Mayhem

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough Read Free Book Online

Book: Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Pinborough
Tags: Fiction, Historical, Thrillers, Horror
it.’
    Moore hadn’t noticed himself, but then, it wasoften Andrews who caught the tiny details. ‘We’re all tired,’ he said, ‘and the doctor isn’t such a young man any more.’ He snorted slightly. ‘Neither are we, for that matter. I have a feeling that we will all be tired for quite some time to come if this murderous summer continues into the winter.’ The October air was cold and filled with the fog from a thousand fires, all competing to heat damp, chilly rooms in the streets around them. Inspector Moore lit his pipe and added his own small contribution. ‘They say this woman was five feet and eight inches tall, or thereabouts? An unusual height for a woman. Perhaps we have a chance of finding out who she was.’
    ‘Perhaps,’ Andrews said. He clearly wasn’t convinced, but then, neither was Moore if he was honest. Even without the limited physical evidence the torso and arm provided, the odds were against them. Not only were all their resources being ploughed into finding Jack, London’s population was in a continual state of change. Hundreds of people came and went every day, often – and especially those who had perhaps fallen down on their luck – giving no warning and providing no destination. For many, there was no one who would care where they headed. Some ended up in the river, entirely of their own accord, providing the dredgers with a ghoulish secondary income in jewellery, pocket watches and money. No corpse was ever brought to shore with so much as a penny piece on it. It was a grasping, desperate city they lived in,separated by such great divides of wealth and poverty. There were two Londons, he had concluded long ago: one that belonged to those who dressed for the opera, and one that was a mere survival pit for those who sold matches outside the Opera House.
    Moore himself belonged to neither, but he had spent so much time trawling through the muck of one that he found the other no more than an illusion of life; he always found it strange when he was called to interact with polite society. On reflection, he decided, that was probably no bad thing. The likes of he and Dr Bond stank too much of the gritty streets to ever be truly accepted by those gentlemen and ladies who made grand gestures of charity and talked of the ‘poor unfortunates’ as if they in any way understood the true hell these people lived in. He smiled as he smoked. He was becoming something of a cynic in his old age.
    ‘You know what this little trip of ours means, don’t you?’ Andrews pulled his overcoat tighter around his thin frame and hunched over slightly in the cold.
    ‘Yes, yes I’m afraid I do,’ Moore answered. They’d seen the torso first. This case was going to become their responsibility.

7
    London. November, 1886
    Aaron Kosminski
    Even with the three rowdy children filling the small set of rooms with sound and movement from dawn until dusk, Aaron preferred to stay with Matilda and Morris in Greenfield Street than with Betsy and Woolf and their small Rebecca. Blood . All these years later, and he still couldn’t look at Betsy without thinking of blood. When she cooked for him, his stomach roiled in revulsion at the thought of her hands on what he was eating. He couldn’t understand how Woolf could touch her intimately , in that place, no matter how beautiful she was. He had made excuses so he hadn’t had to see baby Rebecca until there were no remaining traces of his sister’s blood anywhere, not even on his mother’s apron from helping her with the birth. He loved Betsy, but he couldn’t cure himself of the loathing he felt for her.
    He should have been at the barber’s. Matilda had given him a queer look when he had come back up the stairs so soon after leaving, but he had made some poor excuse about there being not enough work for him today. Knowing Matilda, she might check, but that was a problem for later. Not that being in thesafety of their home changed things, as it turned out.
    His

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