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The Frightened Man (Denton #1)

3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  360 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
London in 1900 is a sprawling, chaotic web of change and expansion, perfect for a man like Denton, an American with a violent past seeking anonymity as an outsider. But his notoriety as the author of several dark novels—and the well-known story that, decades before, he had gunned down four men in the American West—sometimes brings unwanted visitors to his door. When a terr ...more
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published 2008)
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Aug 17, 2013 Penelope rated it it was amazing
I don't know how I missed this when it first came out. It's a wonderful Victorian mystery; well-plotted, elegantly written, with intriguing characters and much to consider. It's 1900, Oscar Wilde is dead and the world is speeding up, machines pound and roar and motor cars are taking over. The hero, Denton, a Civil War veteran with a tragic past, a passionate temperament, and a fine sense of honor, is living in London, supporting himself as an author. One night a terrified little man with a greas ...more
May 27, 2009 Brooke rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2009
The Frightened Man is a Victorian-era mystery that I picked up at the library because it had a spooky cover and the inner flap mentioned Jack the Ripper. What can I say, when books are free, it doesn't take too much to lure me in.

Much to my disappointment, it was not actually about JtR, but about a similar killing that leaves everyone reminded of the infamous killer. Denton is a sheriff-turned-author-turned-sleuth who gets pulled in when the titular frightened man shows up at his doorstep babbli
Aug 06, 2012 Kristen rated it liked it
This was an okay book. It wasn't quite as clever and intriguing as it sounded when I started it, but the beginning and the ending were reasonably entertaining.

The book description suggests a connection to the Jack the Ripper case, but really that's misleading as there isn't any.

What makes this book for my money is the uniqueness of the characters: Denton the American retired detective transplanted in London, Atkins, his odd but loyal manservant, a variety of British policemen and detectives who
Jill Hutchinson
Jul 30, 2014 Jill Hutchinson rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I enjoyed this book but didn't love it. The characters of Denton and his manservant were well drawn but I found the plot just a bit thin. The premise was good but could have gone a little further into some background detail which would have afforded the reader a better appreciation of the first victim's personality and her relationship with the second victim. A couple of characters were mentioned in the narrative but never introduced into the story. It may be that the author was expected to writ ...more
Jan 08, 2014 Deanne rated it liked it
I like the main character Denton, however he seems to come across the solution to the crime by falling over bodies and not through investigative work. However this works in some ways, he's not Sherlock, he doesn't try to be.
Did like Atkins the manservant, an old soldier who has Denton's back, though he's not much cop as a bodyguard
Linda O'Donnell F.
Be warned that this book ventures down darkened streets that the meek reader may want to avoid. It is not for the squeamish. You just can't white-wash a post-mortem.....

This is my second book by Kenneth M. Cameron. I first read The Bohemian Girl which should actually follow The Frightened Man. There's more to come with Denton and Janet Striker. What really drew me in is the snappy dialogue that slips easily between his characters. It's like being privy to inside jokes or seeing the trip wire bef
Jul 24, 2014 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Warning: for those who are easily offended there is some bad language and the description of a quite detailed post mortem examination is not for the squeamish.

The novel is set in the year 1900 in London 15 years after Jack the Ripper's reign, Denton an American who is also a well know author with a haunted past. He is visited one evening by a man who claims to know Jack the Ripper and then flees into the night. That same evening there is a ghastly murder of a young girl, has Jack the Ripper retu
Jeannie Mancini
Nov 08, 2010 Jeannie Mancini rated it really liked it
The Frightened Man by Kenneth Cameron is an excellent Victorian thriller with a Jack-the-Ripper style plot. Cameron's debut in this new series of Denton Mysteries was extremely well written, had endearing lovable characters who are very cheeky, and talent to weave a darn good yarn!

Our new perceptive detective Denton is an American transport living in London at the turn of the century. Escaping the States from a heroic deed while acting as a U.S. Marshall in the wild west and an incident involvi
Clockstein Lockstein
The Frightened Man by Kenneth Cameron is the first in a possible series about American former military man Denton now living in London at the end of the 19th century. Denton has become well-known as a writer, but when a man comes to his door claiming knowledge about the decade old crimes of Jack the Ripper, he dismisses the terrified man as a crackpot. When the morning's newspapers gives details about the brutal murder of a young prostitute, Denton can't help wonder if it is connected to his vis ...more
Feb 25, 2014 Moira rated it liked it
I am devouring Kenneth Cameron novels at the moment, finding them intriguing, well written and balancing detection, murder and humor. I didn't find Denton came to life for me in spite of the many details about him. Atkins, on the other hand, is alive - very funny and well drawn, Janet Striker is interesting and I await developments in her life and relationship with Denton. Thorough research and details of photography add to the interest. Cameron really knows London thoroughly too.
Donna Zigmont
Jan 19, 2014 Donna Zigmont rated it liked it
This book was on my recommended list from good reads. I was excited to read it because I like things about Jack The Ripper. I like books that have different takes and angles on the Ripper case. I really enjoyed Dust and Shadow which was also recommended by good reads.That being said,I gave three stars to be generous. I liked the idea of the story,but reading it was different. I couldn't get into the story and none of the characters appealed to me in the least. I wanted to like the book I really ...more
Colleen Graves
Nov 17, 2010 Colleen Graves rated it really liked it
This crime novel set in historic London focuses on the murder of a prostitute that a "frightened man" believes to be killed by Jack the Ripper. Having recently returned from London, I enjoyed the descriptions of the "operating theater", Whitechapel, and Aldgate. I tried to go on my own Jack the Ripper tour whilst there, and got quite scared wondering in back alleys in the bad part of town! The narrator of this book is an American in London and is supposed to be writing a book, but is instead try ...more
Jun 13, 2012 Andrea rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries

