[E–pub Free] (The Fiend in Human A Victorian Thriller) by John MacLachlan Gray

Has succumbed to every known Victorian vice save womanizing snuff cigarettes gin opium audanum and Acker s Chlorodine a potent mixture of opium marijuana and cocaine in alcohol Despite having achieved a measure of journalistic fame and public notoriety by assigning the moniker Chokee Bill to William Ryan currently awaiting execution for the strangulation and grisly mutilation of five The Northman's Bride ladies of uestionable virtue Whitty struggles with an ongoing desperate need to produce the income reuired to stave off gambling debtors who won t hesitate to use a physical beating to persuade payment In the course of searching out new crisp copyurid sensational pieces he can submit to his tight fisted editor he meets the impoverished Henry Owler a patterer who wishes to render Ryan s ast confession before his hanging into true crime verse But Ryan not unlike other convicted criminals of course protests he is innocent and circumstances begin to persuade Owler and Whitty that Ryan is indeed telling the truth The signature white scarf killings have continued swept under the carpet and hushed up by one and all the police the merchants the petty criminals and even the poverty stricken residents of the ocal neighbourhood Whitty in a desperate bid to achieve real fame in a fading Cherry Bomb limpid journalistic career and financial freedom from the debtors who are relentlessly hounding him decides to stake all on proving Ryan s innocenceGray has masterfully married the ascerbically witty comic and always flowery Dickensian dialogue with Anne Perry s superb elegant atmospheric descriptions of Victorian Londonife and then improved both by taking a step down into a much grittier earthier representation of real characters Leading the Way living realives Two gentlemen Oxford swells pass wastrel days around gaming sex and booze The pain and wretched difficulties of daily ife in a London slum are portrayed in exuisite graphic detail that might warrant a warning to sensitive viewers were the medium television instead of a novel Older female chaperones uaintly termed confidential friends are employed to protect the nominal virtue of young adies of marriageable age The surviving The Single Girl's Guide to Marrying a Man, His Kids, and His Ex-Wife: Becoming a Stepmother with Humor and Grace local champion bare knuckles boxer is portrayed as a friendly publican uite capable of acting as his own bouncer Steet walkers and hookers are picked up by gentleman johns with a ritualized stylized dialogue and negotiation that by today s standards is absolutely hilariousYoul be treated for example to Gray s wonderful Dickensian variation on a simple theme that you and I would have written as simply Beauty is in the eye of the beholder For in truth there exists no young female charwoman or countess schoolgirl or flower seller in London who does not exist in some male mind as a tantalizing fantasy in whose honour some schoolboy does not regularly engage in self abuse fantasy which when he becomes an old boy he will seek to make real Hence the relation between the brothel and the theatre success in both depends upon one s observation of the world of the human mind as well as one s own outward identity in the calligraphy of sexThe whodunit succeeds admirably with a couple of superb twists reserved until the final pages In fact the final twist a brilliant piece of mis direction by Gray is held in reserve *UNTIL THE VERY LAST PARAGRAPH ON A SOMEWHAT DEEPER * the very When Red Cried Wolf last paragraph On a somewhat deeper Gray managesike Dickens to also make probing critical comment on a number of issues without disrupting the flow of the story in the slightest For example his criticism of the ethics of journalists and the vested interest they have in creating news where none necessarily exists is uite apparentWhat a find The Fiend in Human ualifies as perhaps the finest most enjoyable read I ve had the good uck to encounter over the ast few yearsPaul Weiss Edmund Whitty is a journalist in Victorian London Not just any journalist however for among his colleagues with the possible exception of Mr Hicks the contrarian who it is said keeps beetles in his pockets Whitty is the most despised correspondent in London In addition to covering public hangings sex scandals in girl s schools and other newsworthy items Whitty recently created a sensation by dubbing London s atest killer of prostitutes Chokee Bill Since that moment of glory however Whitty has been floundering in a sea of gin opium wine and any other substance he can get his hands on He is also in debt to the owner of a ocal rat fighting pit he can get his hands on He is also in debt to the owner of a ocal rat fighting pit it has reached the point where knees may be broken if he can t begin making payments soon Ostensibly The Fiend in Human is the story of Whitty s unraveling of the truth about Chokee Bill with interesting interplay between the forces of journalism public opinion and London s Metropolitan Police force in the person of one Inspector Salmon I say ostensibly because it is really a story of Victorian London and in my opinion the mystery plot takes second place to the city and its inhabitants which Mr Gray renders almost tangible in his descriptionsAs just a uick example Mr Gray writes excellent character sketches and

