The 1880s. Two childhood friends find very different fortunes in Ripper-stalked Victorian London, in the new novel from the acclaimed Laurie Graham.
It's a funny thing, how you could have hardly a friend in the world, but get yourself murdered and they'll be round you like flies on yesterday's fish.
So says Dot Allbones of her tragic friend, Kate Eddowes.
When star of London's Victorian music hall, Dot Allbones, bumps into her childhood friend Kate Eddowes outside the Griffin theatre in Shoreditch, it's a blast from the past. The two grew up together in the Midlands, but life has treated them very differently since then.
Told through the eyes of the irreverent Dot, this is the story of a London populated by chancers, some rich, some destitute. During one hot summer in the 1880s Whitechapel famously became the scene of unspeakable horror, and Kate Eddowes found a grisly fame that would far outshine Dot's.
Because out there, in the stews of East London, Saucy Jack is sharpening his knife . . .
Poignant and unsentimental, and Dot's whiplash humour had me cheering - Daily Mail
The sheer panache with which Graham conjured up the era's music halls . . . is particularly appealing and the author is to be congratulated on creating a story in which, for once, a victim of the Ripper rather than the East End bogeyman himself takes centre stage - Sunday Times
[Graham's] strength is in the voice of her narrator, Dot . . . a wonderful companion - The Times
Another gem from the should-be-bigger-than-Jesus Laurie Graham - Red magazine
A delightfully smart and sophisticated historical novelist - Sunday Times