Domini Mortum by Paul Holbrook #DominiMortum

This is the story of Samuel Weaver, an illustrator and correspondent for The Illustrated Police News who uses his employer’s influence and money to enjoy unrestricted access to scenes of murder and crime. 

His obsession with a series of child murders committed in Whitechapel six years earlier lead him to a chilling pattern of killings that have just begun in Paddington, and people who believe a higher power is responsible .

The journey will push Weaver to his limits and cause him to question everything that he believes and everyone that he trusts. Domini Mortum is a dark, fast paced adventure which rattles through the cobbled streets of Victorian London and York, visits villages haunted by the terrible deeds of the past, and comes face to face with high society, where power and corruption have sunk to new depths.

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First of all, many thanks to The Pigeonhole and Unbound Digital for the opportunity to read this novel in staves. If you want to know more about The Pigeonhole, do check out this blogpostby @GingerCatBlog.

If the Victorian Age is your favourite era and Jack the Ripper your favourite villain, if you like your reads dark, gothic, gory and with a few litres of blood and many pounds of flesh, then this is the novel for you.

This is a multi-layered, mind-bending story. Paul Holbrook has a beautiful writing style, almost poetic at times, but without reverting to any kind of purple prose. Despite the blood and gore, there are no cheap thrills in this novel; there’s a purpose behind every gruesome detail.

Our main character, Sam Weaver, definitely has some psychopathic tendencies and it was fun discovering what lies beneath his charming exterior. We discover Sam’s past through flashbacks and I found those confusing at times, although that probably says more about me than about the book, since few of the other Pigeonhole readers seemed to have that problem. I, however, prefer flashbacks neatly announced by a Thenor a Before, or marked by a different font.

Although interested in Sam’s story, I failed to connect with him, which is why I liked this novel, but didn’t love it, I was never fully invested, never completely immersed. I’d love to tell why that is, and I’ll let you know once I figure it out myself, because I can’t for the life of me put my finger on it (and believe me, I tried). I can tell you this though: I Loved (yes, capital L) the ending, the finale was awesome!

So if you’re on the fence about this one, I’d urge you to give it a try. Chances are you won’t regret it.

About the author

Paul Holbrook is a writer from North Yorkshire. 

Although rushing headlong towards middle age at a nauseating speed, Paul only started writing with any serious intent a couple of years ago after finding that his subconscious had been unnaturally busy, trapping an ever growing and dangerous gang of ideas deep within his brain. 

This fragile cage, in which they had been sat drumming their fingers and dreaming of freedom for so long, had reached bursting point and so he decided that the only safe thing to do, for all concerned, was to release some of them into the community.

It started, as all terrible addictions do, small and seemingly harmless.

First a couple of poems, then the odd short story, until finally, one morning, he awoke with a fully formed 112,000 word novel in his head waiting to be written. Before stopping to think of the consequences he scribbled it down in a little over eight months and promptly started another straight afterwards… the fool.

Paul currently spends his days working at a secondary school, supporting the development of the next Great British generation and his nights plotting and planning the next Great British novel.

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