Title – The Reaper’s Breath (The Ripper Legacies Book 1)
Author – Robert Southworth
Genre – Historical Fiction / Alternative History
Length – 242 Pages
Publication – Feb 2016
My Rating – 5/5 Stars
Mary Kelly lies dead upon her bed… Her sorrowful eyes still hold captive, the agony of her fate. Anger, and fear walk side by side as the populace of London demand justice for the slain. Is it a single mad man or is there a bloody political game being played out in the grime filled streets of the old City? The authorities are powerless to stop the bloodletting and call for a new kind of law. William Harkness, former officer of the 66th Regiment of Foot will join the hunt. His task is not to bring an insane killer to court, his hands are not tied by the laws of the day.
William Harkness is the killer of killers, the assassin of evil…
Finally we have the new book from Robert Southworth. It feels like I’ve been waiting ages.. but let me tell you the wait has been worth it!
If you’ve read Rob’s previous series focusing on Spartacus you will know he has a talent for making a story based loosely on history. It’s an interesting style of story and If I’m honest before reading this book I wasn’t 100% sure it would work..the whole ripper event are well documented so I just couldn’t see an story to be told.. but credit to the author, he easily manages to take a little bit of history and give it a twist which shows just how good his imagination is.
To be clear for anyone who reads the book.. this isn’t a ripper book as such. It’s based on some of the events and some of the real people are mentioned but this is entirely a book of fiction on which Rob has been able to show his unique style of storytelling. I’ve never read anything like Rob’s book before and I’m so glad I found his work.
So.. the story. Well this book follows William Harkness, the classic flawed character which every great book needs. William is approached by Inspector Abberline to help when people turn up murdered.. they think there’s more to these murders than they are willing tell the public… they want him to help catch a killer who has avoided the police for over 15 years!
There was some great stand out characters for me, namely Obadiah & Naismith. Obadiah had the aura around him.. like nothing could hurt him.. ever. Naismith.. mysterious Naismith.. he was just an intriguing character from the start.
Let’s get down to the honesty I like to bring to all my reviews… The plot itself seems well planned out.. everything made sense, nothing seemed out of place or had me confused. At one point I was 100% sure I had figured everything out..Then the author throws in some spectacular twists and turns that I just didn’t see coming.
Emily was an interesting character, to be truthful I would have liked to see more scenes between her and William to see the connection develop but what the author gives us didn’t disappoint me..
The biggest enigma in the book for me was Williams’ dad, Sir Simeon Harkness. You don’t know much about him at first only that he and his son have issues. Throughout the book he develops well and the author finally lets you into the family history that has plagued these two men.
In conclusion Rob has brought his unique style to this book, plenty of suspense and twists to keep you gripped and it’s written so well, enough detail to keep your mind activate but not enough to bog you down.
Robert Southworth has delivered another brilliant book which showcases his talent and I’m eager for more
Look out for an interview with the author on my blog in the near future!