This story started out as one that I wasn't so sure about. It turned into a thoroughly intriguing and enjoyable read. It definitely took sometime to get up to speed, but once it did it was well worth it. I felt uncertain about the characters as well, then they grew on me. Now, I can say that I look forward to reading and finding out more about them. Denton the main character an American author living in London at first appears only to be a rogue and opportunist, yet there is much more to him th
Dec 08, 2009 Brandon rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2014 Tammy rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. It took a little time for me to get into, but once I did, I didn't want to put it down. I look forward to reading more if this series!
Feb 09, 2011 Sidney rated it really liked it
Denton, the central character, and the London-of-1900 setting make for an interesting mixture in this thriller. Denton is an ex-soldier and former U.S. Marshall who's settled in London to write Poe-like stories. In this first book in the series he's enlisted by the title character who thinks he may have witnessed a new murder by Jack the Ripper. Denton's clashes with police, his feisty valet and his own investigation as well as period detail make for interesting reading. This is not a complex pu ...more
Oct 11, 2009 Heidi rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I liked this book which read more like a short story, but rather more for the interesting characters, especially Denton and Janet Stryker. I have to say it seemed more historical fiction than mystery. It showed a pitiful side of London at the turn of the century-- treatment of women was ghastly-- the scenes at the home for wayward mothers and the turn in the mystery was an interesting blend of social commentary and justice being served.

Cameron did an excellent job transporting the reader to earl
Theresa Mcewen
Jul 15, 2015 Theresa Mcewen rated it liked it
Entertaining summer read.
K.B. Hallman
I wanted to love this book, but I felt that the author held back or was restrained by his editor. Over and over I saw potential for really incredible writing, but sadly it was never realized. The characters were tolerable but not-quite likable. The plot is good and several scenes were almost great. At one point, Denton is complaining about his editor who didn't really understand Denton's work and I believe that Cameron probably had his own editor and his own situation in mind at that point.
Dec 18, 2014 Sonya rated it liked it
Interesting plot but the characters needed more developing. Also, the conversations between the characters were always argumentative or strained. However, there is a twist at the end and I liked how a love interest was starting to take place.
The Frightened Man by Kenneth Cameron was set in London at the beginning of the twentieth century. The plot, pace, and ending were a little bit lacking. Yet, the protagonist (known as Denton), was quite a neat literary creation because of his conflicted, dour, but intelligent personality. Cameron really succeeded at describing the gritty, crowded and constantly changing setting of London, England.
Dec 29, 2012 Jennie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Typical cardboard amateur detective-with-a-haunted-past knows more than the local police. Not much to like about him because there's not much about him that's original, except maybe the whole Sam Elliott-meets-Punch way he's described. Features an 8-page, excrutiatingly detailed autopsy scene and two pages of him working out in his attic. In 1900 London. Not that it wouldn't happen, but whatever.
I wasn't sure whether I would like this book. I generally enjoy historical mysteries, but yet another "is this return of Jack the Ripper?" mystery?

I was pleasantly surprised. The main characters are interesting. The dialog isn't jarring. The descriptions set the stage well. And the whole Ripper thing doesn't overwhelm the story.

I will definitely look for the other books in this series.
Jul 20, 2009 Maryellen rated it really liked it
Denton, an American in London, is visited by a man who swears Jack the Ripper is after him. Then a prostitute is brutally murdered. Denton goes in search of the killer. Interesting characters with good historical details. Believable premise. Good plot. The author had previously written espionage books. Not sure if this will be a series, too bad if it isn't. I like many of the characters.
Jun 12, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
I saw this book while browsing through the New Fiction section at my local library. I've always enjoyed Jack the Ripper-esque stories, so I checked it out to give it a try.

Although I enjoyed the detective nature of the main character, Denton, I thought that the story slowed down dramatically in the middle.

This book was enjoyable, but I probably wouldn't read it again.

Dec 21, 2009 Gloria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older Male Readers
Shelves: mystery
Similar in style to a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Clues methodically emerge and the final revelation makes perfect sense eventually though you cannot see it coming because the clues come slowly. Little emotional attachment to any characters. Violence is presented after-the-fact so the sense of gore/evil is lessened though it is still graphic.
While The Frightened Man has a horrifying set-up—one that seems to promise a thrilling read—the pace slows as the story continues. In the end, it leaves too many questions unanswered, and the payoff simply isn’t enough.

Read the full review at:
May 25, 2010 Stacy rated it did not like it
I hate it when I just browse the shelves because I usually get something that disappoints. I should be patient and wait for the books I've put on hold. Problems: story not engaging, being too aware of the author and dialogue that just didn't exist back then. Take a pass at this selection.
Feb 06, 2010 Heidi rated it really liked it
very dark but very good book. The crimes are extremely disturbing...reminds me of Anne Perry but more graphic. Compelling characters and great atmosphere. The soldier-servant Atkins is a great counterpoint to Denton and helps lighten the mood. I look forward to the next story.
Georgia Lengyel
May 16, 2014 Georgia Lengyel rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I had a hard time getting interested in the book in the beginning. I almost put it down. Once It got interesting, I couldn't put it down. I figured out who the murderer was about one page before Denton did. Really a good book and an interesting series.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Kenneth Cameron, AKA George Bartram, is a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer, the author and co-author of more than thirty books, including historical novels and novels of espionage, a critical history of the African safari, and an award-winning analysis of films about A
More about Kenneth M. Cameron...

Other Books in the Series

Denton (7 books)
  • The Bohemian Girl (Denton, #2)
  • The Second Woman (Denton, #3)
  • The Haunted Martyr (Denton)
  • The Backward Boy (Denton, #5)
  • The Past Master
  • The Oxford Fellow: Denton Mystery Book 7

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