I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. This Non-Fiction History tells the story of a series of killings. The murders took place between December 1884 and December 1885 in Austin, Texas.
Starting on December 25, 1884 a number of brutal attacks against women took place. The attacks left the women of Austin terrified. The killer seemed to be able to move silently and unobserved through the night. While there were a hand full of survivors, none could give much in the way of a description.
The attacks ended as abruptly as they had begun. Coincidentally, Jack the Ripper began his reign of terror in London only a couple of years later. There was serious speculation at the time that these two killing sprees might be related.
I do not read too many Non-Fiction books and in particular books about True Crime. This one caught my eye as I have lived in the greater Austin area since 1975. Having now read the book, I find it astonishing that this series of murders were so widely covered in the media of the 1880s, yet I had never heard of it.
I went through K-12 grades in Texas schools, and have lived in Texas for all but a year since 1955. I have lived in the Austin area and visited many of the locations that are mentioned. Yet in all that I had not heard of these events. I thoroughly did enjoy the 6 hours I spent reading this 336 page book. While the story is history, the author made it a compelling read. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.
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