Maidens in the Night
By Mark Morey
Genre: Historical Crime / Mystery
It is Whitechapel in London, November 1888. Young, attractive prostitute Mary Kelly is stalked by someone, but who? Former client Joe Flemming, the serial killer Jack the Ripper who has murdered four or five prostitutes already, or someone else? She knows any man she meets could kill her, but she has no choice other than to work the streets.
The stories of two very different women intersect at the height of Jack the Ripper's killing spree. Michelle Finlay's husband died on her wedding night, leaving her in a fortunate position with money to spare. Michelle takes up the cause of helping destitute women by training them for other available jobs. She also discovers very young girls who were kidnapped from their homes to work in brothels. Upon trying to expose the fate of the young girls Michelle is set-up for the murder of one of the men who kidnaps the young girls. Mary Kelly is a young women who recently lost her husband in a mining accident. With little money and no where to go, she eventually finds herself in Whitechapel working as a prostitute, Mary often comes across Michelle and an offer of a different life, but refuses to take it.
This book was not really what I was expecting; from the blurb I was expecting a Jack the Ripper murder mystery. However, the murders are not introduced to the end of the book and are not really integral to the plot. The story really focuses on the plight of women at the time. Michelle's character, though she has plenty of money, struggles to find jobs for women that would pay equal to prostitution. She is also not respected when she tries to bring the story of the young girls in brothels out into the public.I did enjoy learning about one of the real life women of the time, Josephine Butler, who campaigned for the welfare of prostitutes. Mary Kelly is left with no where else to turn after her husband dies and must continually work the streets in order to make ends meet. I do have to say that I didn't really feel much or connect with either of the characters. They kept making strange choices and didn't seem all that real. I was also a bit confused by the eroticism of Michelle's character, it did make her seem more like a real person, but nothing was done with it except for a sexy scene randomly. There was also no real climax to the story, Michelle is charged with murder early on, but is quickly found not guilty. There are no other exciting points after that. It may have helped to move the story along a bit if the Michelle and Mary's points of view were intertwined a little better. Mary's character is not even introduced until a quarter of the way through and then it is like a different story. I think if the two women's stories were combined more effectively their experiences could have mirrored one another, even though they were in two different classes of society.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.
About the Author:
I am part-time in the workforce and a part-time author, and writing technical documentation and advertising material formed a large part of my career for many decades. Writing a novel didn’t cross my mind until relatively recently, where the combination of too many years writing dry, technical documents and a visit to the local library where I couldn’t find a book that interested me led me consider a new pastime. Write a book. That book may never be published, but I felt my follow-up cross-cultural crime with romance hybrid set in Russia had more potential. So much so that I wrote a sequel that took those characters on a journey to a very dark place.
The Red Sun Will Come and Souls in Darkness were published by Club Lighthouse in mid-2012. My next novel, The Governess and The Stalker will be published by Wings ePress in July 2014. A sequel Maidens in the Night is due to be published later this year, and at the moment I am working on a historical fiction manuscript set in Italy during the 1930s.
Author Website: http://markmorey.blogspot.com.au/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/markmorey5
Available on Amazon - http://amzn.to/1mEmwgh