I'm slightly torn about this book. On one hand, Grace is a cool character; she's fun to root for, being a stalwart mother and cunning thief. On the other hand, it sometimes felt a little derived, as if Stockbridge was relying heavily on style in order to carry her through the story. While the book was a brisk, fun read that had plenty of wit, I didn't really feel much upon finishing it.
For those that don't need emotional transportation from every book they read, this undoubtedly won't be a problem. For others who desire a deeper emotional journey, this may not fulfill that need.
Publishers Weekly, 2009-08-31 An engaging prose style lifts Stockbridge's debut, a Dickensian thriller set in London in 1888. A menace from the past threatens Whitechapel pickpocket Grace Hammer, who has her hands full raising four children alone. Almost two decades earlier, she stole a ruby necklace from her then employer,?Horatio Blunt, who had himself liberated the precious necklace from its rightful owner. Blunt responded by tracking down her family and burning them alive in their home. Now one of Blunt's associates has spotted Grace in London, and she and her children must go on the run. While several of Jack the Ripper's victims have cameo roles, and there are references to some of the murders that terrorized the East End at the time, Ripperologists may be disappointed that the author doesn't develop this connection further. Fans of such neo-Victorian masters as Michael Cox, Charles Palliser and Louis Bayard will find the plot and characterization conventional by comparison. (Sept. 28) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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