Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ripper, by Amy Carol Reeves

The year is 1888, and Abbie Sharp has recently relocated to London.  She is living with her grandmother because her mother has passed away, and is finding life in society a bit dull.  Abbie begins working at the Whitechapel Hospital, and shortly after she begins there, a series of grisly murders occur, all prostitutes who had been patients at the hospital.  Abbie begins to have a series of visions regarding the murders and murderer, who is now being called The Ripper, and finds herself pulled into an uncertain world of dark, shadowy forces.

I have to admit, I find serial killers fascinating.  So, when I first heard about this book, I knew I would most likely find it interesting.  Set London in the late 1880's, the book involves the coming of age story of Abbie Sharp, which just happens to be occurring at the same time as a murder spree that will later be attributed to Jack the Ripper.  I found the book to be unique and well researched.  The facts of the Whitechapel murders are skillfully mixed with the fictional story of Abbie, and mixed with a dash of the paranormal, to create an interesting story about why the murders occurred.  I quite enjoyed this alternative take.

The characters for the most part are very well developed.  Abbie finds herself in a bit of a Victorian love triangle, which I feel could have been a bit more emphasized.  The development of the romantic angle seems a little jerky to me, but I think it still helps add to the overall story.  I really loved the paranormal aspect to the book, both with Abbie's visions and with what she later learns is the source of the violence in London.  

All in all, I found the book to be an engaging read involving a fascinating historical event.  I think the book will appeal to young adult fans of historical, horror, and/or paranormal fiction; some adult readers will also enjoy it, I certainly did.

I received a review copy of the book courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley.

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