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April 2021

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  • April 2021

    The Jack the Ripper Walking Tour Murders - Albert Borowitz
    "a novel of suspense" it says...

    disclaimer, I don't really read JtR fiction. To be honest, it doesn't appeal. However, I bulk bought a box of JtR books on ebay a couple of years ago, and there were a couple included. This was one.

    A criminology professor visits london for the JtR centenary, with his academic wife in tow (she's an art historian). He visits exhibits and a JtR walking tour. There's an incident on the tour which he feels was a deliberate murder attempt. Somehow(!) he is able to obtain the ear of a high ranking police officer (inspector warren!) and feeds the police theories/clues, resulting in the development of a theory of someone mimicking the ripper in an unusual manner. The perp is caught immediately prior to the mary kelly finale.

    There are good points. Although the links to JtR are tenuous, the writer has clearly done good research relevant to the facts as available at the time. In general, the plot seemed quite interesting.

    Sadly, the finale is an anti-climax. It's over too quickly, with too little explanation. This is compounded by the "climax" (I use the term quite wrongly) being composed of characters we don't even know. The motive continues to perplex and frustrate me.

    Elements of the dialogue aren't great too. There's little natural sounding conversation, and the married couple don't have (in my view) any types of conversations married couples would have. I never once felt they loved each other. The wife comes across as exceptionally smug for the first 75% of the book, and then seems to be demure and unknowing for the final quarter, whee the main character becomes ridiculously self assured, after 140 pages of being proved incorrect in numerous assumptions.

    All in all, it did nothing to encourage me to read more ripper fiction.

    The ending annoys me. I know we don't know who JtR was, and are unlikely too. But what is the point of a suspense novel if the murderer doesn't appear until they are being caught in the act. The last 2 chapters really made it feel like there was no point having engagement in the rest of the book.

    The ebay mystery box had 2 other ripper fiction books in it. In spite of the above, I expect I will read them at some point, but there's no rush.

    Apologies for the gap in reviews. To be honest, there are 2 factors. One is simply that my own mental health hasn't been such that I have had any interest in engaging with a good factual ripper book. Hopefully, as weather improves, that will change. There is also the fact that my as yet unread collection of ripper books has significantly diminished - that's what happens when you spend all lockdown reading! I am hopeful that there are authors/researchers who may potentially have spent lockdown fruitfully, so I ca part with my hard earned on some new reading material this year...

  • #2
    Thanks for the review, Lem....and I hope things perk up for you, pardner.
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