Like many strange people out there, I, too, am fascinated by Jack the Ripper. Grisly and gory true crime in its purest forms. And I'm not alone. Jack captivates an audience even to this day. So I was excited to read this debut novel about the Ripper. There is so much written about Jack, fiction and non fiction, I'm always interested in a fresh look on the old crimes.
Abbie volunteers at Whitechapel Hospital, a job her Grandmother is sure will enhance her character. But she's terrified to learn that after a few days of working there, the Ripper murders begin. And the police think the prime suspect is within the Hospital itself. At the same time, Abbie starts having these strange visions, of places and items she's never seen before. Fearful of being told she is going mad, Abbie hides this from everyone. But this new power may be the only thing keeping her alive and out of the Ripper's hands.
I enjoyed Abbie's perspective and being in the hospital. Reeves does a wonderful job of painting London at this time. All the grime, dirty, poverty and despair in the Whitechapel district is potent and heartbreaking. There are a few very descriptive scenes of surgeries and researching bodies that may make some squeamish. But I mean, you remember you are reading a story about Jack the Ripper, right? Not for the faint of heart. I liked Simon and William, who are like ice and fire--two men who are unalike in many ways, but have very strong friendships to Abbie, and a vested interest in the hospital.
The story veers into paranormal territory slowly and while I saw it coming, it didn't feel natural to me. Abbie's visions are a huge part in the book by the end, and there are some clever plot turns. But I think the visions threw me out of the story, instead of enhancing it. And when the end is there, ready to be confronted, I felt Abbie's character shift so greatly, I wasn't sure it was the same book.
Overall, Ripper is a quick read with an interesting twist on the old crime. But it wasn't as satisfying as I hoped it would be.
Find the author online at amycarolreeves.com and follow her on Twitter @amycarolreeves
Find more reviews from Kimberly at thewindypages.com.