‘The Night in Question’ – Laurie Graham

The Night in Question

 

This is the first book of Laurie Graham’s that I’ve read, and I think it helped hugely that it was set in a time period that interests me.

First and foremost, I must say that the character of Dot Allbones was intriguing. A woman of advancing years, I foundĀ Dot was a character that I enjoyed listening to. Having moved to London to pursue a career in the music halls, we can see that Dot is part of what we might consider a bygone time. Things are changing around her, and, though she is reluctant to accommodate some of these changes, she is a keen observer of those she comes into contact with.

For the first part of the book, Graham takes her time to establish Dot as a character and to help us see the full details of her daily life. There’s a lot of information given in the novel about what life on the stage would have been like, and some of thisĀ felt more like background details given to establish the historical context than details that were relevant to the story.

In my mind, the book got interesting at the point that we start to hear of gruesome murders in and around the Whitechapel area. Thankfully the details of the crimes committed by Jack the Ripper are limited, but there’s enough to convey a sense of the horror that would have been around at the time.

I’m not entirely sure how close to the facts the novel remains, but it’s an entertaining story that keeps you engaged.