Alice and Patrick go to the asylum.
A lady receives them, and Alice learns that her sister fled from the asylum a year before, and according to this woman, she sent notification to Alice’s father when that happened. We get the impression that many of the women are in the asylum because they refuse to do what they are told, mainly marry those men who their families have chosen. Once Alice gets home, she confronts her father, who tells her how they had to send Bea away because she had become erratic and even threatened her mother with a knife. I wonder if that is the entire truth or there is something else in Bea’s behaviour. What surprises Alice’s father is when she tells her that Bea escaped from the asylum a year before. Then he produces a letter from the same woman who Alice talked, which he received just a few months ago, in which the woman gives him an update about Bea’s condition and advises him not to visit Bea for her own good. What does this mean? I imagine that the woman kept the fantasy that Bea was still one of the patients to keep receiving the money that I imagine Alice’s father is still paying. Then when Alice visited, she couldn’t pretend that Bea was still there and had to tell the truth.
Alice continues on her quest to find the truth. So since the trail to trace Bea in the asylum is no longer possible, she tries to find answers in Whitechapel. So she goes and visits Cora, who she now knows lives above the police station. Bea and Cora has a heart-to-heart conversation. I think Cora is too naive, considering where she lives, but she has no notion to refrain herself from asking certain personal questions. She doesn’t hesitate to ask Alice about her relationship with Henry Mercier, and Alice answers candidly. I am glad that Alice has realized that Henry is not for her, and she has her heart set on Patrick. Cora is sweet on Henry, but I am not sure if the girl has any chance to turn the man’s head. I think Henry is too stiff and arrogant for someone as sweet and soft-hearted as Cora.
Cora finally tells Alice about the letter she found among Martha’s things in the mortuary and why she decided to leave the envelope with Alice. What Cora refuses to do is to give more information about Bea. Cora knows that Bea is dead, but I imagine that she thinks it is not her place to tell Alice since she never saw the deed or even knew Bea. So she thinks it is Emma Alice should talk to.
I am really enjoying the book. It is not a typical Jack the Ripper story. It is a subplot and in the background there are the crimes, which are also a big part in the story.