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A Brutal Chill in August: A Novel of Polly Nichols, The First Victim of Jack the Ripper
     

A Brutal Chill in August: A Novel of Polly Nichols, The First Victim of Jack the Ripper

by Alan M. Clark
 

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We all know about Jack the Ripper, the serial murderer who terrorized Whitechapel and confounded police in 1888, but how much do we really know about his victims?

Pursued by one demon into the clutches of another, the ordinary life of Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols is made extraordinary by horrible, inhuman circumstance. Jack the Ripper's first victim

Overview

We all know about Jack the Ripper, the serial murderer who terrorized Whitechapel and confounded police in 1888, but how much do we really know about his victims?

Pursued by one demon into the clutches of another, the ordinary life of Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols is made extraordinary by horrible, inhuman circumstance. Jack the Ripper's first victim comes to life in this sensitive and intimate fictionalized portrait, from humble beginnings, to building a family with an abusive husband, her escape into poverty and the workhouse, alcoholism, and finally abandoned on the streets of London where the Whitechapel Murderer found her.

With A Brutal Chill in August, Alan M. Clark gives readers an uncompromising and terrifying look at the nearly forgotten human story behind one of the most sensational crimes in history. This is horror that happened.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/17/2016
Clark (Say Anything but Your Prayers) continues his series of portraits of Jack the Ripper’s victims with the life of Polly Nichols, believed to be Jack’s first victim. In 1858 London, Polly is 13 and living with her father and brother, doing piecework to bring in extra money. She discovers gin, forming a lingering addiction. In 1863, she meets printer machinist Bill Nichols, who courts her by taking her out to nice dinners and shows, and when he asks her to marry him, she’s thrilled. However, Bill shortly sheds the charm, and the one-room flat they live in is dreary. Bill is increasingly cold and abusive, and Polly has five children in quick succession. She finds comfort in a man named Tom Dews, who unfortunately shares her addiction, thus beginning a tragic spiral. Clark takes known facts about Nichols and fills in the blanks, highlighting the grim existence of a woman without means in Victorian London. Her murder in 1888 at the hands of the Ripper is only the final punctuation to a fraught, largely lonely life. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"With A Brutal Chill in August, Alan M. Clark continues his terrific fictionalized accounts of the Ripper's victims--always compelling, and always expertly evoking nineteenth century London. Gripping, suspenseful--written with sensitivity and heart." --Simon Clark, author of Night of the Triffids

"Clark brings to life the plight of London's poor, and the extremes to which they must go in order to merely survive... or succumb as victims to disease, abuse, alcoholism, or worse. A great read." --Elizabeth Engstrom, author of Lizzie Borden

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781939905253
Publisher:
Word Horde
Publication date:
08/30/2016
Pages:
300
Sales rank:
1,397,082
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.67(d)

Meet the Author

ALAN M. CLARK, an author and illustrator, grew up in Tennessee in a house full of bones and old medical books. He is the author of seventeen published books, including ten novels, a lavishly illustrated novella, four collections of fiction, and a nonfiction full-color book of his artwork. As a visual artist, he has created illustrations for hundreds of books, including works of fiction of various genres, nonfiction, textbooks, young adult fiction, and children's books. Awards for his work include the World Fantasy Award and four Chesley Awards. Alan M. Clark and his wife, Melody, live in Oregon.

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