Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Brutal Chill in August: A Novel of Polly Nichols, The First Victim of Jack the Ripper” as Want to Read:
A Brutal Chill in August: A Novel of Polly Nichols, The First Victim of Jack the Ripper
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Brutal Chill in August: A Novel of Polly Nichols, The First Victim of Jack the Ripper

(Jack the Ripper Victims Series #3)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  14 reviews
We all know about Jack the Ripper, the serial murderer who terrorized Whitechapel and confounded police in 1888, but how much do we really know about his victims?

Pursued by one demon into the clutches of another, the ordinary life of Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols is made extraordinary by horrible, inhuman circumstance. Jack the Ripper's first victim comes to life in this sensit
Kindle Edition, 252 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by IFD Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Brutal Chill in August, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Brutal Chill in August

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  28 ratings  ·  14 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Brutal Chill in August: A Novel of Polly Nichols, The First Victim of Jack the Ripper
Aug 26, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This copy of the book arrived with a signed book plate signed by Alan M. Clark.
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: word-horde
This​ ​volume​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Jack​ ​the​ ​Ripper​ ​Victim​ ​Series​ ​focuses​ ​on​ ​his​ ​first​ ​victim,​ ​Polly​ ​Nichols.​ ​A lifelong​ ​struggle​ ​with​ ​alcoholism,​ ​the​ ​physical​ ​abuse​ ​at​ ​the​ ​hands​ ​her​ ​husband​ ​Bill,​ ​and​ ​the disconnect​ ​with​ her​ ​children​ ​are​ ​just​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​baggage​ ​she​ ​carries​ ​through​ ​a​ ​hard​ ​life.​ ​There is​ ​always​ ​a rationalization​ ​for​ ​her​ ​behavior​ ​and​ ​the​ ​consequences. Her​ ​character​ ​is both​ ​rich​ ​and li ...more
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for a book filled with the gruesome details of Jack the Ripper's murders, or dwelling with loving length on the psychology of a serial killer, this book is not for you. Jack himself is, rightfully, relegated to just a few lines. Instead, this is a book chronicling something much more meaningful and yet even more horrible than the depraved actions of a single lunatic: the life and living conditions of working-class women in 19th-century London.

Based on Polly Nichols, the Ripper'
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Ripperology grinds on, obsessively picking over police documents, newspaper articles, dubious revelations and precarious inferences. Meanwhile, the thing we know for sure is that, between 1888 and 1889, at least five women were brutally murdered by a violent killer in the East End of London. So much Ripper-related literature, fact and fiction, seems to forget the human toll of Saucy Jack's reign of terror. Alan M Clark is doing us a great service, I think, by using research, imagination and mayb ...more
Lucii Dixon
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been looking forward to reading these series of books. I was so glad to hear that someone gave a voice the canonical five, victims of Jack the Ripper, and this didn’t disappoint. It’s a look at how her life MAY have been (yes, I know this is fiction but some of this could have really happened to her!). Although this was a fantastic read, I did find it repetitive, especially where it concerned the Bonehill Ghost AKA Mr. Macklin. He was mentioned so often, it got a little boring but I loved P ...more
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow...Word Horde. You've put out three of my favorite books I've read this year. The Fisherman, The Lure of Devouring Light and now A Brutal Chill in August. This was my first time reading Alan M Clark and not my last. Totally immersed in the story from the get go, all the way through until the very end. I didn't know what to expect at the end but certainly expected the worse for poor Polly Nichols. No spoilers here but the ending was perfect. I shut the book and all I could say was...Wow. ...more
In his introduction to A BRUTAL CHILL IN AUGUST, Alan Clark adds some historical context that I never knew before, despite being an avid follower of the Whitechapel killer. That fatal August was pretty chilly due to the eruption of Krakatoa that spread fine ash over the northern hemisphere. As I read this, I mentally bemoaned the inadequacy of history texts in presenting events in a broad enough context. My motto is that any day that I learn something new is a good day… so today is one of those ...more
Patricia Finnegan
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book 1 is a hit!

What a great start to a series about the victims of Jack the Ripper. No one will ever really know why he chose the women or why he committed these crimes. However, the author has done a wonderful job of showing how hard life was at this time. The choices that women had were limited. They learned at a young age that they were useful only as men's property. The story is sad but understandable. Alcohol provides calmness and prostitution provides some money.
This book is very well wr
Fee (Ebook Addicts)
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, read-in-2020
Elizabeth Engstrom
Another of Alan Clark's forays into the victims of Jack the Ripper. His portrayal of Polly Nichols and the socio-economic times she lived in are starkly revealed. Clark does his homework with this series of books and they are very good reads indeed. ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
 A Brutal Chill in August is a fictionalized accout of the life of Jack the Ripper Victim Polly Nichols.

I having listened to the first book in Alan's Jack the Ripper Victims Series I have to say I find the story to be very moving and amit to shedding a tear or two.The narrator Alicia Rose has the perfect voice for audiobooks and gives a realistic voice, to the authors tragic fictional but realistic portrayal of Polly Nichols life before she became the first victim of Jack Ripper.

Over all the aut
David Agranoff
Alan M. Clark is better known for his beautiful award winning covers and illustrations that have been in the interior and the covers of works from authors ranging from Stephen King to Cody Goodfellow. His art is amazing but many forget that he was also nominated for a Bram Stoker award for co-writing Siren Promised with Jeremy Robert Johnson. Alan of course has his artists eye for detail and has written historical horror before. Brutal Chill is the third in a series of novels about the victims o ...more
David Bridges
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an established fan of Alan M. Clark, I had no doubts I would enjoy A Brutal Chill In August, and the lack of doubt proved to be correct. Clark is a great writer in the gothic style no matter who or where he is writing about. With the exception of Michael McDowell, I do not know of any writer that I enjoying reading historical gothic ghost stories by more than Clark.

This book is a continuation of his Ripper victim series. I had previously read Say Anything But Your Prayers about Elizabeth Stri
William M.
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, dark-fiction
I first encountered Alan M. Clark from his amazing artwork on various book covers and interior illustrations. What a delight to discover that he was nearly as talented as a writer, as well. Like most horror fans, I have always had a fascination with Jack the Ripper. Perhaps the fact that he was never caught or how cleverly he avoided capture is the reason he is still so popular today. Regardless, I was a bit disappointed in his almost non-existent appearance in this book. I understand that it wa ...more
rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Nov 23, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jan 21, 2019
rated it really liked it
Oct 17, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2017
rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2017
rated it liked it
Oct 16, 2018
R.C. Mulhare
rated it really liked it
Sep 08, 2017
Melody Clark
rated it it was amazing
Dec 06, 2018
rated it really liked it
Sep 08, 2020
Keith N. Nicholson
rated it it was ok
Aug 04, 2018
donna brandon
rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2018
rated it liked it
Oct 15, 2018
Martin Sloan
rated it liked it
Nov 30, 2019
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • When No One is Watching
  • Getting to Center: Pathways to Finding Yourself Within the Great Unknown
  • Bunny
  • My Sister, My Love
  • Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, #2)
  • Friday Black
  • letting light in
  • The Secret Life of Anna Blanc (Anna Blanc Mysteries #1)
  • Survival Can Be Deadly: A Discount Detective Mystery
  • Christmas with Miss Read: A Country Christmas, Christmas at Fairacre, Christmas at Thrush Green
  • The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist's Solution
  • The Woman in the Camphor Trunk (Anna Blanc Mysteries #2)
  • In Servitude
  • Death by Baguette: A Valentine's Day Murder in Paris (Travel Can Be Murder #2)
  • She Loves Me (Harmony Pointe, #3)
  • Glow Girl
  • The Thief's Heart (The Letter Series #4)
See similar books…
Author and illustrator, Alan M. Clark grew up in Tennessee in a house full of bones and old medical books. His awards include the World Fantasy Award and four Chesley Awards. He is the author of seventeen books, including twelve novels, a couple of novellas, four collections of fiction, some of them lavishly illustrated, and a nonfiction full-color book of his artwork. Mr. Clark's company, IFD Pub ...more

Other books in the series

Jack the Ripper Victims Series (6 books)
  • Of Thimble and Threat: A Novel of Catherine Eddowes, the Fourth Victim of Jack the Ripper
  • Say Anything But Your Prayers: A Novel of Elizabeth Stride, the Third Victim of Jack the Ripper
  • Jack the Ripper Victims Series: The Double Event
  • Apologies to the Cat's Meat Man: A Novel of Annie Chapman, the Second Victim of Jack the Ripper
  • The Prostitute's Price: A Novel of Mary Jane Kelly, the Fifth Victim of Jack the Ripper

News & Interviews

  Melissa Albert burst onto the YA scene (and catapulted into readers' hearts) with her 2018 debut The Hazel Wood. This darkly fantastical...
49 likes · 3 comments