Friday, March 16, 2012

Book Review - Ripper

Cross-posted from Now That's Filmworthy (Visit Kate's blog for a chance to win Ripper!)
Author: Stefan Petrucha
Publisher: Philomel Books / Penguin Young Readers
Release date: March 1, 2012
Source: Advance Readers Copy
Audience: Young Adult

Good Reads Description:
Carver Young dreams of becoming a detective, despite growing up in an orphanage with only crime novels to encourage him. But when he is adopted by Detective Hawking of the world famous Pinkerton Agency, Carver is given not only the chance to find his biological father, he finds himself smack in the middle of a real life investigation: tracking down a vicious serial killer who has thrown New York City into utter panic. When the case begins to unfold, however, it’s worse than he could have ever imagined, and his loyalty to Mr. Hawking and the Pinkertons comes into question. As the body count rises and the investigation becomes dire, Carver must decide where his true loyalty lies.
Full of whip-smart dialogue, kid-friendly gadgets, and featuring a then New York City Police Commisioner Teddy Roosevelt, Ripper challenges everything you thought you knew about the world’s most famous serial killer.

Kate's thoughts on this book:
Ripper by Stefan Petrucha was a fun read for me.  Being a history groupie, you always find that there are certain places, people, myths, and mysteries that pique your interest.  The case of Jack the Ripper is one of those interests of mine, so I was especially excited to read this book.  As I read, I began to see past the history and appreciate the writing style of the novel as well as the characters introduced.  To be honest, it reminded me of another one of my favorite adult mysteries, Caleb Carr’s The Alienist.  

The book’s setting of the turn of the 20th Century allows the author to explore the advances in forensics and early investigative techniques. Petrucha takes full advantage of the opportunity. I thank him for it! The novel’s pacing and adventure makes it a great read for those guys who like a good mystery. (There is romance, but it isn’t overwhelming. It is more of an opportunity to give Carver, our hero, someone who is unconditionally in his corner.)  The story of the Ripper does include some disturbing murder and mayhem, but it doesn’t get too  explicit or overpowering.

The characters were intriguing. I loved seeing Mr. Petrucha’s take on Teddy Roosevelt. He really gave us an opportunity to relate to such a life-sized personality in US history. The themes also jumped out at me: the idea that your fate is our own no matter who your parents are, where you grew up, but what actions you take. No person should be pigeoned-holed especially as they are just discovering themselves.

Check out the book trailer in my Trailer Park!
For more information about author: Stefan Petrucha
On Twitter: @SPetrucha

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