by Chris Karlsen
published by Books to Go Now
Why read? Review
With Silk, Chris Karlsen has done an excellent job combining police procedural with Victorian historical fiction. Aside from having the most notorious serial killer on their hands, the Victorian era was an exciting time for London police detectives because forensics was just starting to be understood, and Karlsen shows this perfectly in Silk.
Someone is killing young women in the museum gardens, and the case has Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone baffled. Things take an even more interesting turn when one of the bodies turns out to be the work of a copycat. That particular murder takes Bloodstone and his partner down a twisted path that leads to a psychotic nobleman and more bureaucratic red tape than they want. However, there are two murderers, and Bloodstone is determined to solve the case, his love life be damned.
Karlsen does some very interesting and fine things with Silk. First, we really get to know Bloodstone as a person, not just a detective. His personal life is a major part of the book, and while it does not further the plot, it is needed to make him a well-rounded and thoroughly likeable character. Karlsen also, as some mystery and thriller writers do, gives us a look at the killer as he descends on his path to madness. However, she only shows us one killer, still leaving plenty of mystery to keep the reader guessing until the very end.
If you love police procedurals or the Victorian era, Silk is a must read. I hope Chris Kalsen has more planned for Bloodstone, both professionally and personally.