Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review: SILK by Chris Karlsen

Contest lovers should read to the bottom. Not only is there a Rafflecopter giveaway but the author is giving away one Kindle copy of SILK for each tour stop, including this one!

Historical fiction is tough. You have to research your time period within an inch of its life. Readers that are sticklers for details happily call out your errors. I’d love to write a historical fiction, but I am positively frightened of it. So kudos to Chris Karlsen for braving the choppy waters of this genre. 

SILK has two stories running concurrently that eventually cross paths. We open with William, a wealthy aristocrat, member of the House of Lords, friend to Queen Victoria, and an insatiable appetite for kink. When his current paramour is accentually killed during an intimate act, the power from that taste of blood proves so tantalizing that William decides to perpetrate non-accidental deaths.

Set in the middle of the Jack the Ripper panic, which has whipped neighboring Whitechapel into hysteria, Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are tasked with solving their own peculiar murders taking place outside the British Museum. As the defiled bodies of working class women pile up, the Inspector has his hands full trying to solve this crime without setting off a city wide, Ripper induced panic.

When William gets involved in a copycat killing, he and Bloodstone cross paths, beginning a fascinating cat and mouse game between the two. 

SILK was a bit of a slow start for me, but once the story got going, it grabbed me. While William is revealed as a killer at the start of the book, we are left on pins and needles about his motives for the other murders. He picks up a woman he at a remote train station, will he kill her next? There were several moments in the book that left me breathless. 

There were also bits that slowed down the captivating story. For example, the stiff romance that bloomed between a widowed seamstress and Bloodstone didn’t do much to further the plot, and I skimmed over those moments. There was also a fascinating historical element to the book that Karlsen worked into Bloodstone’s backstory. While I appreciate what the author was doing, and I agree it was fascinating, I felt like it brought the story itself to a halt. 

Quibbles aside, the story is fascinating and I even found myself rooting for William until his final monstrous act. I love villains that are layered enough that you can find ways to sympathize with them. Just like I love imperfect heroes, and Rudyard was certainly that. He came down on the right side of the law, but his personality was as chilly as the serial killers he chased.  

Fans of books set in Victorian England, or of the BBC series Ripper Street (I'm a fan), will enjoy this one.

Check out Chris Karlsen's website, buy SILK from Amazon. Don't forget to leave a comment on this post if you'd like to win a Kindle copy! 

And you can enter a Rafflecopter give away (includes a Kindle copy of SILK, swag bag & a $10 Amazon gift card):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a free Kindle copy from the author for the purposes of reviewing.


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