Book Review: Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves
Using the real-life Jack the Ripper case as the premise for a novel isn’t a new idea. It has, in fact, been done many times. However, Amy Carol Reeves novel, Ripper takes that piece of notorious crime history and uses it in a unique and interesting way. The result is a rollicking good read, full of twists and turns and an ending just begging for a sequel.
The real life Jack the Ripper case has been the subject of study and fascination for over a hundred years. The fact that the Ripper was never caught and that the murders themselves were so heinous and grisly- especially in a time of supposed grace and gentility- makes for excellent fodder for speculation among historians, criminologists and yes… fiction authors. While most “Ripper” novels of my experience concentrate on the experiences of or the pursuit of a particular suspect, Reeves takes a somewhat unique approach by having her central character and voice, Arabella ( Abbie) Sharp dropped center stage into one of the most notorious crimes in history.
Abbie, having grown up outside the confines and restrictions of a girl of her social station, she returns to London under her grandmother’s care after the death of her mother. In an effort to curb Abbie’s somewhat unconventional tendencies, her grandmother arranges for her to do volunteer work in the Whitechapel Hospital in London’s impoverished East End. Almost as soon as Abbie begins working there, the first of the “Ripper” killings begins.
While the infamous events going on at the time would ordinarily be the focus of the story, Reese uses the killings quite effectively as a backdrop to Abbie’s personal experiences and dramas. It is only as the story evolves that the reader can see how intricately Reese has woven the threads of Arabella’s life and that of the Ripper murders into a rich tapestry of mystery, intrigue… and a splash of the paranormal.
Geared towards the 12 and up Young Adult audience Ripper is a rollicking good read for more mature audiences. A fact to which I can whole-heartedly attest. Set for release in April 2012, this is one you’ll want to have on your Spring reading list.
Review by, Brenda Seward ~ Simple Pleasures Books
Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves, published by Flux Books ( http://www.FluxNow.com) will release in April 2012.
For more information on the author visit her website at : http://www.amycarolreeves.com/