The Fiend in Human Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Fiend in Human

St. Martin's, Sep 2003, 24.95, 342 pp.
ISBN: 0312282842

In 1852 London, Falcon reporter Edmund Whitty dubs William Ryan, the prostitute killer, Chokee Bill. Most of the fallen females are pleased to learn the police caught Chokee Bill because it makes it safe to offer their bodies to the West End wealthy aristocrats.
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Needing money as usual, Whitty accepts a deal to partner with crime storywriter and seller Henry Owler who, on his own, failed to gain an interview with Chokee Bill. Edmund meets Ryan and soon wonders if the police arrested the wrong man. If he is right, Edmund realizes that the real murderer might be observing him, Owler, and his new partner's daughter especially as the journalist tours London in search of clues. If true, this serial killer will never allow anyone to point the finger.

Though quite similar to other serial killer tales especially those involving the Ripper, readers will enjoy this terse Victorian investigative novel. The story line provides insight into the era and includes a taste of London and a deep look at the social classes and a myopic justice system. With their flaws, obvious intelligence and moral consciences, Whitty and Owler are fine lead sleuths. They are reminiscent of Holmes and Watson so that readers of nineteenth century mysteries will appreciate this solid, novel.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Fiend in Human

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   very humorous How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80% Murder of certain profession?    -   prostitutes/stripper/porn Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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John MacLachlan Gray Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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