In the Mail: Fiction

–> Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by Lyndsay Faye

Publishers Weekly

Following in the footsteps of such crime writers as Ellery Queen and Michael Dibdin, Faye pits Sherlock Holmes against Jack the Ripper in her impressive if flawed debut. In the autumn of 1888, the savage slaughter of two prostitutes in London’s East End piques Holmes’s curiosity. Inspector Lestrade, no fool in Faye’s rendering, calls on the unconventional sleuth for help. As the killer continues to claim more victims, the Baker Street duo spare no effort to bring the Ripper to justice. Meanwhile, a disreputable journalist accuses Holmes of being the Ripper. The author uses a convincing Watsonian voice to present versions of Holmes and his chronicler faithful to the originals. While the paucity of suspects makes guessing the killer’s identity too easy and the motive for the crimes is less than convincing, Sherlockians will hope to see further pastiches of this quality from Faye.

–> Bad Things by Michael Marshall

Product Description

Three years ago, lawyer John Henderson watched his four-year-old son tumble from a jetty into the lake outside their Washington home. In a terrible instant, a life all too brief and innocent ended. But it wasn’t drowning, the fall, or even some previously undetected internal defect that killed the little boy. Scott Henderson had simply, inexplicably . . . died.

Today, John is a different man—divorced, living a solitary existence in a beach house in Oregon, working as a waiter in a restaurant that caters to the summer crowd. Withdrawn from a life and past too painful to revisit, he touches no one and no one touches him. Then one night he receives a short and profoundly disturbing e-mail message from a stranger. It reads: I know what happened.

It’s enough to pull John back to Black Ridge—the one place on earth he’d hoped never to return to—in search of answers to the mystery that shattered his world. In this small, isolated Pacific Northwest community, populated in large part by descendants of the original settlers, the shadows now seem even darker and more sinister than when tragedy first drove him away—and the wind whipping down out of the primal forest can chill a man to his soul. It seems that bad things have always happened in this town of generations-old secrets—and are happening still.

The deeper John digs into his own past, and into local history, the more danger he draws toward himself . . . and toward his estranged and helpless family. And though he doesn’t know it, he’s not the only one who’s been called back to Black Ridge.

And that’s a very bad thing . . .

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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1 Comment

  • ‘Dust and Shadow’ and ‘Bad Things’ sound like two terrific books. The description of both really sparked my interest. I like the Jack the Ripper idea mixed with Sherlock Holmes, very intriguing and the story behind ‘Bad Things’ is quite suspenseful. That one would make a brilliant movie. Thanks for posting!

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