy mining camps that sprang up out of a silver boom in the Colorado Rockies, some eerily similar murders began to occur among the flocks of “soiled doves” who gathered to serve the men in those remote camps. With no law to speak of in such places and sudden death being all too common, no one seemed to take much notice.

Not until a sharp-eyed female journalist spotted the possible connection and became determined to find out the truth. Aided by a guilt-ridden though equally dogged frontier detective, the pair follow a bloody trail through the rugged mountains and boisterous mining camps to try and prove if Jack the Ripper truly ceased his killing ways … or did he merely move them out here – west of Whitechapel?

(Wayne D. Dundee is one of the most consistently entertaining Western writers in the business, so it's no surprise that his new novel from Wolfpack Publishing is excellent. The pace races along, he does a great job with the historical elements in the plot, and there are some twists I didn't see coming, which is always nice. Plus Lew Torrent, an operative for the Omaha & Points West Detective Agency, is a really likable narrator/protagonist and works well with the female journalist who draws him into the case. I really hope we see these two again, maybe tackling another historical mystery. In the meantime, WEST OF WHITECHAPEL gets a very high recommendation from me.)

1 comment:

Spike said...

I have too much reading on my plate and too little time but this is impossible to resist. Bought.