The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the first Charlotte and Thomas Pitt book and I thought it was excellent. Suddenly, several young girls have been killed with a garrote and all were found on Cater Street. Two were servants and two were young ladies who lived on Cater St. It seems to be the work of a madman, but possibly the madman may not even know he or she is the killer.
The story is told mainly from the point of view of Charlotte and like other of Anne Perry's other main characters, she is spunky, reasonable, bright and often outspoken and aggressive. Young Thomas Pitt is the policeman in charge of the investigation and as the book progresses, we see him admiring Charlotte more and more. Of course, he is not of her class...merely a "tradesman." But the book makes apparent that many of the upper class are selfish, immoral and unfaithful. The character of Thomas is a sharp contrast.
Everyone is becoming increasingly frightened about the murders and the inability of the police to find the culprit. What is most horrible is that the killer must be a person people are familiar with on Cater St. There have been no unknown characters on the street and it is apparent that the killer can walk up and down the street because he belongs there. Families look at each other with suspicion.
I did figure out who was the culprit near the end, but is was a clever, yet reasonable character. I found myself becoming attached to the characters and when one in particular is killed, I had a feeling of personal loss...something that is rare in books of this genre.
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