London, 1863: prostitutes in Waterloo area are turning up dead, their sexual organs mutilated and removed. When another girl goes missing, fears grow that the killer may have claimed their latest victim. The police are at a loss and so it falls to courtesan and professional detective Heloise Chancey to investigate. With the assistance of her trusty Chinese maid, Amah Li Leen, Heloise inches closer to the truth. But when Amah is implicated in the brutal plot, Heloise must reconsider who she can trust before the killer strikes again.
Don’t quit this book once you realise it is yet another version of Jack The Ripper. It is much more than that.
She Be Damned is a story of strong woman, too strong for her times and men around her. It is a murder-mystery, lost girl, an almost love story all wrapped into one big bundle with ribbons and ostrich feathers. It is written with such a gusto, you can almost taste the watery coffee and hot potato from the street vendors of London and can see all the dreary settings of the horrible deeds and wicked thoughts.
It is a story within a story on a story. It is like the women’s skirts of those times: crinolines, underskirts, bones, and wire with expensive fabric on the top layer. Some of those skirts get dirty pretty quickly, and not necessary the cheapest…
How can I describe this book without letting any spoilers out of the hat? Well, as the title of this blog says, Sasha Torte has found a best friend: both women are beautiful, reckless, stubborn, powerful and resourceful. And both of them are very vulnerable and defenseless even when it comes to men and society.
I know Heloise started thinking of quitting… the society at the end of the book. But I actually think, she can do more. She can do more detecting and more ‘put in your place’ to people who truly deserve it.
Call me wicked and vengeful… take a dare, read the book
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