SHADOWS IN THE WHITE CITY
ROBERT W. WALKER
ISBN# (10): 0-06-073996-7 / (13): 978-0-06-073996-6
10 East 53rd Street, New York, New York 10022-5299
Price: $6.99 U.S./$9.99 Canada
Rating: 4 Cups
Dr. Christian Fenger is known as Chicago’s best surgical mentor. He deals with many personal ghosts but still manages to keep a steady hand during surgeries. His terrible doctor’s curse, an addiction to morphine, may cost him his job if the information ever gets into the wrong hands.
Dr. Jane Francis feels Christian is the penultimate surgeon. Ten years ago she was in his surgery classes and knows about his habit. When the infamous Inspector Alastair Ransom of the Chicago Police Department, with whom Jane has fallen in love, is wounded during an arrest, Christian performs the emergency surgery. Jane prays nothing goes amiss.
Inspector Alastair has been beating the clock to track down the killer Phantom. After arresting the man he is certain is the Phantom, Alastair is wounded. His adversary, Chief Nathan Kohler believes Alastair made a false arrest, so while Alastair is undergoing a life-saving surgery, Chief Nathan Kohler, releases the suspect.
The Phantom of the Fair has killed seven people at the Chicago’s World’s Fair. Alastair arrested a carriage driver, Waldo Denton but Police Chief Kohler feels there is not enough incriminating evidence against Denton. After Alastair comes out of the surgery, he needs Jane to help him get out of the hospital so he can go after Denton. He refuses to believe Denton is innocent. Now a new killer surfaces, labeled as the Leather Apron because he takes his victims while still alive and cuts off parts of their body and organs. When Senator Chapman’s granddaughter becomes a victim, it prompts the police to take immediate action. The lunatic enjoys cutting his victim at different times, often leaving them dangling from a meat hook, only to return later and make another cut from the body. When someone spreads the details to the Senator, it pushes him further over the edge. The sadistic lunatic’s habit of leaving his mark, like a rutting dear, or a dog in heat, allow his trial to be found. The Senator seeks revenge in the worst way. Realizing money talks, he promises Alastair, Christian, or Kohler, a huge amount of money if they find the madcap and bring to him. Alastair is not certain he can allow the Senator to evoke his own vengeance. When Alastair’s lead takes him into the path of the homeless, he searches to find the killer, and unravel secrets, never anticipating the consequences when he learns Jane may be the next target.
Shadows in the White City is a mind-blowing read. The tale begins in 1893 and entails a graphic story that might not be for the faint at heart with a string of murders that kept me spellbound. The huge lists of characters are detailed in a way that I got a keen picture of each of them, all the way down to the killer. This compelling page-turner left my spine tingling. The way Mr. Walker touches upon the homeless and confronts them with the killer leaves the mouth dry and the heart racing. Alistair’s footwork and path to unlock the truth thrills, while proving how money can often cause a good guy to go bad. Anyone desiring to take a journey into 19th century Chicago should not miss this tale.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
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