Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review: Ripper by Stefan Petrucha

Title: Ripper
Author: Stefan Petrucha
Publisher: Philomel (March 1, 2012)
Genre: YA Historical Thriller

Format: Hardcover
Length: Novel
Source: Purchased

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.

Teasers: “Honestly, how can you be angry with a man who leans out the window and shouts, ‘Yi-yi-yi’? Go talk to him.” [Pg. 24. So very true!]

Body wobbling slightly in the wind, Hawking stabbed his cane in the direction of the Tombs. “And the killer was kind enough to leave the body there.” [Pg. 141. Kind? Suspicious to me.]

“And my father said to me, don’t dwell on the darkness within, reach out and act. That’s how I’ve tried to lead my life ever since.” [Pg. 362. Words to live by.]

Review: Jack the Ripper heads to New York City in Stefan Petrucha’s Ripper.

Petrucha drops the reader in late 1800s New York City. A new commissioner—the one and only Teddy Roosevelt—tries to clean up corruption. The New Pinkerton Agency is starting up, and teenager Carver Young desires to become a detective. Finding a new family for the orphan wouldn’t be a bad second choice. Carver is smart, impulsive, and head-strong. He’s a likeable character, and I hoped he would discover the truth about the case and his father. Every character comes to life with Petrucha’s strong writing.

The action is fast-paced. I loved the introduction of steampunk-like gadgets. Although the plot is at times too well-foreshadowed, the ending took me by surprise. The world, action, and characters would appeal to anyone who likes young adult and is interested in Jack the Ripper.

Ripper by Stefan Petrucha creates a new twist on the legend of Jack the Ripper. I highly recommend it!

Five Bookworms = I loved it!