This isn’t the most recent review I’ve written but I wanted to start out with a favorable review so here comes “The Five”.
I usually stick to horror fiction. Sometimes fantasy or mystery or sci-fi. However, I decided to try some non-fiction lately and gave The Five by Hallie Rubenhold a go. I am so glad I did. Much of the time this book felt more like a work of fiction. The depth that the author must have dug to find all the history of these five women is incredible.
After reading and watching so much about Jack the Ripper, reading a book solely about the lives, not the murders of, but the lives of the victims was a strange but good experience.
Parts of the book can get repetitive talking about the conditions of the slums of London, but not to the point that it detracts from the story. While reading this book you not only gain a glimpse at the lives of The five victims but those of their immediate family and social circle as well. The stories sometimes go back as far as 1800 beginning with the parents of a victim.
Almost no time at all is given to their actual murders which, I didn’t even realize until I was reading about the fourth victim. I cared more about her story than Jack’s which I think is the greatest thing this book does. It makes you think and care about the victims of these crimes. Makes them real people with hopes, feelings, faults, etc. And not just footnotes in a famous murderer’s story.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Victorian London, Jack the Ripper, true crime novels, or anyone looking for something that gives a new spin on an old story told again and again.
Follow the link below to buy this book on Amazon.The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper