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March 17, 2015

Liked It: Silk by Chris Karlsen


Series: The Bloodstone Series 1
Format: Mobi
Release Date: December 14, 2014 
Publisher: Books To Go Now
Source: Author via Tour Organizer
Recommended By: Candace's Book Blog
Genre: Historical | Thriller

Silk on the skin—luxurious, luscious..lethal.

London-Fall, 1888
The city is in a panic as Jack the Ripper continues his murderous spree. While the Whitechapel police struggle to find him, Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are working feverishly to find their own serial killer. The British Museum’s beautiful gardens have become a killing ground for young women strangled as they stroll through.

Their investigation has them brushing up against Viscount Everhard, a powerful member of the House of Lords, and a friend to Queen Victoria. When the circumstantial evidence points to him as a suspect, Rudyard must deal with the political blowback, and knows if they are going to go after the viscount, they’d better be right and have proof.

As the body count grows and the public clamor for the detectives to do more, inter-department rivalries complicate the already difficult case. What would you do to stay young: Lie, Manipulate..kill?





First off, can we all take a moment to admire SILK's cover art? I mean it is so gorgeous! 

Cover whore moment done... I liked SILK. I've read so many historical novels where they romanticize Victorian London. Sure, this time period is interesting, pivotal even, but so few novels show the grit of the time period. The divide between the classes is still evident, certain things are still luxuries like regular baths, three square meals, not to mention the entitlement of the aristocrats. These things Chris Karlsen included and used as a foundation for her novel, and I loved her for it. 

Another thing that appealed to me was the plot. You see Jack the Ripper on the blurb and you immediately expect that SILK is about him. Well it's not that straightforward. Jack might be roaming the streets of London during this time, but there's another killer on the loose, and his motive is somewhat incidental, or one can even say, the consequences of practicing a delicate fetish coupled with his quest for the elixir of life. I wouldn't necessarily call the perpatrator here a serial killer, because to him, murder wasn't much about the thrill of taking someone's life. Rather it became a convenient a way for him to get himself out of sticky situations. 

That said, SILK unfolded in a very interesting way. Right away, the identity of the "bad guy" was revealed and his POV alternated with the coppers. I just wish there was more dimension to the characters, tension to the story in lieu of a mystery, and the chase more thrilling and suspenseful. The detectives worked out the crimes as expected, however I wish the villain was more cunning with his crimes, more creative in trying to get away with it. Instead, said villain just lies until it finally caught up with him. 

Now, there's a good twist in the end. But if you pay close attention to the story, you'd see it coming because not everything adds up the way it should be. There's a lot of series out there based on Jack the Ripper and I am curious if CKarlsen plans to include Jack in her cast as an active member, or just name drop him in the coming books...






I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.

My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write two different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is, Dangerous Waters.

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.


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73 comments:

  1. I just started this one! So glad you enjoyed it, the Jack the Ripper element is what drew me in when I read the blurb, looking forward to the twists. Thanks for sharing your review Braine:)

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Will you be posting your review? I sure would like to compare notes with you.

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    2. Hi to All,
      I want to thank Braine for taking the time to read and review Silk. It is much appreciated.
      Chris

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    3. Hi Lori
      I hope you enjoy the story. Many of the characters will return in the next in the series. Probably not Jack though,
      Chris

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  2. I have no idea why, maybe a sick fascination but I am always intrigued when it comes to books that feature Jack. I think the whole thing was just crazy but so darn interesting, especially since they never actually caught him.

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    1. Me too! For me it's the fact that his crimes were never solved. How I wish forensic testing was existent back then. I sure would've loved to know the identity of this madman!

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    2. Hi Kindlemom,
      I agree, Jack is a fascinating character. I wanted to reference him since he was active at the same time as the killer in Silk. There are so many Ripperologists, I thought it best to leave theories to them.
      Chris

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  3. Replies
    1. Hi Nurmawati,
      Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.
      Chris

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  4. That cover is gorgeous! Hmm, i'd have to read this to see if it's my type of book. I love this genre, but I've been reading some 'meh' titles lately. I'm trying to come across that one book that makes me fangirl. I've miss my fangirl scream :-(

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    Replies
    1. I feel ya. It's been a wild ride for me these past couple of weeks. Had some super awesome reads peppered with mehs & icks. lol

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    2. HI Lekeisha,
      I love the cover too. I work with this designer a lot and she has a great eye.
      Chris

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  5. I love the setting, time period, and cover! Like you, I'd probably want more suspense. Great review, Braine!

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    1. At first glance, the cover looks like a painting to me.

      Thanks, Grace!

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    2. Hi Grace,
      We dabbled with making the cover all black and white but when we saw the red dress, it was perfect. I use the b&w one in my trailer.
      Chris

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  6. I love a good Jack the Ripper story and you are right the cover is stunning. I love a good twist as well.

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    1. Jack the Ripper is as notorious as Hannibal Lecter except that he's real

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    2. Hi Heidi,
      Jack is everybody's fave creepy killer, I believe because he's unknown,
      Chris

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  7. Thanks so much for hosting a tour stop!

