The Ripper’s Wife by Brandy Purdy
ARC, Paperback, 369 pages
October 28, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Received book for review as part of HF Virtual Book Tour
“It begins as a fairytale romance-a shipboard meeting in 1880 between vivacious Southern belle Florence Chandler and handsome English cotton broker James Maybrick. Courtship and a lavish wedding soon follow, and the couple settles into an affluent Liverpool suburb.
From the first, their marriage is doomed by lies. Florie, hardly the heiress her scheming mother portrayed, is treated as an outsider by fashionable English society. James's secrets are infinitely darker-he has a mistress, an arsenic addiction, and a vicious temper. But Florie has no inkling of her husband's depravity until she discovers his diary-and in it, a litany of bloody deeds...”
The tale of Jack the Ripper is one that has been told in a variety of ways, however the one told by author Brandy Purdy in The Ripper’s Wife is an entirely new (and refreshing) angle. James Maybrick was a suspect brought up many, many years after the crime spree, but the claims to this identity have since been proven to be false. In The Ripper’s Wife, Purdy brings this little known theory to the fore. Additionally she explores the contentious marriage between James and Florie Maybrick which leads to a scandalous trial. All of these dramatic moments created some great fodder for the novel.
The bulk of the novel is Florie telling her story of how she met James and her life being married to him. We don’t really know much about the Ripper’s story until about halfway through the novel when his diary is introduced – then you are immersed in the brutality and gore that is his crime spree. And there are quite some brutal moments – it is not for the faint of heart.
The segments of the novel which tell of the crime spree feel frantic, desperate, and crazed – essentially mirroring the internal turmoil of the killer. However, much of the novel does feel dense; this won’t be a novel that you race through, but it will be one that you enjoy the new twist to typical Ripper story.
Author Brandy Purdy also has written The Tudor Throne, The Queen’s Pleasure, Vengeance is Mine, The Boleyn Bride, The Queen’s Rivals, and The Confession of Piers Gaveston. You can visit the author’s website or blog for more information about the books. If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?
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You can follow along with the rest of the tour by visiting the HFVBT site or on Twitter with the following hashtag: #RippersWifeBlogTour.
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