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Speculative story on identity and ultimaate end of Jack the Ripper
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.