i ripper book coverReviewed by Jenna Arthur

From 1885 until 1891 a brutal serial killer sent the entire district of Whitechapel and the rest of the world reeling in mortal terror and carnal apprehension. There wasn’t a place in Whitechapel that was safe, especially for the “Judys”, known prostitutes roaming the Whitechapel area. Jack the Ripper appeared from the shadows, leading women of the night into dark corners where, unseen, he could kill, mangle, and dissect their lifeless corpses. I, Ripper gives us two views into this killer’s mind, one from The Ripper’s journal and another from an account by a journalist named Jeb.

In The Ripper’s diary, we see his mind go darker and darker, delighting in each kill, finding endless gratification in the very bafflement of the police each and every time he kills. With each kill more grisly than the rest, The Ripper shows us how methodical and ruthless he can be, cutting first the throat, and then using his Sheffield blade to slice deeper and deeper into their person until his predatorial craving is satisfied. He takes trophies, mutilating their womanhood until they are barely recognizable, all the while feeling an exhilaration like he’s never known. With each murder he grows more and more confident, sending letters to the authorities, teasing and laughing in the face of authority.

Jeb is tasked after the first killing, of Mary Ann Nichols, to write The Ripper’s story in a gruesome and diabolical way to draw in crowds to The Star. Little does he know that this only drives The Ripper’s mind further into the darkness. But how far will Jeb go and how far into The Ripper’s world will The Ripper take him? Jeb is introduced into a new world of blood, death, horror, and a story that will both make his career and make him known to both the public and The Ripper himself. Will he find out who The Ripper is?

Jack the Ripper was never caught and remains the most notorious and well known serial killer in the world.

The story’s double point of view conveys The Ripper’s story in a manner unlike any other book written on the subject. The Ripper’s diary entries are thoughtful and delightfully morbid. I must admit I found Jeb’s entries slightly less amusing but still a crucial part of the story. A good afternoon read for crime buffs and Ripper lovers alike.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Jenna lives in the bustling city of Pittsburgh with her wife and furry children. She loves to cook, watch movies, and looks for inspiration in every book she reads.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon & Schuster. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.