I am not an avid reader of historical fiction. I took a chance on a new author to me and I am glad I did. Griep came through on many of my requirements for a good novel.
I liked how the characters were developed. Jackson is a flawed young man with a wonderful heart. Because of childhood mistakes, he wants to correct wrongs and desires to be a constable efficient in eradicating evil. He's a bit naïve, however, and gets into all kinds of trouble confronting those who live on and below the streets of London. He has to match wits with the other well crafted character, Kit. She is a smart gal, having learned how to survive and thrive on those very dangerous streets. Can the two work together to solve the mystery of a missing cab driver? We are taken through the underworld of historical London, meeting those who inhabit the darker side of the city.
Griep's writing style is one thing that makes this novel an engaging one. The interaction between Jackson and Kit is well done with snarky dialogue. I also appreciate the many issues Griep brings up in the course of the plot. What is failure? Jackson's father gave him this advice: “...it is far better to be a failure at what you love than a success at what you hate.” (2434/3768) And, “...the only true failure in life is refusing to do what God has asked of you.” (2463/3768) That is some good food for thought.
Griep provides another of my requirements for a good historical novel, a good author's note enlightening readers to historical facts and important cultural information. She has even included a bibliography in case readers want to know more.
I am impressed with this novel, the first I have read by Griep. She is a good story teller, adding humor and a budding romance to a good mystery. I get the impression Jackson and Kit have just begun their adventures so I will be looking for the next novel in this series.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Michelle Griep is a Christy Award-winning author of historical romances and a contemporary romantic mystery. You can find out more at www.michellegriep.com.
Barbour Publishing, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)