Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be (finally) sharing my review of the incredible; The London Monster by Donna Scott. This review was scheduled to be posted weeks ago as apart of the blog tour, but unfortunately, life happens (as I spoke about in my “A Quick Post-it Note” post and this was one of those reviews that were waylaid. So here it is now, and I can’t wait to share it with you all.
Firstly, I want to say thank you for the tour invite and apologies for the late post to both Amy at HFVBT and Donna Scott.
About the Book
The London Monster by Donna Scott.
Publication Date: November 21, 2020
Format: Paperback & eBook; 322 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
In 1788, exactly one hundred years before Jack the Ripper terrorizes the people of London, a sexual miscreant known as the London Monster roams the streets in search of his next victim…
Thomas Hayes, having lost his mother in a vicious street assault, becomes an underground pugilist on a mission to rid the streets of violent criminals. But his vigilante actions lead to him being mistaken for the most terrifying criminal of all.
Assistance arrives in the form of Sophie Carlisle, a young journalist with dreams of covering a big story, though she is forced to masquerade as a man to do it. Trapped in an engagement to a man she doesn’t love, Sophie yearns to break free to tell stories that matter about London’s darker side—gaming, prostitution, violence—and realizes Tom could be the one to help. Together, they come up with a plan.
Straddling the line between his need for vengeance and the need to hide his true identity as a politician’s son becomes increasingly difficult as Tom is pressured to win more fights. The more he wins, the more notoriety he receives, and the greater the chance his identity may be exposed—a revelation that could jeopardize his father’s political aspirations and destroy his family’s reputation.
Sophie is also in danger as hysteria spreads and the attacks increase in severity and frequency. No one knows who to trust, and no one is safe—Tom included, yet he refuses to end the hunt.
Little does he realize, the monster is also hunting him.
My, oh my! What a book!!
Firstly – before I start waffling – I have to mention that cover isn’t it gorgeous? It’s very eye-catching and works so well with the overall story. The first line of the back blurb had me hooked, I am fascinated by the era and I loved the Ripper-Esque style plot, which is complex and utterly engaging.
I really don’t have the words for how incredible and mind-blowing this book truly is, I know I do say that a lot but this really is astoundingly good; It is the perfect boo for those like myself who love edgier historical fiction which crashes into your imagination with it’s rich and, It’s dark, gritty, vivid and just so addictive I can guarantee you will never get any sleep as you won’t want to stop reading, plus it definitely keeps you on your toes, and gets those little grey cells turning.
I’ve not read any of Donna Scott’s books before – why is that I ask myself?? – but my goodness she has cast a spell over me, I will certainly rushing out to read more of her work, she is an incredibly gifted author, she swirls intrigue and wander around the reader keeping us gripped by an addictive plot and I honestly can’t wait to read more from her.
If I was a reviewer who rated books (which I’m not, it’s just not something I do on the blog) but this one would easily be right up there as a ten star – believe me, there are only a handful of books on that ten-star shelf, but this one is simply amazing!!
But, let me count the ways as to how brilliant this book is…
The London Monster is in no other words but; Perfect!!
Perfectly addictive, gripping and thrilling, the edge of your seat plot – I can guarantee from that first page when you ‘meet’ the Monster you will be hooked.
A brilliant cast of characters, each one as different as the next; with people you will fall head of heels in love with, some you will root for from the moment you meet them, some you will weep a thousand tears for and then you have the villain…..oh, goodness, the ‘Monster’ is as creepy and villainous as they come (and that is before your find out who the monster really is)
The mystery…as you may expect is, yup I am going to say it; perfect!
100 years before the legendary Jack of Whitechapel there was a Monster who prowled the London streets in search of prey of a completely different type to that of the Ripper, this villain liked high-ranking, aristocratic ladies, he likes whispering sweet nothings in their ear, seducing them and allowing their guards to lower then he acts his depraved inner self appears and takes his satisfaction in the kill.
Charming Thomas after losing his mother in pretty much the same circumstance is determined to rid the streets of evil making women safer, but unfortunately for him, he is charged with ns then hung with being the Monster – as it is fate is on his side and he lives to fight another day. But now he must be even more vigilant and even more determined to rid the city of the evil Monster. As it happens he has help on his side in the shape of intelligent strong-willed; Lucy a young journalist who has ideas and opinions above her station and she is driven by the need for proving herself as a proper journalist and that means she must get the good gritty stories and this is where Thomas comes in.
The plot is so complex and gripping, it has a multitude of layers that twirls the reader around a right merry-go-round, Scott keeps you guessing as to who the ‘Monster’ is, there were many times I thought; “aha, I’ve cracked the case” -in a very Miss Marple way, but I was always wrong, honestly, I would have strung up at least half the cast – I would be a useless detective, LOL!!
The opening is very dramatic, I was perched at the edge of my seat hand over my mouth not wanting to look yet unable to tear my eyes away. I loved that we ‘meet’ the Monster first and then the story opens, it gives an insight into the workings of the Monster’s mind making you eager to learn more, I was completely hooked.
Despite the topic; of a narcissistic serial killer brutally murdering women, the violence is pretty tame, it isn’t as graphic as some other books or even some TV shows which surround Jack the Ripper, which I enjoyed as it didn’t take the readers attention away from the actual story. I must give a wee warning though for those who don’t enjoy a lot of sex-scenes and rather colourful language, if you can see past those aspects of the story then do give The London Monster a go, if not then maybe this isn’t the book for you, personally I’ve read far worse (in fact I heard and probably said worse in my time).
The London Monster is everything any historical fiction reader looks for, not only has it this incredibly engaging and twisty plot which keeps you guessing, the characters are wonderfully created, plus it has a Ripper Street-esque feel to it that I absolutely LOVED!!
About the Author
Donna Scott is an award-winning author of 17th and 18th century historical fiction. Before embarking on a writing career, she spent her time in the world of academia.
She earned her BA in English from the University of Miami and her MS and EdD (ABD) from Florida International University. She has two sons and lives in sunny South Florida with her husband.
Her first novel, Shame the Devil, received the first place Chaucer Award for historical fiction and a Best Book designation from Chanticleer International Book Reviews. Her newest novel, The London Monster, was released in November 2020.
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Blog Tour Schedule
Even though the blog tour has finished, please do check out the amazing blog’s which participated.
Tuesday, February 23
Review at Books, Writings, and More
Wednesday, February 24
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Thursday, February 25
Review at Novels Alive
Friday, February 26
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
Saturday, February 27
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, March 2
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
Wednesday, March 3
Review at Coffee and Ink