Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves
“I felt hot breath on my neck, and, horrified, I knew that he stood behind me . . .”
It’s 1888, and after her mother’s sudden death, Abbie is sent to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. When she begins volunteering at Whitechapel Hospital, Abbie finds she has a passion for helping the abused and sickly women there.
But within days, patients begin turning up murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. As more women are murdered, Abbie realizes that she and the Ripper share a strange connection: she has visions showing the Ripper luring his future victims to their deaths–moments before he turns his knife upon them. Her desperation to stop the massacres leads Abbie on a perilous hunt for the killer. And her search leads to a mysterious brotherhood whose link to the Ripper threatens not just London but all of mankind.
After her mother’s sudden death, Arabella “Abbie” Sharp is brought to London to live with her grandmother. When it’s decided that Abbie needs something to help her better appreciate her life of leisure, she’s sent to volunteer at Whitechapel Hospital. Little does anyone know that Whitechapel is about to become a dangerous place: for it’s 1888, and Jack the Ripper has just started his murdering spree….
Ripper was a really solid mystery, and was a thoroughly engrossing read, particularly when it hit around the 70% mark; I couldn’t put it down, as I wanted to see what was going to happen and how it was going to end. I enjoyed the author’s take on Jack the Ripper; the whole time you’re wondering who is responsible, when he’ll strike again, and who will be his next victim. Abbie was a very headstrong girl, and I very much enjoyed reading this story from her point of view. There were some very unique things done with this story, especially in the way the author used Abbie’s story to weave her idea of the Ripper and his crimes.
I also enjoyed the secondary characters: William and Simon, the two doctors Abbie is drawn to; Sister Josephine, the stern but caring nurse; Mary, the Irish immigrant trying to find a better life for herself. I felt like they were all fairly fleshed out, and I enjoyed the glimpses of their back stories, and Abbie’s growing relationships with all of them. The two doctors, in particular, were particularly fascinating for me personally.
As for the dealings with Jack the Ripper, they were, quite frankly, really creepy at times, especially when Abbie finds herself in close proximity to him and his crimes. I will say that there’s a bit of a paranormal aspect to this book in terms of Abbie herself, but won’t say anything else to avoid spoilers. What I WILL say is that the story of Jack the Ripper was done in a really creative way, with a bunch of plot twists and turns I didn’t see coming. As I said above, the mystery aspect of this was really solid and well done.
I hadn’t realized that this book sets itself up for a sequel, but the ending made that quite apparent. It wasn’t cliff-hangery so much as very open-ended, but there are some definite threads of the story that have yet to be sewn up. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment.
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.