Monday, April 9, 2012

Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves

By Amy Carol Reeves
Published by Flux Books, April 8, 2012
360 pages (paperback)
Source: NetGalley

A paranormal mystery involving London's most notorious killer

In 1888, following her mother's sudden death, seventeen-year-old Arabella Sharp goes to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. At her grandmother's request, Abbie volunteers at Whitechapel Hospital, where she discovers a passion for helping the unfortunate women and children there.

But within days, female patients begin turning up brutally murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. Even more horrifying, Abbie starts having strange visions that lead her straight to the Ripper's next massacres. As her apparent psychic connection with the twisted killer grows stronger, Abbie is drawn into a deadly mystery involving the murders, her mother's shadowed past, and a secret brotherhood of immortals-who'll stop at nothing to lure Abbie into its "humanitarian" aims. (from NetGalley)

This is the second book about Jack the Ripper I have read in the past few months. While Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson was set in present-day London, Ripper is set during those terrifying months in 1888. What I find most interesting about both books is that the authors used paranormal/fantastical circumstances to explain how and why the killings were taking place. Due to the fact that books involve the horrific murders of several women, they are rather disturbing and, at the very least, creepy. But isn’t that what someone picking up a book about Jack the Ripper wants?

In Ripper, Amy Carol Reeves has created strong and vivid characters who reside and work in London. The contrast between wealthy London society and the city slums added substance to the book. Kinda-sorta-weird family stuff aside, this was a well written book with plenty of twists and turns along the way. The main character, Abbie, was fiery and, although she made some dumb decisions (seriously, don’t go wandering around London at night with a serial killer on the loose), I respected her as a young woman finding her strength and I liked her sassy attitude.

While I think I need to stop reading murder stories before going to bed, this really is a good book and I would recommend it to those who like mystery, murder, and paranormal stories. As an added bonus, there are some cute guys any lady would be lucky to have around while a serial killer is looking for his next victim. Ooooolala!

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