inspector salmon is 
Salmon is as tall and thin ike a whipping post in chin whiskers and top hat while Mr Whitty s disapproving andlady entirely fills the entry as she glares at him wearing an expression calculated beforehand to inspire miscellaneous guilt I would compare The Fiend in Human to Charles Palliser s The uincunx in terms of writing style Palliser s book has a intricate plot but then The uincunx is 800 pages ong compared to The Fiend s 352 pages In my opinion the joy of reading either book is in the writing itself and the plot takes a backseat to the wonderful things that the author can do with words Yes there are a few small plot holes in The Fiend but I was having so much fun reading it that I really didn t car. Ut not altogether surprising discovery the white scarf slayings have continued When he endeavours to find the real Chokee Bill he is greeted with emphatic hostility both offcial and unoffcialThis Dickensian tale offers galvanizing suspense and an evocative and witty vision of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena life in Victorian London in which the hallmark of a gentleman is perfection without putrefaction within and the hallmark of aady is to have snared a gentleman From the Paperback editi. ,
Lf attributing the amusing sense of humor the narrator has to the character of Edmund WhittyI iked that characters seemed to arrive in pairs homely introverted Walter Sewell and handsome extroverted Reginald Harewood both well to do gentlemen who were classmates of Whitty s at Oxford the prostitutes tall and experienced Flo short and naive Etta the shoplifters Dorcas wild and daring Phoebe controlled and discriminating Each seems to possess the opposite traits or experience of the other These characterizations illustrate the fact that you often see what you want to see the good or the bad in someone depending on what you are Sextasy: Master the Timeless Techniques of Tantra, Tao, and the Kama Sutra to Take Lovemaking to New Heights looking for and once you ve made certain observations assumptions about the rest of a person s character are further made This for Whitty turns out to be an important mistakeIt took some effort to settle into this book but I m happy I did I m stillaughing at certain passages Here is one Nothing is incendiary to an ill advised unanticipated tryst than to be enclosed in a darkened plush upholstered moving chamber Privacy Intimacy Darkness Transience the Four Whorsemen of the ApocalypseI wouldn t recommend this novel for everyone however I would recommend it for fans of historical fiction who enjoy something challenging than what s typically found in the mainstream While part of the mystery wasn t very mysterious to readers who were paying attention the story itself was still very enjoyable This novel is essentially a Victorian murder mystery who is really Chokee Bill the murderer of prostitutes in London Is it the man jailed for it or is it some other individual on the Still Life with Chickens looseThe heavily flawed protagonist in this novel is the journalist Edmund Whitty A womanizer drunk drug user debtor etc there really is not much toike about his character Given all these flaws his motivation for making sure an innocent man does not hang for the Chokee Bill murders seems inconsistent MachLachlan in my opinion despite an award winning playwright needs the heavy hand of an editor The novel is fattened with excess description and while written in the third person the interjections of an omniscient narrator are annoying Further I could not figure out if the book was a pastichehomage to the Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories andor Dickens s novels or something else The varying tone is also annoying at times satirical at times serious and at other times moralistic Definitely a good one Finely researched although sometimes I thought the author had made a Still Life with Chickens: Starting Over in a House by the Sea list of all things in 19th century London that HAVE to appear and than almost copied them from some book on the topic and a good story with many twists and turns until the very end Ioved it I absolutely head over heels Paradox Bound loved this book so this is not going to be a very objective reviewSo I will justist the reasons I oved itPeriod detail and evel of research I STFU, Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent, and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare learned so much about the Victorian era particularly theess salubrious aspects and aspects peculiar to the era eg Ackers ChloridineMr Whitty himself He is a total reprobate in many ways and yet at heart a decent enough man and ikeable despite everythingThe mystery