The Cater Street Hangman
by Anne Perry
Read: June 5-8, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Thriller & Suspense Challenge 2010
Yearly Count: 29
First Line: Charlotte Ellison stood in the centre of the withdrawing room, the newspaper in her hand.
There is a murderer running loose in the Cater Street area of London in 1881. The Ellison household is shocked by the gruesome murders. The Ellison girls are proper young Victorian ladies and things like this just aren’t discussed in their household. But when Inspector Pitt comes around asking questions, it becomes apparent that he fancies Charlotte. As Inspector Pitt’s investigation continues, and more murders occur, including one that hits incredibly close to home for the Ellison family, the walls of a carefully structured facade will eventually crumble.
Okay, this is the first in the Thomas Pitt series. I had never read any Anne Perry before and figured this would be a good place to start. For the most part, the book was enjoyable. I am not used to reading historical fiction, but this one read quite easily. But I had some issues with the characters. First of all, I realize that it’s set in 1880’s London. I get that it’s going to be stuffy – but my goodness! Charlotte’s father, Edward, could not have been any more controlling when it came to the information that was discussed in the household. I can understand not wanting to discuss murders and the like, but it was happening in their neighborhood, it was bound to be a topic up for discussion. And don’t even get me started on the Grandmother – her character was about as loathsome as you could get. I just wanted the old bat to shut up! The story itself was decent. I felt like there was a lot of unnecessary work up to the eventual outcome of the story, but the murderer ended up being a pretty good surprise. Overall I’m not going to go screaming off the rooftops about how wonderful this book was, but I am curious about continuing on with this series and seeing where Charlotte and Thomas end up.