    When I read this it was before the blurb so I didn't have any knowledge of anything pertaining to Jack the Ripper. I think maybe if I had read this blurb I may have expected something a little different than what I got. Expectations can suck sometimes. I liked that I went in with none and I was pretty satisfied. It's not my normal read but I decided that was good. I like having some suspense, but I thought it was a little different how she did it and decided I liked the style a lot.

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    1. I saw this first on your blog and loved your review and what the book is about. I agree with expectations, that's why most of the time I just look at the star ratings and skip reading the blurbs and reviews.

      Thanks for hosting, Candace!

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  8. That is a beautiful cover and the book sounds interesting. I do wish villains were more villainous though.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. HI Karen,
      I experimented with who to start with in Chapter 1, the cop or the killer. It just came out more intriguing with the killer.
      Chris

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  9. The cover for this book is really beautiful. I really think this might be for me, since I like reading historical fiction from time to time.

    Grace @ Books of Love

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    Replies
    1. GIve it a go, I'm sure the author would be happy for you to read/review it.

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    2. HI Grace,
      This was a fun period to write as the setting. My first time in Victorian London, I often use medieval period settings.
      Chris

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  10. I have to admit I'm a cover whore too, I really liked this one too :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lily,
      Covers are so important IMO, and all my writer friends are keen to have their "vision" for them.
      Chris

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  11. Yes, let's do pause over that cover...um'kay now let's pause over Jack the Ripper. Haha! I can't seem to pass up mysteries if his name is mentioned- the big unsolved one being the ultimate mystery I guess. I love it when authors paint the historical world without rose-tinted lenses on. I think its why I like both of Anne Perry's Victorian London mystery series. This one sounds good. I'm putting it on the wish list. Nice review, Braine!

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    Replies
    1. Ooh Anne Perry's Victorian London. Those are magic words to me.

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    2. HI Sophia,
      I've enjoyed some of Anne Perry as well.
      Chris

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  12. Interesting story synopsis and cover! Sounds like an interesting setting and story with Jack the Ripper! Thanks for the introduction!

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    1. Hi Erika,
      Thank you for the kind words.
      Chris

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  13. I'm glad you liked Silk, Braine. It sounds interesting and I, too, am glad that Karlsen did a good job of showing the grittier side of Victorian London. Oh, and that cover is lovely!!

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    1. We all know conditions back then were deplorable. It's nice when authors remove that from the setting, but once in a while, it's also good to be reminded of how things were back then.

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    2. HI Brandee
      Thank you. This was an interesting setting for me.
      Chris

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  14. I do enjoy getting into the mind of the killer so his pov piqued my interest. The cover is pretty.

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    1. That is always the selling point for me in mysteries. The WHY behind all the heinous crimes.

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    2. Hi Kimba,
      I hope you enjoy the story.
      Chris

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  15. I love killer POVs.. literally lol And such a beautiful cover!!

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    Replies
    1. Me too! I watch Snapped and other crime shows on my down time once in a while.

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    2. HI Sarah,
      I had fun writing the killer's POV. I did this in two other books from a different series. I think it is interesting to flesh them out.
      Chris

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  16. Oooh... this sounds like an interesting read! Two different killers you say... Great review Braine!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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    1. Yup. One too many villains!

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    2. Hi Naomi,
      I knew early on there'd be two.
      Chris

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  17. oooh.. this looks and sounds fantastic!!! thanks for sharing!

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  18. I love anything Jack the Ripper. Sounds like a good one to me. And yes, the cover art is awesome!

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  19. I confess that I'm always really intrigued when a story is about Jack even if it's not really about him a lot. I didn't know about the book but you're right the cover is really beautiful. thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. The cover gets that foot in the door!

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  20. Okay, this one sounds good, especially with the innovative way in which the bad guy is introduced right off the bat. (Isn't that a bit anticlimactic though?) And the cover ... there are no words, really. Gorgeousness galore. But your rating should've been the cherry on top, and there's no cherry! Conclusion: to be determined. Loved the review :)

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    1. Hahaha! You're sharp, catching that ;)

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    2. HI Ramona,
      This is my favorite cover of all my books.
      Chris

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  21. That is a pretty cover and i liked that she built the story around jack the ripper but focused on another killer. Sounds like good stuff.

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  22. Sounds like an interesting read and the cover is pretty awesome. I don't know if it's for me though. I've been having a hard time with books where the characters are not multidimensional. However, I like the whole idea of this story. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

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    Replies
    1. Give it a try or at least DL the sample. Maybe you'll like it more than I did.

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  23. Very pretty cover! Revealing the villain at the beginning is definitely a unique way to start a novel. I will definitely keep this in mind because I love reading London-set books in any time period.

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    1. Yup, no guesswork, just lots of nail biting.

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  24. This is going to be an amazing series.

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  25. Thanks for acknowledging & replying to the comments, Chris. Your visit is much appreciated.

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