“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion--and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”
Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, 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 it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.
I loved Jackaby because it reminded me so much of BBC's Sherlock. It felt like I was watching another episode of that show.
This book was filled with mystery, adventure, suspense, sarcasm, and humor. Jackaby himself was an indeed curious character. If I had to compare him with someone, I'd say he was a mix between Sherlock and the 11th Doctor from Doctor Who. Can you imagine that?
He was incredibly smart, yet completely naive at the same time. He was so sure of himself that he would sometimes come off as snobby and stuck up. However Jackaby was always a step ahead. Which is why it makes his interactions with Abigail, his assistant (think, a Watson to Jackaby's Sherlock or a companion to the Doctor) all the more interesting.
Abigail is not extraordinarily smart. She does not know that much of paranormal creatures. For all purposes, she's just like any other human. However she gives Jackaby something he didn't have before: "an insight into the human mind". She certainly holds her own as a character and really stands as a tremendously strong female. She may not be as smart as Jackaby, but she is street smart, she is cunning, and she is brave.
The storyline is completely engrossing; the paranormal aspect is very well done and completely believable. The mystery and the whole "whodunnit" aspect was so good! I was turning the pages as fast as I could to find out the mystery.
I loved the setting, too. I felt like I could've easily been walking around the streets with Jackaby and Abigail with how amazingly detailed the setting was.
Overall, Jackaby was a very entertaining story with awesome characters, a gripping mystery, excellent writing, and an engrossing atmosphere. You definitely do not want to miss out on this one.