August 22, 2012

The Pleasures of Men by Kate Williams

The Pleasures of Men by Kate Williams is a thriller set in the late 1800s in London. It features a young woman who becomes obsessed with a serial killer that is going after “working girls.” This chilling book is one readers will want to devour quickly, so be sure you have set time aside to do just that before starting it.

Book Description
July 1840: The young Queen Victoria has just entered her third year on the throne when a major recession brings London’s desperate and destitute into its sweltering streets. While the city crackles with tension, orphaned Catherine Sorgeiul stays locked away in her uncle’s home, a peculiar place where death masks adorn the walls and certain rooms are strictly forbidden. Nineteen years old and haunted by a dark past, Catherine becomes obsessed with a series of terrible murders of young girls sweeping the city. Details of the crimes are especially gruesome—the victims’ hair has been newly plaited and thrust into their mouths, and their limbs are grotesquely folded behind them, like wounded birds—and the serial killer is soon nicknamed the Man of Crows.

Catherine begins writing stories about the victims—women on their own and vulnerable in the big city—and gradually the story of the murderer as well. But she soon realizes that she has involved herself in a web of betrayal, deceit, and terror that threatens her and all those around her. A remarkable fiction debut, The Pleasures of Men is a gripping and spine-tingling thriller.” – The Pleasures of Men

My Thoughts
This is a book set in the 1840s London. Some authors have good intentions to do a period style book, but don’t quite deliver. Kate Williams is able to fully deliver with Pleasures of Men. Perhaps it is because she lives in London, England and is also a historian. Whatever magic she has, it is entwined in her writings, and the reader fully benefits from this.

This author is able to captivate her readers with finely tuned details and suspense that holds the reader’s interest throughout the novel. This is such a good thriller and mystery novel that I honestly don’t want to give anything way in this review. It would ruin it if I were to give any spoilers, so I won’t be doing that.

Overall, I think this is an excellent novel. Be prepared to read this story deep into the night for the biggest surprise of all in the end. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Pleasures of Men, Voice, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.


Steph said...

Ohhhh this seems like just my kind of book!

Anonymous said...

Sorta jack the ripper esque huh? Could be good. I'll check it out.