Silk on the skin—luxurious, luscious..lethal.
The city is in a panic as Jack the Ripper continues his murderous spree. While the Whitechapel police struggle to find him, Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are working feverishly to find their own serial killer. The British Museum’s beautiful gardens have become a killing ground for young women strangled as they stroll through.
Their investigation has them brushing up against Viscount Everhard, a powerful member of the House of Lords, and a friend to Queen Victoria. When the circumstantial evidence points to him as a suspect, Rudyard must deal with the political blowback, and knows if they are going to go after the viscount, they’d better be right and have proof.
As the body count grows and the public clamor for the detectives to do more, inter-department rivalries complicate the already difficult case.
What would you do to stay young: Lie, Manipulate..kill?
Excerpt of Silk
He wrapped an end in each hand and pulled. His fingers crept up the silk and he tugged a bit harder still. The material pressed deeper into the flesh of her neck. Bright pink dotted her cheeks and radiated down to her jaw. The veins in her temples popped out and pulsed in time to her heartbeat. She moaned, pushed her hips upward and writhed against him. Her soft pubic hair tickled his testicles. Isabeau’s unsubtle way of letting him know she wanted him inside her. He obliged.
Her hands encircled his wrists. She tugged hard outward, harder than usual. A choked sigh escaped her. He paid no attention. This was standard. Isabeau always insisted he maintain pressure until she signaled for him to release his hold. In the past, when she reached the edge of consciousness, she’d beat along his upper arms. This time she thrashed her head back and forth, something he hadn’t seen before. Her eyes bulged in an unattractive way and she clawed at him. Her nails gouged the skin on his hands, drawing blood.
She hurt him and he wanted to slap her. He almost let go of one end of the scarf to do that. Instead, he pulled tighter. Isabeau tried to insert her fingers into the spot where the material crossed over. Her mouth opened and shut, soundless and fishlike. She swatted at the mattress wildly. Red-faced to the point of being near purple, she bucked beneath him.
She fired his blood with her lack of inhibition. Never had she responded with such intensity. Raw power surged through him, primitive, animalistic. He pumped hard. Ready to climax, William clenched his fists, twisting the scarf one last turn. Odd, feathery touches tapped his biceps, feminine and subtle grazes, and then she went limp. Spent, he released his hold and collapsed on top of her, his heart pounding while he caught his breath.
Isabeau didn’t move and her head stayed turned to the side. She hadn’t cried out the way she normally did when sated. Perhaps she was disappointed with his effort. He gave the thought a mental shrug. At the end of the day, it really didn’t matter. He’d arrange for her departure first thing in the morning.
William rolled over and slung a sweaty arm over his eyes. He tried to decide which was worse, telling her tonight the affair was over or waiting until morning. The idea of doing it after such a rambunctious sexual endeavor seemed bad form, but he wanted to get it over with. He turned onto his side, prepared for histrionics, caterwauling, great tears and verbal abuse.
“Isabeau, look at me. I’ve come to a decision and it will likely distress you.” Nothing. She didn’t stir. “Isabeau?”
He shook her by the arm. Still no response. William let go and her arm dropped listless to the mattress. He raised her arm again and let go. Again, it fell listless. He straddled her and patted her cheeks. Nothing. Her head twisted without resistance first right then left depending on the direction of his pat. He slapped her harder. Nothing. Vacant eyes stared fixed on the ceiling. He bent an ear to her chest. Nothing. William leapt from the bed, snatched a silver mirror from the dressing table, and held it under her nose. Nothing.
“Bitch.” William hurled the mirror against the wall. “Bitch, whore,” he raged and paced along the side of the bed. “I will not allow you to make my life a nightmare. This was your doing. I told you to leave me alone.”
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“I think it’s safe to say that Silk by Chris Karlsen is a bit of a departure from my normal read, but if you know me you know I’m a very eclectic reader. I’m also drawn to the Victorian time period. The thing that is different about this book is that it’s quite dark and we actually get quite a lot from the perspective of the killer. So while there’s a mystery, that aspect of it is not a mystery. However, there’s another killer as well who we do not know who it is until the end. But getting the perspective from the murderer and watching as he commits these acts is somewhat fascinating while at the same time it’s quite gruesome. It’s a clean murder, no blood or anything, but gruesome just in the way he thinks and in the act itself. The other fascinating bit is seeing his positive side. Seeing the good he does once in awhile.
There is a touch of romance, but it’s only a touch and isn’t really developed fully. This is not a romance story, I’ll just say that. The romance is very much on the side. However, there are fairly descriptive bits of sex (not all of it, but a piece here and there) between the murderer and some of the girls. Like I said, this isn’t a romance, these scenes aren’t done in a romantic fashion, they are just there for us to really see what is going on. It’s brief, but it is there.
The setting of London and other areas of England is well done. I really felt like I was transported there and was present as the story unfolded.
The book was a tad heavy for me and I got concerned whether I would lose interest but I found that I thought about the book when I wasn’t reading and when I was I had no desire to set it down. So I was definitely immersed in it and eager for more.
I recommend this for fans of the Victorian era, crime fiction, suspense thrillers and mysteries.”