Release Day Feature + Giveaway! Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough

Posted January 14, 2014 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Giveaways, Read in 2014, Release Day Feature / 28 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Release Day Feature + Giveaway! Mayhem by Sarah PinboroughMayhem by Sarah Pinborough
Series: Mayhem #1
Published by Jo Fletcher Books on January 14th 2014
Pages: 400
Genres: Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher

Also by this author: Murder, The Language of Dying, Behind Her Eyes


A compulsively readable story that starts as a conventional murder mystery and morphs, by degrees, into a horrifying supernatural thriller,” The Guardian said of Mayhem.

A virtuoso fantasy writer, Sarah Pinborough has won numerous awards including the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story. In Mayhem Pinborough turns her attention to one of the most baffling and notorious crime sprees in Victorian times. A new killer that newspapers have dubbed “The Torso Killer” is terrorizing the streets of London’s East End, his crimes obscured and overshadowed by the hysteria surrounding Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel crimes. The victims are women too, but their dismembered bodies, wrapped in rags and tied up with string, are pulled out of the Thames–and the heads are missing. The murderer likes to keep them. Mayhem is a masterwork of narrative suspense: a supernatural thriller set in a shadowy, gaslit London, where killers stalk the cobbled streets and hide in plain sight.

About Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed horror, thriller and YA author. In the UK she is published by both Gollancz and Jo Fletcher Books at Quercus and by Ace, Penguin and Titan in the US. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies and she has a horror film Cracked currently in development and another original screenplay under option. She has recently branched out into television writing and has written for New Tricks on the BBC and has an original series in development with World Productions and ITV Global.

Sarah was the 2009 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story, and has three times been short-listed for Best Novel. She has also been short-listed for a World Fantasy Award. Her novella, The Language of Dying was short-listed for the Shirley Jackson Award and won the 2010 British Fantasy Award for Best Novella.

‘What I seek – the thing I seek – brings mayhem and wickedness in its wake, spreading it like this choking fog across the city. It runs in the water of the river and it will destroy men’s souls.”

It’s the late 1800’s and London is being terrorized by the murders by a man dubbed Jack the Ripper, although recent murders have succeeded in overshadowing even those horrific crimes. These new murders are gruesome and appalling. The victims are all women, they are all dismembered postmortem yet their heads are never found among the remains. Dr. Thomas Bond is a police surgeon but is unable to stop himself from seeking out evidence to uncover this killer. He succeeds in uncovering far more than he thought possible and it is more monstrous and nightmarish than any imagination could concoct.

Jack the Ripper has always been a subject matter of interest for me and just the thought of another killer overshadowing the work of Jack the Ripper was enough for me to pick up Mayhem. I had never heard of ‘the Torso Killer’ before but Sarah Pinborough successfully brought his macabre story to life. Frightfully disturbing, these murders are described in vivid detail and the slight addition of the supernatural aspects were added almost proficiently and were not overdone.

The story is told mainly from the point of view of Dr. Thomas Bond but we’re given an occasional glimpse through a few other side characters. Each character was alluring and were each integral to understanding the story as a whole. Dr. Bond himself was a perfectly imperfect character who frequented opium dens in order to deal with his bouts of insomnia. He’s such a flawed character yet made the story all the more real and satisfying.

I found this to be an extremely solid story with writing that was incredibly engaging. Mayhem is quite the page-turner with very little filler or sections that felt inconsequential. Mayhem is a well-written thriller that I would highly recommend for fans of mysteries, of historical fiction and for those who like just a little bit of horror.

Thanks to the publisher I’m able to offer up 3 copies of Mayhem for 3 lucky readers! I’m mixing things up and trying out my new WordPress giveaway plugin instead of Rafflecopter so all you need to do to enter is leave a comment!

Open to U.S. residents only!
Giveaway ends January 28th, 2014

Drum roll, please.

The 3 winners are:

Ang @ Ang Writes
Rachel @ Paper Cuts
Kara @ Great Imaginations

Congratulations you three! Thanks so much for entering everyone!


28 responses to “Release Day Feature + Giveaway! Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough

  1. Alyn Y

    I haven’t read any scary books lately but this one sounds good. Someone worse than Jack the Ripper? I’m interested in seeing how much worse this killer is.

    • I made the move this past October and it’s been fantastic, although I moved from blogger so I don’t have the comparison to

      The plugin is called ‘Pick Giveaway Winner’ and it allows you to select any post, the amount of winners and it will randomize the selection by the comments.
      Bonnie recently posted…Early Review – The Vanishing by Wendy WebbMy Profile

  2. Margo Hurwicz

    Sarah Pinborough takes the familiar and makes it … different. This is a not-Jack-the-Ripper story set in the same time frame, and that makes it all the more interesting to me. Insomniac detectives also are not new, nor are addict detectives, but I’ll just bet she finds an angle we don’t expect. Count me in!

  3. Ahhh yeah, I saw this book on Goodreads and added it to my TBR immediately. I am really getting into the Victorian era now and I am fascinated with Jack the Ripper and I just think I would love this book. I am crossing my fingers that I win one of the copies! 😀

  4. Tia

    I am fascinated by Jack the Ripper, history, serial killers, all that terrible stuff. I love to read it!! I am dying to check this one out! Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. Linda Kwolek

    This sounds like a book I would have to have the light on to read. Twisted, but yet informative….intriguing.

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