Berkley, March 2004, 23.95, 368 pp.
When a woman of quality is fished out of the Thames River in London, the police are quick to see that she was murdered, a knife wound through the heart. A second woman is taken out of the Thames also with a knife wound through the heart and the police are eager to keep these killings quiet. Both women had professional abortions before they were killed The year is 1900 and Londoners have not forgotten the Ripper murders and if they know a serial killer is on the loose, panic would ensue.
Oliver Craston, who is just beginning his career as a diplomat in the Foreign Office, found the body. He tells the police the only reason he was kept on after calling attention to himself is his friendship with the painter Monet who has contacts with radicals living in England. Inspector Garrett is in charge of the case but although he has some clues to the killer's identity, it is Oliver who can break the case wide open if he has the courage to go against his superiors and risk his job.
It is the start of a new century and Jane Jakeman expertly captures the atmosphere of England as she engages in the Boer Wars. The hero of IN THE KINGDOM OF MISTS is Oliver who always tries to do the right thing even though the repercussions for him might be costly, both financially and emotionally. Some of the scenes are told from the point of view of the killer and his perspective makes for a chilling historical police procedural.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner