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People of Abandoned Character

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Marry in haste . . . Murder at leisure?London, 1888: Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. After a passionate honeymoon, she returns home with her new husband wrapped around her little finger. But then everything changes.

Thomas's behavior becomes increasingly volatile and violent. He stays out all night, returning home bloodied and full of secrets.
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Hardcover, 432 pages
Expected publication: May 1st 2021 by Head of Zeus (first published October 1st 2020)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  114 ratings  ·  73 reviews


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Miriam Smith
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Clare Whitfield’s, “People of Abandoned Character” was one of the easiest five stars I’ve ever awarded to a book. Victorian London, a unique take on Jack the Ripper and an atmospheric location with descriptions the best I’ve read, I could have kept reading this for days, with every single page keeping me entertained.
“Susannah, a nurse at The London hospital, rushes into marriage with a young and wealthy surgeon Thomas Lancaster. After a passionate honeymoon, they return home to Chelsea but ever
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Pat
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea what to expect from this but, wow, for a debut novel in a genre I rarely read, kudos to the author for this book. Susannah Chapman, a plain woman with few prospects, has been trapped caring for her ailing grandmother for years. When granny finally expires Susannah, aged 27, is finally free to pursue a career in nursing to provide her with a basic living. She moves to London and qualifies as a nurse but then she meets the dashing and charming surgeon, Dr Thomas Lancaster. The doctor ...more
Rob
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A historical mystery published 2020
A debut novel from Clare Whitfield and what a debut it turned out to be.
This is a warts and all depiction of what life was like in the East End of London in the late 1800s.
In the 1800s London was the epicentre on the financial, military and political world. Yet for all it’s dominating power the life for the denizens of London’s east end was appalling. The filth, the squaller, the venereal disease and public drunkenness was, by modern day standards, out of cont
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Lou
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
People of Abandoned Character is a historical crime thriller and Clare Whitfield's debut novel, set against the backdrop of Jack the Ripper's hunting ground of late-nineteenth-century Whitechapel, London. Susannah, a nurse at The London Hospital, rushes headlong into a marriage with young, affluent surgeon Thomas Lancaster. They've barely made it home to Chelsea from their honeymoon before it suddenly dawns on Susannah that Thomas's charming disposition is changing, either that or the facade he ...more
Louise Wilson
London, 1888: Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. When they return from honeymoon, she has her husband wrapped around her little finger. But Thomas's behaviour becomes increasingly volatile and violent. He stays out all night, returning home bloodied and full of secrets. When the first woman in Whitechapel is murdered, Susannah's interest is piqued. Everytime Thomas stays out late, someone is found dead. Is it a coincidence or is her husband Jack the Ripper?

Nurse Susan
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Jess
An absolute belter – what would you do if you suspected you had married Jack the Ripper?

People of Abandoned Character is a wonderfully twisty and atmospheric thriller that examines the utter fragility of a woman’s place in the world of Victorian London. It is devastating to learn how easily one could become impoverished, a ‘fallen woman’ as it were, and how difficult it would be to then forge your own freedom. Lost to the underbelly of Whitechapel, where even other women posed a threat - ready t
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Louise Wilson
Sep 30, 2020 rated it liked it
London, 1888: Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. When they return from honeymoon, she has her husband wrapped around her little finger. But Thomas's behaviour becomes increasingly volatile and violent. He stays out all night, returning home bloodied and full of secrets. When the first woman in Whitechapel is murdered, Susannah's interest is piqued. Everytime Thomas stays out late, someone is found dead. Is it a coincidence or is her husband Jack the Ripper?

Nurse Susan
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Bookread2day
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review is on my website www.bookread2day.wordpress.com
Twitter @bookpage5

What would you do if you thought you had married a murder? He is my husband!

Honestly if you are going to read any book in October, this has got to be high up on the list.

Susannah is to become a nurse at London hospital, in Whitechapel. In 1888 susannah a nurse and Thomas a doctor were married in St Jude’s Whitechapel.

After they were married Thomas takes his wife Susannah back to his house. Thomas has a housekeeper, Mrs
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4cats
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My bookselling spidersense is telling me that People of Abandoned Character should be on every bookseller's lips. The narrative is told through Susannah, a nurse working at the London hospital, whilst there she finds herself being charmed by a wealthy surgeon. After a hasty marriage things begin to change, Thomas is no longer charming, he becomes secretive, the only person he seems to trust is their housekeeper Mrs Wiggs. Susannah finds herself alone and when a woman is murdered in Whitechapel, ...more
✰  BJ's Book Blog ✰Janeane ✰
Copy received via Netgalley for an honest review

This is Clare Whitfield's debut novel, and it is one that I enjoyed.

I love true crime, and I have been fascinated by Jack The Ripper for many years now.

People of Abandoned Character is a warts and all story of life in Victorian England, the slums of London and the people who live there.

I liked how we are taken on one woman's journey and the questions she asks about her husband.

Is he Jack The Ripper?

I am sure many wived/girfriends/friends/family won
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Karen
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to follow but I really enjoyed this
Catherine
He is my husband.

To honour and obey.

Until murder do us part.

London, 1888: Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. After a passionate honeymoon, she returns home with her new husband wrapped around her little finger. But then everything changes.

Thomas's behaviour becomes increasingly volatile and violent. He stays out all night, returning home bloodied and full of secrets.

When the first woman is murdered in Whitechapel, Susannah's interest is piqued. But as she follows the r
...more
Angela
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“People of Abandoned Character” by Clare Whitfield is a real page-turner! Its tone is grim, but the twists and turns of the plot make it a compulsive read.

Susannah Chapman leaves her home in Reading to become a nurse in the London Hospital in Whitechapel. Whitechapel in the late 19th century was a dire place: slums, prostitutes, disease and utter poverty….and before long, a place identified with a notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper.

At the hospital, Susannah meets young Doctor Lancaster. He
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Connie
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nurse Susannah Chapman thinks her dream has come true when she marries a young doctor. But the dream ends with the honeymoon and the mental and physical abuse begins.
Thomas - Susannah's husband - becomes secretive and stays out most nights, eventually returning in the early hours covered in what appears to be blood and seems only to confide in their housekeeper Mrs Wiggs.
So when the Whitechapel murders begin Susannah suspects her husband could be Jack the Ripper.
Susannah has kept her own secre
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Lel Budge
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Susannah’s last remaining grandparent has died, so now alone, she decides to move to London and train to be a nurse.

Here she meets Thomas, a wealthy surgeon and after a whirlwind romance they marry. But, as soon as the honeymoon is over a different side of Thomas emerges. He’s moody, violent and abusive, he begins staying out all night, returning home bloodied and secretive.

Then, the murders begin in Whitechapel…..

Susannah begins to wonder if Thomas is the notorious Jack The Ripper……..and wants
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Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)
'He is my husband.
To honour and obey.
Until murder do us part.'


Now this was something rather different indeed!

People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield is published today ( Oct 1st) with Head of Zeus and is a book that brings Victorian London alive with powerful descriptions and a gripping tale. Described as ‘a chilling debut thriller’ it is quite difficult to believe that this is the first novel from Clare Whitfield. Inspired by Jack the Ripper, it recounts the story of Susannah Chapm
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Jeanette Lewis
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For a first book this read reveals a fabulous talent and a bright future for this author.

The book starts in a pretty straightforward fashion with the main character of Susannah Chapman with a few side stories that add to the body of the read. It's the year of 1885 where after the funeral of her grandmother with bags already packed Susannah heads for London. Even though she has a small inheritance from her grandmother's estate she knows it won't be enough to live on, so the cottage is rented out
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Joy (Books with Joy)
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
An absolute ripper of a book. What would you do if you suspected the man you loved and married was a serial killer?

People of Abandoned Character is a grim and brutal atmospheric thriller convoluted with abrupt twists and dark turns. Some twists I anticipated whilst others were unexpected. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the tumultuous ride and devoured this book in one sitting.

Set in 1880’s Victorian England, this novel follows a young woman named Susannah, as she navigates her life from ward nurse to a
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Tilly Fitzgerald
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well what a bloody terrifying and atmospheric read this was!

When Susannah marries Thomas Lancaster she can’t quite believe her luck. A handsome, wealthy surgeon who other women covet has chosen her - a tall, plain woman born to a prostitute in Whitechapel with no family left. Yet once the honeymoon is over, Susannah soon realises that she got the short straw in this marriage as Thomas becomes controlling, cruel and violent, and she has to put up with the condescension of his housekeeper Mrs Wigg
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Sarah
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
‘People of Abandoned Character’ is Clare Whitfield’s first novel; full marks for an eye-catching title. It’s also a great idea to explore late Victorian London through the eyes of the wife of Jack the Ripper – or is he? Having recently read ‘Five’, the brilliant historical exposition of his victims, by Hallie Rubenhold, I was hoping for another intelligent exploration of a Victorian woman’s lot, albeit it fictional, intertwined with a Gothic thriller. Sadly, this was not to be.
The novel suffers
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Melisende
To think I nearly gave up on this. It wasn't quite holding my fascination, but the premise promised so much that I continued on. And OMG! What a finish! About halfway through things start to move - think gothic fiction along the lines of "Gaslight" and "Rebecca" and you'll know what you are in for.

