Jackaby by William Ritter Review

Title: Jackaby

Author: William Ritter

Narrator: Nicola Barber

Publisher:  Highbridge, a division of Recorded Books

Format: Audible

Publication Date: September 16, 2014

Overall:4 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1890, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary – including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant.

On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local police seem adamant to deny.

While Abigail finds herself drawn to Jackaby’s keen intelligence and his sensitivity to phenomena others barely perceive, her feelings are confused by the presence of Charlie, a handsome young policeman willing to help Jackaby and Abigail on the case. But is Charlie’s offer a sincere desire to be of service, or is some darker motive at work.

I listened to this book via the Audiobook, and it was one of the few times where getting it through the library didn’t work for me, and I ended up downloading it via Audible. This narrator was painfully slow at the default setting, and via Hoopla the sound turned very tinny, once in Audible I even turned it up faster than I would otherwise simply because it was so so slow. Once I got the speed adjusted I quickly became engrossed in the book. I love the twist of the real world and supernatural here, and Abigail and Jackaby are superb characters.

The quirkiness of Jackaby was especially endearing, given his abrasive nature I would not have expected him to be so open minded in having a woman be his assistant. However Jackaby remained professional and quite amusing. I loved the additions of Jenny and Douglas as side characters. We do get the background on Douglas but I admit to being intrigued by the notion of Jenny. I’d really love to get her story! Abigail was also a refreshing change of pace, because she is a feminist at a time when it is not a good thing to be. I did keep wondering why no one was concerned about a young lady traveling by herself and then in the employ/staying with a man who is not a relative. People do warn her, but mostly that Jackaby is fraud and not because it is improper to live with a man who is not her husband.

The writing here is fantastic and there are many humorous lines that while Jackaby did intend for them to be so is a subtle sarcasm and phrasing. I think it speaks to the author’s talent that he was able to write it so well. Overall I would give it 4 out of 5 stars, and will probably read the next book via an eBook since it might solve the slow narration issue I’m having.

4/5 – An Enjoyable Read, Well Written

**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**


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“I have ceased concerning myself with how things look to others, Abigail Rook. I suggest you do the same. In my experience, others are generally wrong.”
-Jackaby, William Ritter