Posted in Book Reviews

Chasing the Ripper: Patricia Cornwell

After devoting most of her literary career to fiction works, Patricia Cornwell developed a fascination with the unsolved murders of Jack the Ripper. In this Kindle Single, she takes time to answer some questions surrounding her investigation and give readers a little background.

Honestly, this single was the first I’ve read of any of her works. I’d heard good things, just never happened to read any of them. When I saw this one, I was intrigued. She had written a book about the Ripper, ‘Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper-Case Closed’. This Single, however, is in anticipation of her newest work, ‘Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert’.
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed ‘Ripperologist’ or just recently heard of him (which is doubtful), you’re at least aware that he’s one of the world’s most infamous serial killers. Movies, television, and written word have all dedicated themselves to immortalizing his name. One thing has always been certain: he’s never been brought to justice.

Countless writers/historians have guessed through research or simple whodunit measures as to his identity. None has ever seemed as certain as Ms. Cornwell. As the title of her work details, she believes Walter Sickert was the Ripper. In this prequel (that’s the best way to describe it), Ms. Cornwell gives us a few tidbits from her investigation. It is a very short read at around 48 pages (on the Kindle).

She discusses how she was perceived from fans & naysayers during her investigation. There are notable talking points on people she met, things she’s seen, and answers to frequently asked questions. If nothing else, it generates anticipation towards the more complete project to come. I will say that I was impressed with this book and definitely compelled to read more.

My knowledge of ‘Ripperology’ is close to zero, so I’m not in a position to throw out a guess for his identity. However, Ms. Cornwell makes her case and if I was picking sides, I’d side with her. It’s an articulate, well-written prequel. I’m very much looking forward to , ‘Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert’.

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