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73 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2010
More than two years is a long time to wait for a new novel by Michael Prescott. While Final Sins, his last book, was not quite up to the standards to which I hold him accountable, his newest, Riptide, certainly is. This is one meticulously researched book and I felt like I was in on the original Jack the Ripper investigation. I do not want to give away any of the suprises that Mr Prescott has in store for you. Suffice to say the novel is a book that steadily gains momentum up to the time when that final satisfying page is turned. All of the Michael Prescott novels have been well written and suspenseful. If you can find any of them, by all means snap them up. Just as gratifying are the six novels he wrote under the pen name of Brian Harper. Make Michael Prescott a name you look for. Hopefully, all of his books (even the Brian Harper titles) will be made available on Kindle soon! Well done, once again, Mr. Prescott.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2011
I found the Jack the Ripper connection to be very intense. This book brought up some interesting ideas.

I had problems putting this one down to carry on with regular life, I found it to be that good. I would suggest this to everyone who like a crime thriller. I don't think you will be disappointed with this one.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2011
Riptide, e-book edition by Michael Prescott presents a novel based on interesting material about London's infamous Jack the Ripper. The author proposes an identity, enumerates his conquests, and proposes his transfer to the United States where he continues activity in his new environment.
The story centers around Jennifer Silence, a police profiler, and her brother who is a physician suffering from schizophrenia inherited from their physician father who committed suicide. An earthquake of somewhat greater proportions than usual disturbs the foundation of her century old home in Venice, California. The disruption reveals a formerly secrete hiding place in the cellar that sets the plot into motion. Numerous characters provide various levels of interest within the narrative that swings back and forth between the London activities and those taking place in California.
The story is interesting, but the presentation does not provide a `page-turner', per se. I found myself bogged down in some descriptive passages and found Jennifer to be a relatively shallowly-developed person. She seems unable to exhibit demonstrable feeling for anyone other than her brother, and even here, her devotion to the brother is rather tenuous. Her relationship with police sergeant Casey, Investigator Draper, and even her best friend Maura, somehow feel `forced'. Additionally, she makes decisions and engages in activity that work well to move the plot, but often are not what one would expect a rational person to make under the circumstance.
In summary, Riptide provides another tale of the activity, and possible fate, of Jack the Ripper. The postulate of his move to America is one often provided. However, his activity here, and the twist in the conclusion are most interesting. Reviewed by John H. Manhold, author of award winning fiction/non-fiction.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2011
This book was a hoot. I really enjoyed it, and that's what a good novel is all about. I really liked the research that the author did or had to do to throw together such a good story surrounding the mystery of who Jack the Ripper really was. This book really entertained me and I did not want to put it down until I was done with it. I loved all the little details about Jack the Ripper. Honestly I don't even know if they were true or not, or part of the fiction, but I know some of them were documented facts, and that's what added to the juicy gritty details part of the book. I agree with another reviewer that the main character wasn't likable. She definitely was annoyingly thoughtless, shallow, heedless of the welfare and well being of others... I definitely wanted to slap her upside the head a few times for being so thoughtlessly stupid, but who said the main character is perfect and likable? Haven't we all known someone like that? Someone who treated people who cared about them like crap and was extremely caring and irrational towards someone who didn't care? Doesn't that just mean that Michael Prescott makes his book characters have human qualities that we run into in every day life? The story was entertaining and that's what it's all about isn't it? Entertainment. Michael Prescott is just plain fun to read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2011
Riptide's premise is a very interesting one, especially for those who find the Jack the Ripper mythology irresistible. Unfortunately, Michael Prescott's novel didn't connect with me entirely.

Psychologist, Dr. Jennifer Silence is on call to the Venice, California PD as a Psycholinguistic Analyst. She reads the hidden messages between the lines of the written word. Her cellar reveals a diary, among other things, that lead her into a world of speculation, Ripperology and ultimately, gruesome murder.

My main dislike was the protagonist herself. I found Jennifer quite unlikeable, shallow & thoughtless. She seemed to argue with most of her friends and colleagues. However, the exception was in her dealings with her brother, Richard, which I found quite heart-wrenching. Throughout the book, I felt Jennifer acted unprofessionally and indulged in questionable and risky behaviour, endangering the lives of those around her with her impulsivity and stubbornness.

