Sunday, 6 October 2013

Review: Ripper by Stefan Petrucha

Title: Ripper
Author: Stefan Petrucha
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Published: 2012 by Philomel Books
ISBN: 978-0-399-25524-3
Genre: Mystery, Young Adult
Rating: 5 Stars
Read Count: 1
You thought you knew him. You were dead wrong.

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.

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 My Thoughts 
I've always been interested in the Ripper murders (I'm not a lunatic, I promise) so when I found Ripper for a few bucks I took it and ran. The book follows fourteen year-old Carver Young, a wanna-be detective with a knack for picking locks, as he's forced to leave his home at Ellis Orphanage and adopted by the famous Detective Hawking. Carver is also trying to locate his father after finding a letter from him at Ellis and trying to solve the newest Ripper-style murders.
I absolutely loved Ripper, the murderer in the book is obviously made up since no one really knows who Jack the Ripper was but Petrucha made it a fun guessing game as we followed along with Carver. Ripper is a fun and adventurous story with lovely characters including Teddy Roosevelt and an interesting setting in late 1800's New York with the Tombs and Blackwell's Asylum.

*Mr. Petrucha has some cool pictures of Ripper New York City in 1895 on his site, check them out here.*

“Your novels show only the tiniest fraction of detective work, the brilliant crime, the tantalizing clues, the dramatic chase, the final battle atop a lofty peak with ocean waves crashing down below, and then… justice served! If they wrote about the real world, four-fifths of the story would consist of the hero sitting in a library for months and following false leads.” 

“Really, boy, unless you're ready to deal with the monster, you shouldn't go looking under the bed.” 

 About the Author 
Stefan Petrucha (born January 27, 1959) is an American writer for adults and young adults. He has written graphic novels in the The X-Files and Nancy Drew series, as well as science fiction and horror.
Born in the Bronx, he has spent time in the big city and the suburbs, and now lives in western Massachusetts with his wife, fellow writer Sarah Kinney, and their daughters. At times he has been a tech writer, an educational writer, a public relations writer and an editor for trade journals, but his preference is for fiction in all its forms.

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