More Bertie and the Seven Bodies
The book's narrator and protagonist is Edward, Prince of Wales during the reign of his mother, Queen Victoria, which ended in 1901. The book's conceit is that Edward is narrating the story after he has become King Edward VII. Here is Edward, known to all as Bertie, relating his shock when he realizes the three deaths must be connected:
"Well, you'll have gathered the direction my thoughts were taking. It seemed to me that the victims had been picked off like prey, impersonally, for no other reason than that they happened to be guests at Desborough Hall at this time. Such callous slaughter is not unknown. I can't expect my twentieth-century reader to have heard of the East End murders committed in 1888 by a seeker of publicity known to the press as Jack the Ripper. At the time they made a considerable sensation. He wrote letters challenging the police to catch him, but up to now he is still at liberty. I tell you candidly, sitting in that darkened room, I could foresee a campaign just as brutal and alarming as the Ripper's – in fact more alarming, because it was aimed not at streetwalkers, but people of refinement."This passage contains much to enjoy, laugh at and think about.
© Peter Rozovsky 2008
Labels: Peter Lovesey