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The Whitechapel Demon Paperback – December 6, 2013
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Top customer reviews
Things I liked:
-smooth, humorous dialogue
-two male/female partnerships that didn't involve romance (that's possible you know)
-incidental inclusion of LGBT individuals (ok, a gay man, but it's a start)
Things I didn't like:
-the villains were too slapstick
-the era-speak and witticisms in the face of danger went over the top
-the evil entity was defeated too easily
-too many easy, throw-away deaths
-needed a tad more editing
Charles St. Cyprian is the Royal Occultist, a position intended to put an expert in between England and the supernatural. What's striking about St. Cyprian is how well Reynolds manages to make him seem like both the preeminent authority while also testing the limits of his knowledge. St. Cyprian is not am omniscient genius. He is not someone with all the answers, but he is someone who knows how - and where - to ask the right question. This quality gives WHITECHAPEL a harder, more bulldog edge than one might expect, which is matched perfectly by the dirty streets and dirtier interiors that his investigation encounters.
Reynolds' writing in WHITECHAPEL strikes that perfect informative balance when setting a scene, giving you just enough to let your mind fill in the dark corners. Because the characters feel real and because the world feels real, the supernatural aspects of the threats hit with a sharper intensity.
Note: In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that Josh and I sometimes run in the same writing circles (our work has appeared in the same anthology a time or two) and I have interviewed him for my website regarding previous projects. As you can see from the Verified Purchase tag, however, this is a novel I paid for, just as I will gladly pay for the next appearance of the Charles St. Cyprian and Ebe Gallowglass. I have friends who published a lot of novels this past year, and WHITECHAPEL DEMON is among the very best of them.
Charles St. Cyprian and Ebe Gallowglass really come alive in Joshua Reynolds' first full-length novel featuring the Royal Occultist and his kick-ass female assistant. The book abounds in period detail and atmosphere and has a plot that moves the story along at a relentless pace. Aside from the sharply etched personalities of the two protagonists, and the expected scenes of horror, I was impressed by the way Reynolds handles action scenes. There are three set pieces that take place in a Limehouse opium den, a bakery, and an East End garret (where an evil manifestation took place that began all the trouble), that are expertly written. Looking forward to the occultist's next adventure.
There is so much blasting through these pages and it is non stop. Even when the non-physical tension wasn't gutting the reader there was dread, fear and even the non-supernatural players that were against St. Cyprian made me want to knock a few of them around. There was also something that not a lot of horror works have: there was humor. The banter between Chaz and Ebe is good, stress-relieving and easy flowing. Very clearly Josh is comfortable writing these two and I bet their bickering is the easiest part of their adventures to write.
As if I've not given you enough reasons to read this gem, the plot and background research are simply top shelf. He merges legends both historical and mythological seamlessly while dropping references to other occult detectives from fictions past. The WHITECHAPEL DEMON by Josh Reynolds delivers across the board not missing a single mark.
Can't wait for the follow up book.
Book 1 constitutes a satisfying, self-contained story, although there are clearly many seeds planted throughout which should blossom and bear fruit in future installments. All in all, a great entry point into a series with tremendous potential.
Most recent customer reviews
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