Mathew J. Kirby's newest book takes place in 1888 and features two historical events: the murders attributed to Jack the Ripper and the health decline of Joseph Merrick, who is also known as the Elephant Man.
Evelyn Fellows suffers a physical deformity in her jaw as a result of working in a match factory. After facing harsh judgements and brutality in the world, she seeks safety in a hospital as a nurse. Instead, she lands a job as a maid to Joseph Merrick, a man whose unknown disease and physical deformity gave him the nickname, the Elephant Man. Although she is at first repulsed by his appearance, she discovers nothing but kindness and sincerity from Joseph.
Shortly after becoming his maid, Evelyn and Joseph are tormented by apparitions of women who recently have died by the hands of the dreaded Leather Apron, who later is known as Jack the Ripper. As the apparitions increase in frequency and degree of violence, they take a toll on Joseph's health, and he takes a turn for the worse. In order to save his health, Evelyn ventures out on the streets and investigates the lives of the deceased women, hoping to find a way to allow the apparitions to finish their business and discover peace on the other side.
"A Taste For Monsters" is not for the faint of heart. The novel is dark and shrouded in suspense. Readers should be aware the murders are written in detail and contain many similar facts to crimes committed by the real Jack the Ripper in the 1880s. Additionally, the novel has many sexual innuendos and references as Evelyn interacts with different characters of the opposite sex on the streets. Finally, readers should be advised the ending is violent and doesn't necessarily end on a happy note. The book doesn't contain objectionable language.
Kirby is an Edgar Award winning author and lives in Utah. He has written many young adult novels, including "Icefall" and "Last Descendants: An Assassin's Creed Novel Series." "A Taste for Monsters" is his debut novel in the horror genre.
If you go
What: Matthew J. Kirby book launch
When: Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m.
Where: Provo City Library, 550 N. University Ave., Provo
Lauren McAfee is a librarian assistant at Cedar City Public Library. She manages the social media platform, writes grants and assist with other outreach efforts in the community. Her email is email@example.com.