Melanie Trevelyan's Reviews > The English Monster or The Melancholy Transactions of William Ablass

The English Monster or The Melancholy Transactions of William... by Lloyd Shepherd
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's review
May 12, 2012

it was amazing
Recommended to Melanie by: The author
Read from May 01 to 12, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 1

I enjoyed this book as it was quite different from most of the other books out there at the moment! Combining the grimy dockyards of Wapping and the exotic Jamaica.
The story combines a shipping expedition to collect slaves and the descriptions of the capture of the slaves and the treatment of them is detailed and disturbing making the title The English Monster very apt. What happens to Billy Ablass on one of these expeditions is startling and links the two parts of the story together.
Two centuries later someone is committing grisly murders, again the detail of these scenes is not for the faint hearted! Suspects come and a go but the lack of authority and the disarray of the magistrates make catching the one responsible more difficult. As slavery becomes outlawed it is driven underground, slave ships refitted or quietly sold on.
The Royal Society is holding secrets as well, and has been for some time, it is only when the unofficial investigation of Horton takes decisive action that the true horror from both sides is put to rest. The detail in the book is credible and informative and the characters vivid. The sense of the different environments in which the characters find themselves in are vibrant and captivating, this may not be an 'easy' read in the sense of the subject matter but it will make you think and is definitely worth a look.
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