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Mayhem is a masterwork of narrative suspense: a supernatural thriller set in a shadowy, gaslit London, where monsters stalk the cobbled streets and hide in plain sight.
A new killer is stalking the streets of London’s East End. Though newspapers have dubbed him "the Torso Killer", this murderer’s work is overshadowed by the hysteria surrounding Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel crimes.
The victims are women too, but their dismembered bodies, wrapped in rags and tied up with string, are pulled out of the Thames--and the heads are missing. The murderer likes to keep them.
About the Author
Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed horror, thriller and young adult author. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies. Her novel The Hidden is currently in development as the movie Cracked, and she has another original screenplay under option. She has written for New Tricks on the BBC and has a three-part TV series in development with World Productions. She was the 2009 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story, and has been short-listed three times for Best Novel. Her novella The Language of Dying was short-listed for the Shirley Jackson Award, and won the 2010 British Fantasy Award for Best Novella.
Praise for Mayhem…
Praise for Mayhem
"Sarah Pinborough deftly trawls through the muck of Victorian London in Mayhem, a graphic tale about a series of murders contemporaneous to Jack the Ripper's crimes . . . English horror and fantasy writer Sarah Pinborough breaks new ground in "Mayhem," her 12th novel, by exploring several murders that occurred contemporaneously with the Ripper crimes . . . Although the news stories and a letter signed by Jack the Ripper, interspersed throughout the novel, lend authenticity to and place the murders in context, Mayhem's greater achievement is in its deft portrayal of the divergent social classes in Victorian London that gave rise to the Thames Torso Killer and the men who hunted him."—Paula L. Woods, The Los Angeles Times
“In this chilling exploration of madness and evil, Pinborough excels at summoning up the bleak spirit of Victorian London’s mean streets and those forced to fight for survival there.” — Publishers Weekly (starred)
"If you enjoy a true crime-novel combo, don’t pass on the newest work from British-born author Sarah Pinborough, who takes a cue from Dean Koontz in composing a new supernatural-whodunit-polyphonic thriller for those not of the faint of heart."—John Henry, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
“Masterfully . . . Mayhem is a beautifully rendered exploration of madness in all its forms. The author takes sleight of hand to new heights. She makes the mean streets of Victorian London all too real. It’s a demanding, moody horror story with a shocking twist.”—Irma Heldman, Open Letters Monthly
Praise for Sarah Pinborough
"Few writers blend mystery and the supernatural as well as Sarah Pinborough, but there are none who do it better. Quite, quite brilliant."—John Connolly
"Pinborough’s fiction moves at a breakneck pace. Once you start, you can’t stop." —Sarah Langan
"She rides the line between gritty realism and otherworldly weirdness without ever toppling over." —SFX
"Mayhem is a disturbingly engrossing Victorian horror with a standout, menacing villain. Never have I known a smile to be so sinister and rancid, but Pinborough’s prose prove the gesture to be something terrifyingly palpable. This genre-defying novel is a ravenous read and will have you as insatiable as the malicious mischief-maker that awaits you in its pages.”—BookPage
"a taut late Victorian crime thriller with a stunning Eastern European spin. The inclusion of world-wide nespaper coverage of the first known serial killers adds fascinating macabre shock and depth; mindful of the Son of Sam coverage. Readers will relish this tense twisting historical whodunit."—Harriet Klausner, Midwest Book Review
"Mayhem is a terrific piece of sustained writing, taking the tired streets of fictional Victorian London and reinvigorating them through the introduction of an ancient enemy. It’s well worth reading whether as historical true crime fiction or as a supernatural thriller."—David Marshall, Thinking About Books