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Archive for the ‘Historical fiction’ Category

English MonsterA friend offered this book to me as a gift, and I’m not one to pass up a free book. It’s a historical novel, which is a genre that I enjoy translating but haven’t read much.

The book has two story lines, which are narrated in alternating chapters. The first one is based on the events surrounding the Ratcliffe Highway murders in London, which actually happened in 1811. I really like this part of the story. It is interesting to read how, in an era when police investigative work as we know it now was unheard of, the strange circumstances of these grisly murders forced the police to try new means of uncovering what actually happened, by examining evidence and clues and interrogating witnesses for background information about the victims outside the murders themselves.

The second story line tells about a young man who joined the crew of an English ship in search of wealth and adventure, but then whose life then took a very bizarre turn. This story lines then follows English maritime exploits through the centuries, including slaving and piracy. Not really a palatable subject for a story, which is inevitably filled with unsavory characters.

Overall, it’s a good read. True to its genre, this book is filled with fine historical details that transport us into the world of those times. I recommend it to anyone who loves historical novels.