Last year I read one of the best fiction books I've come across in a very long time. Secrets of Sloane House by Shelley Gray was one of those novels you lose sleep over as you convince yourself that just one more chapter won't hurt your sleep any. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and my delight was doubled when I discovered the second book in the Chicago World's Fair Mystery series!
As much as I loved the first book in this series, I think this second one may be even better! I love a good historical novel, especially when the history is intertwined seamlessly as it is in Shelley Gray's novels. I never feel like I'm reading a textbook as I do with some author's and I'm always drawn to learn more about the time period presented.
The story opens where Secrets of Sloane House left off. The main characters were introduced towards the end of the previous novel and I was excited to see them more fully developed. Eloisa is a socialite, the woman every man desires to have on his arm, and the victim of rape. This secret which she guards very closely threatens to tear her apart as news begins to increase of the Society Slasher who is attacking women of her social standing all over the city.
In the midst of the turmoil Eloisa is drawn to an unlikely man for comfort and refuge. Sean Ryan, an Irish policeman from a very poor background, becomes the one person with whom she feels safe. Their social differences are enough, however, to give pause to even a friendship. As their relationship grows, so does the fear and danger gripping Chicago's elite.
Intrigue, romance, and faith are woven together into a beautiful novel. I had to force myself to set this aside and not simply read it in one setting. Although I love to read, there have been few books in recent memory which have captivated me as Shelly Gray's have. I hope there are more novels to come in this excellent series!
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook.com® <http://BookLook.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.