My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The first of the The Galveston Quartet consists of Galveston 1900 : Indignities, The Arrival which I have reviewed earlier. The second in the series is Galveston 1900 : Indignities, The Aftermath.
During the climatic portion of the first book, it is the devastating storm of 1900 that changes the tranquil world of Catherine Merit. She has come through a lot of struggles.
Catherine had arrived in Galveston, Texas as a young girl of sixteen from Sandgate, England. She had accompanied her mother to USA after the rest of their family was wiped out in a tragic series of illnesses and accidents.
Soon Catherine finds herself in St. Mary’s orphanage when her mother is killed by David Brooks, a pathological serial killer. She is rescued from the orphanage and looks forward to a happy married life with John Merit. But David Brooks is now fixated on Catherine and will not rest until he has kidnapped and ravaged her.
Aftermath brings Catherine to Beaumont, Texas. Her life with John Merit was ruined when the storm freed David Brooks from the prison. He returns to kidnap Catherine again. This time he takes her far away and threatens her with bodily harm to her and others if she dares escape.
Is Catherine doomed to spend her life as a captive of the psychopathic David Brooks? Or will the kind Alex Cooper, who has taken a shine to Catherine, do something to rescue her?
When the novel started, the first chapter or so was a bit of a drag. This was because it was a recapitulation of the previous book. Once the story got into its stride it was again a smooth eventful read, just like the preceding book in the series, The Arrival.
The book is beautifully researched and depicts the way of life a hundred years ago in the fast developing State of Texas in the USA. From the clothes the women wore, the way they traveled (by a buggy mostly), the way policing was done, how basic the methods of criminal investigation were, the way people lived, their dependence on churches. All these details make the turn of the previous century come alive.
The story is very compelling and it keeps you turning pages. The writing is superb. The prose is clean and uncluttered and simple. I can’t wait to order the rest of the books and read them up.
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