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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Lieutenant Doug Emery is on the hunt for an elusive serial killer who never leaves fingerprints or any evidence other than the mutilated bodies of his victims. Tired and frustrated, Doug spends time at a bar one evening when a strange man－who later called himself Sam Browne－offers his help to crack the case. The seasoned investigator soon finds out that the killer was responsible for the infamous butchery in the past which earned him the name Jack the Ripper. It’s a piece of information that gives Doug hope of stopping the killer once and for all, but will he and his unlikely partner get the killer in time before another life is claimed?
Set in 1970s Michigan, with flashbacks to late 19th-century Whitechapel, London, Thomas Stacey’s The Sam Browne is a sci-fi crime thriller where a noble mission to save the heritage of a civilization from another planet took a horrible turn. I found the alternative approach to the Jack the Ripper mystery fascinating and refreshing. Written in a straightforward narrative and clear prose, the plot is streamlined and has a solid pace. The characters have distinct personalities and motivations, including relatable strengths and flaws. Doug Emery is a no-nonsense investigator who's easily likable, and Stacey humanized the killer's weaknesses in some aspects that I found intriguing. The element of suspense is high, especially towards the end, and kept me on the edge of my seat. Overall, The Sam Browne is an entertaining read and by the way the story concludes, readers can surely expect a sequel.