Just as Alice was led down the the rabbit hole by the White Rabbit, so Whitfield leads the reader through the crime-ridden sordid streets of Victorian Whitechapel, an area of overcrowding and abject po
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Kristen
Wow. This book was not at all what I had imagined but to be honest; I picked it because of the title; I didn’t even read the synopsis.
Susannah Chapman is a nurse in a London hospital when she is charmed and courted by one of the enigmatic doctors, a Mr Thomas Lancaster. After all every nurse’s dream is to be swept of their feet by a surgeon right?
This is the 1800s so that’s actually a bit true.

But Thomas is not as he seems and shortly after they marry, his personality is almost unrecognisable t
...more
AtomicBooks
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-books-read
What a great gritty atmospheric historical fiction novel. This book is very dark, and full of perfect observations about Victorian, and modern society too! This book is definitely not a romantic romp through history in fact it is quite macabre. This is a very dark and disturbing novel but all the more real and dramatic for it. This story fully immerses you in the notorious World of Jack the Ripper and the Victorian underworld of Whitechapel. This is definitely a five star psychological historica ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
‘We married in St Jude’s, Whitechapel, a tiny dilapidated church that appeared to have sprouted like a fungus between two unconcerned buildings in Commercial Street.'

In 1888, Susannah Chapman, a nurse, married Thomas Lancaster, a wealthy young doctor. Because of her marriage, she loses her position (and independence). And shortly afterwards, she discovers that Thomas is not the man she thought he was. Her affectionate husband becomes moody and volatile, and prone to staying out at night.

When the
...more
Jessica (Read book. Repeat)
You can find this review and all of my others over at www.readbookrepeat.wordpress.com

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Head of Zeus, and the author via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating of 2.75

The year is 1888, and Susannah Chapman is toiling away to become a full fledged nurse when she meets Thomas, a wealthy surgeon who has eyes just for her. After marrying rather quickly, and experience a wonderful honeymoon. The couple return home to begin their l
...more
Jen
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book had me hooked in one summary sentence: What would you do if your thought your husband was Jack the Ripper? You’re intrigued, right? And so sets the scene for this tantalising Gothic historical novel set in 1888. It follows Susannah Chapman, the woman who believes she may have made a terrible mistake with her choice of husband…

Who was Jack the Ripper? Technically a nickname given to an uncaught serial killer; one of history’s most intriguing and talked about unsolved crimes – which is w
...more
Kate: The Quick and the Read
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am obsessed with anything set in the Victorian era and have read a lot about the Jack the Ripper murders. With that in mind, I came to this book with lots of enthusiasm and a little bit of trepidation - I am a bit of a stickler for historical accuracy when a writer is using events that are so well documented as the basis for their story.

I needn't have worried at all - I was in safe hands with Clare Whitfield who has produced a well-researched and absolutely compelling book.

The story follows a
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Jeannie Zelos
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People of Abandoned Character, Clare Whitfield

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: General Fiction (adult), Mystery & Thrillers.

Well, my reading recently, in the midst of Covid19, has been patchy, with usual favourites genres unable to hold my attention. Talking to friends I'm not alone. This one though, this story had me gripped, took me away from 2020 and back into the late 1800s. I know little of the history of the murders, only what I've read in fiction, and what we all pick up from
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Michelle Ryles
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
As one of England's most famous murderers, Jack the Ripper still continues to fascinate us over 130 years later. His identity remains unknown and Clare Whitfield has chosen to base her amazing debut novel around this, with Susannah Lancaster suspecting that her husband is the Whitechapel murderer. I have to say that I absolutely adored this book; I raced through it faster than I have ever read historical fiction, devouring every single perfectly crafted word.

Susannah Chapman, a nurse at The Lond
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Pile By the Bed
Oct 29, 2020 rated it liked it
The story of Jack the Ripper is a gift that keeps on giving for crime fiction. There is a long list of Ripper-based fiction and investigation and involvement of famous authors going back to Arthur Conan Doyle and including, recently, the likes of Alan Moore and Patricia Cornwall. So it may seem like a fraught or at least overdone world to plunge into but in her debut People of Abandoned Character, Claire Whitfield does so and with some interesting results.
Susannah Chapman moves back to London fr
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