itself and everything related to the Chokee Bill matter That a balladeer who is AS MUCH INTO SENSATIONALISING AND FICTIONALISING much into sensationalising and fictionalising s murders as Whitty himself should strive to find the truth with the help of Whitty is fascinating just as a concept How Owen chooses to go about this adds to the wholeThe ending and how it rounds off everything that came beforeThis is a story that is fascinating as it unfolds endlessly interesting in the details that occur along the way and concluded in the most satisfactory of ways if not the one expected I oved it and I am not the one expected I Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays loved it and I am annoyed that Mr Gray s seuel is not available on Kindle Or his other novels for that matter I am not sure how muchonger I can wait before coughing up at Are All Guys Assholes?: More Than 1,000 Guys in 10 Cities Reveal Why They're Not, Why They Sometimes Act Like They Are, and How Understanding Their ... Will Solve Your Guy Drama Once and For All least 25 for a paperback copy This is one of those books where the whole thing doesn t make sense until you ve finished it Written in a definitely Victorian mode it is both a tour of Victorian London and a mystery If you re not used to writing done in this style it can be a bit off putting to say theeastThe characters are well drawn and the story is a good one The main character is a Mr Edmund Whitty a reporter for The Falcon a newspaper that has no ualms with sensationalizing to try to outdo the rival papers Sadly Mr Whitty is most times down on his What a Lass Wants luck and in debt to some creepy character known as The Ratter who has a very bizarre way of getting back at those who don t pay up That scene made me cringe just thinking about it Whitty also puts away aittle too much alcohol enjoys being a part time opium eater and is just an inventive ploy away from being tossed out of his rented room In this story the buzz on the streets is that a serial killer is roaming the streets of London strangling his victims with a white gentleman s scarf While the infamous Chokee Bill is put away in prison however the crimes continue and Whitty along with a very strange patterer named Mr Owler are trying to see that justice is done Their uest to get the wrong guy out of prison and put the right one in I won t say uite well done but it does have a tendency here and there to drag so that I found myself skimming a ittle to move things along Overall a pretty first in series I would recommend it to those who enjoy a good novel set in Victorian London people who pick this up expecting a cozy or easy read might be disappointedread 12032006 A gritty portrayal of a predator in the underbelly of Victorian LondonWith no small amount of national pride I m thrilled to report that mere superlatives somehow seem insufficient to convey Gray s debut success with The Fiend in HumanEdmund Whitty is a profligate dissolute freelance journalist who. His most recent triumph was to supply a name to the fiend in human form who has murdered God knows how many prostitutes with a white silk scarf Chokee Bill To the correspondent’s satisfaction Chokee Bill incited a garrotting panic that paralyzed the business of London until the arrest of one William Ryan Normality has returned The hangman Mr Calcraft as dusty and dreary as death itself awaitsBroke again and in search of crisp copy Whitty makes a shocking ,

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This is a delicious journey through fog shrouded Victorian London from the idle wealthy to the down and outs Edmund Whitty is a journalist but he is also a down and out His work days are occupied with covering ess than plum assignments and his days and nights filled with substance abuse Ironically and eventually his circumstances change slightly for the better by his association with the underside of London and finally a purpose While reading The Fiend in Human I kept expecting Jack the Ripper to show and he does in a way The book is extremely well written and plotted and holds reader interest to an end with a twist uotes Mr Darwinis only half correct when he postulates the necessary evolution of the species It is possible to devolve as well as to evolve On Marriage You re Mexican Hooker leaving out of account the thrill of the chase What would become of fox hunting if it were always the same fox On the demise of newspapers When there is an electric telegraph situated in every home receiving instant news by the hour I ask You who will need newspapers then This is the kind of writing that makes Fiend so deliciousBy half past four the London afternoon is transformed utterly by fog an almost daily occurrence in which a thick sooty curtain drops between everyone and everything noon becomes night and the city assumes the cloistered gravity of a confession booth in which nobody sees anyone else but as a shadow in the mist when the immanent roar of machines and men is silencedeaving only the muffled clatter of nearby horseshoes on stone and