Aside from this, I found the story arc rose and fell unevenly, and even the suspenseful action scenes felt anticlimactic. I'm not quite sure why the writing fell flat for me. Just okay, nothing more.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2010
Riptide thrills from the very beginning. The story toggles back and forth from the late 1800's to the present and does not disappoint. Is Jennifer's family a descendant of Jack the Ripper? Prescott's tells a great story and has you on the edge of your seat as the story unfolds. This read will not disappoint!
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on September 23, 2013
Contrary to other reviewers, I found Riptide by Michael Prescott to be an entertaining read, with great plot twists, plausible characters and an interesting take on Jack the Ripper. The author moves Jack the Ripper to the United States where he continues his serial killings. Jack "marries" and,unfortunately, passes his genetic predisposition for serial killing on to future generations.

Fast forward to contemporary time and murders similar to Jack the Ripper's methodology begin to appear in the Venice, California. As the result of earthquake damage, Jennifer Silence uncovers a cache of human remains in her basement and this sends her on a quest to try to understand her family's role in the placement of these skeletal remains. Her suspicion turns to her schizophrenic brother whose behavior is becoming more bizarre and more like Jack the Ripper. Ultimately, Jennifer confronts the "new" Jack the Ripper and it proves to be a deadly encounter.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is not without its shortcomings. Some of the characterizations were not well developed. In particular, the character of the brother was a little troublesome for me. The author did an excellent job of developing this character, demonstrating the weakness of our mental health facilities and showing the steady downward spiral of a schizophrenic person who is off of his meds. However, the ending plot line for the brother was just too quick and too convenient and it proved somewhat of a let down. I found the secondary characters, namely the two police officers to be somewhat one dimensional and left me wondering if they were really needed for the story line.

It is not great literature but it is definitely worth reading.
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on May 26, 2012
The identity of Jack the Ripper will never be solved, and has been the basis of many a fireside tale, film and book.

Here, the author follows the theory that the killings stopped in England, due to his emigration to the US. This then picks up where the UK link left off, and we see him continue his killing ways. However, the majority of the story is set in the 21st century, where we are led to believe his descendants continued the 'bad' family gene. I will not leave any spoilers here, but it doesn't take the reader long to figure out - the thread we are being taken down is a red herring. Otherwise, where is the mystery and suspense?

I guess I was surprised when I did hear who the killer was, but I would have liked for them to have played more of a part in the ongoing story. We kind of see them at the start, and that is all we hear of them, until they make an appearance towards the latter stages.
The characters are not quite rounded in as much as they don't really reach out to us and tell us about their personalities, what makes them tick etc. Even the good natured banter between Jennifer and the officers involved in the case was glossed over. That alone could have provided some respite and humour.

Otherwise, it is an okay read. I certainly cannot criticise it to any extent, but just say it did not grab me in a way I hoped it would. That is in the main due to the fact the characters appeared a little 2-dimensional.
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on December 3, 2011
Lots of twists and turns the way mystery writing ought to be. I enjoy it when you learn history from a novel and to me it is the sign of a good writer, when they research what they are writing about rather than just throwing stuff out there that doesn't make sense. It is nice to learn about history in a fun way.

The ONLY reason I did not rate this book a 5 is that it has multiple typos. I am getting SO tired of authors who don't have their book proof read by someone else to find errors & typos. A writer should never proof their own writing, as the brain automatically reads it as what should be there, rather than what is.

Some of these errors would have been picked up by a computerized grammar check, so in my mind there is no excuse for it, but it seems to be SO common in this day and age. I suspect many writers are cutting this corner these days and not having (good) people proof their books, or are using inexpensive editors, hoping to save a few dollars.

When I read a book I expect the author to be BETTER at writing than I am--but it is rare these days that you find a book without several glaring errors. (There were about 5 or so in this book) It is not only distracting, but makes me think the writer did not care enough to make sure the book goes out it should.

I DO hope authors pay attention to the comments we leave here on Amazon, so they can take care to correct the various issues that people find wrong with their writing.
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on February 29, 2012
I have to admit that I did not know this was a self-pubbed book until I read the author's note at the end. There were a few grammatical errors/typos here and there (and once a character named Richard was called Robert) but nothing to take away from the story.
Jennifer works with the police department as a sort of subcontractor to help with murders. After an earthquake, she finds something in the cellar of the house that has been in her family for ages that leads her on a journey into the mind of a serial killer. It also makes her question her family's history and worry over her brother's mental illness.
I'm trying very hard not to give anything away so forgive my choppy review.
It was an enjoyable book - one that I could have read from start to end in one sitting had I the time. The author tells a good tale and keeps the reader involved. Yes, I did figure out who DIDN'T do it, but I was surprised when I found out who did. Nice little twist that I didn't see coming (maybe too convenient depending on the person I suppose).
I would definitely read something else by this author.
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