Saturday, October 04, 2008

#30 The Dracula Dossier by James Reese

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Though this book may have fell a little bit outside my usual genre, I feel it will stay with me for awhile to come. In addition, I think I learned a thing or two about some significant figures in literary history to boot. ;)

The story takes place in the late 19th Century, during the Victorian Era in England, and is written in the form of journal entries and letters written by the late Bram Stoker, author of Dracula and a few other novels that never really garnered much recognition. Stoker tells the story of his employ with the actor Henry Irving, and his relationships with many other famous people of that time.

As the letters and journal entries which make up this Dossier indicate, it was Thomas Henry Hall Caine who first introduced Stoker to Dr. Francis Tumblety—the American doctor who later become known as Jack the Ripper. And it is to these relations that much of this Dossier relates. Upon meeting Tumblety, Stoker realizes that something is not right with the man, a fact later confirmed by Caine. And with the help of Lady Jane Wilde, mother to author Oscar Wilde, the three dub themselves the Children of Light and set out to catch Tumblety in the act and prove to the men of Scotland Yard who it is committing all these gruesome murders.

Though one might think this a paranormal book because of the title, that isn't really the case. Though there is much about "Jack the Ripper" that defies explanation, this novel is not a vampire novel, as a quick look at the title might lead one to believe. Instead, it's the notes, journal, and letters of the famed Dracula author, and at various points in the narrative, footnotes are given that point out similarities between the events taking place in Stoker's life at that time and characters and events in Dracula.

Overall, a very interesting read, well suited to literary fans, fans of historical, mystery, and thriller genres, maybe even horror fans too due to the violent and graphic nature of the crimes committed by the Ripper and described herein. (Though the author does go into explicit descriptions about some of the mutilated bodies, I found much of it to be somewhat clinical in nature so I didn't quite "lose my lunch" over it so to speak. LOL)

BookCrossing journal page for this book

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