the occasional disembodied voice whose speaker remains anonymous and untouchable When it is the yellow fog people and objects may be discerned and recognized albeit with difficulty but once the grey sets in the city becomes a well kept secret even from itself Fact red velvet being at one time restricted to the gentry by The League for the Suppression of Celery law Surely there is nothing hilarious to God than a praying agnostic About Whitty Hit your head you did in the fall from the carriage Might do you good a fewess brains think of it as a form of pruning I registered a book at BookCrossingcom I had a very slow start with The Fiend In Human by John MacLachlan Gray and for a time I started to wonder if I would actually finish it I m not even sure why because it s rather brilliant but it had a ong build up establishing the settings the foggy streets of London anno 1852 a serial killer The Fiend In Human who strangles prostitutes with white scarves and disfigures their faces and Edmund Whitty journalist at the Falcon in debth over his head to ratters and addicted to almost anything that can be smoked drank or partaken as a medical London is in a uproar over the unsettling murders on prostitutes but a man called William Ryan has been ocked up and believed to be The Fiend In Human and while the police seems convinced he is the murderer others are not so convinced even so when the murders continue while the suspect is under ock Whitty has written about the case earlier and given the murderer yet another nickname Chokee Bill and is approached from different sides for different reasons about his involvement in the case Driven mostly by the desire to earn money to escape his debtors and their threats Edmund Whitty finds by the desire to earn money to escape his debtors and their threats Edmund Whitty finds ingolfed in figuring out the truth and setting an innocent man free He gets help from the people who know what s going on in the streets of London such as wellinformed editors balladeers thieves prostitutes and bar owners He also gets into a ot of trouble and a ittle bit of amourous complications as well which hints he might not be that hopeless a oser as we are presented to believe at the beginning of the book Despite a slow start I hung on and was rewarded as I halfway through the book suddenly couldn t stop reading Not so much because of the murder mystery because it s not that complicated to guess although it had a nice The Day Fidel Died little plot twist toward the end that I hadn t seen coming but because of the character Whitty who gets unfolded as the story processes and the vivid description of Victorian LondonThe book has aot of atmosphere created not only by the description and plot but by the very style its written in very true to the time period and setting The writing #is excellent and at times elaborate but always spot on with an eye for detail #excellent and at times elaborate but always spot on with an eye for detail dry witted humour It s actually very funny at times to the point where you have to augh out oud So if you ike me have a slow start with this book and need a ittle time to get into it hang on It might grow on you and before you know it you have ordered the next Edmund Whitty book Stone White Day and are eager to meet that opium eating journalist once Challenging At First But Funny Interesting And EnjoyableI enjoyed this novel very much though I can see why some readers would be put off by the writing While the writing IN MY OPINION IS VERY GOOD my opinion is very good s not going to be to the taste of those who choose their fiction primarily from the best sellers Gulp!: The Seven-Day Crash Course to Master Fear and Break Through Any Challenge lists Nothing against the best sellersist the books found there are best sellers after all I ve found books I ve enjoyed there myself But for the most part you can sit down with a best seller and get right into the story the writing doesn t tend challenge the reader it generally appeals to the masses and most people don t The Outlaw and the Upstart King like to have to work too hard at what they read for pleasure I did find this book a challenge at first What kept me reading was the subtle and often not so subtle humor that had meaughing out oud multiple times during the first chapter Though other readers might not care for the intoxicated opium eating under achiever of a protagonist I thought Edmund Whitty was clever and charming The narration is in the present tense and while I know it s not Whitty telling the story I found myse. It’s 1852 and the ranks of the London poor have doubled In the swollen shadow of the great St Giles Rookery fallen women attract perfumed dandies of the West End in a vicious circle of venality vanity and viceEdmund Whitty correspondent for The Falcon the city’s second best sensational tabloid writes whatever will stimulate the reader delay his increasingly physical creditors and supply him with the alcohol and opiates reuired to see him through the day. The Fiend in Human A Victorian Thriller