Ripper

Paperback | January 28, 2014

byIsabel Allende

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From the international bestselling author, a gripping murder mystery about a serial killer on the loose in San Francisco

Indiana Jackson is thirty-three years old and works in San Francisco at an alternative medicine clinic that attracts all sorts of characters, some of them skeptics, who fall for her candour and humility. Her teenage daughter, Amanda, likes noir literature and hopes to attend MIT, where she will be with Bradley, an old friend that she plans to marry, with or without his consent. In her free time, she plays Ripper, an online role playing game that involves solving real-life mysteries and crimes using information collected by Amanda’s father, the Chief Inspector of the San Francisco police. Amanda plays the game via Skype with adolescents from all over the world and with her best friend, her grandfather Blake. Each player in the game has a virtual personality: Amanda is the game master, and Blake is her henchman; the others are Sherlock Holmes, Colonel Paddington, Esmeralda and the psychic Abatha.

When Ripper’s latest murder mystery—the case of the misplaced bat—begins to touch their real-world lives, Amanda and her friends know they must find the murderer before he can strike again.

Ripper is a true thriller, with twists, surprises, well-placed clues and revelations leading to a climactic finale.

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From the Publisher

From the international bestselling author, a gripping murder mystery about a serial killer on the loose in San FranciscoIndiana Jackson is thirty-three years old and works in San Francisco at an alternative medicine clinic that attracts all sorts of characters, some of them skeptics, who fall for her candour and humility. Her teenage d...

ISABEL ALLENDE is the bestselling author of eleven works of fiction, four memoirs and three young adult novels, which have been translated into over thirty-five languages with more than fifty-seven million copies sold. In 2004, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Lite...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 1 inPublished:January 28, 2014Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443426202

ISBN - 13:9781443426206

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Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not my cup of tea This book took me quite some time to read, in part because I couldn't sink into it the way I normally do with mystery novels. The crimes were grisly, as I've come to expect from books like this but I couldn't help but feel that something here was lost in translation. Some scenes just seemed extraneous and like they were there to fill the pages over containing any pertinent information. I found the plot a little bit predictable, although a child as a main character in a novel such as this was an interesting idea and I found myself enjoying Amanda and some of the other characters. I figured out the two possibilities of who the killer could be, and lo and behold they were both one person so I felt a little bit accomplished. I feel like there was no reason to kill Ryan however, and do wonder why the author decided to make that decision. For me the most interesting parts of the novel were the last 100 pages, beyond that it is something I won't pick up again but I just don't think the style and pacing was my cup of tea.
Date published: 2014-04-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Missed the mark for this reader Isabel Allende's Island Beneath the Sea is one of my favourite books. (my review) I think she's brilliant when it comes to writing historical fiction. Her last novel, Maya's Notebook, (my review) was a contemporary piece with a teenage protagonist. Ripper is Allende's latest novel and is again set in present day with a teenage protagonist. Amanda and her five teenage online friends from around the world are part of a role playing game named Ripper. They investigate "fictional nineteenth century crimes in a fog-shrouded London where characters were faced with scoundrels armed with axes and icepicks, archetypal villains intent on disturbing the peace of the city." When a famous astrologer (who just happens to be Amanda's godmother) predicts a "bloodbath" in Amanda's city (San Francisco) the young crime solvers move their focus to real time cases. Okay, so that's the basic premise. It actually took me a bit to get into the novel. There are numerous characters and connections introduced in the first few chapters. I admit to feeling a bit confused as I tried to work out what the focus of the book was. Is it the murders? Or is it the story of Amanda's mother Indiana? Indi is a free spirited new ager who is torn between two lovers. There are many more storylines as the book continues - a few too many in my opinion. I usually enjoy Allende's in-depth study of her characters, but in Ripper I just felt overwhelmed. Some of the relationships seemed odd, stilted and convenient. Amanda's father just happens to be the Deputy Police Chief of Homicide. Much of the Ripper players' knowledge is freely and easily obtained from him. ( I just never really bought the Ripper players - they seemed more of a prop than an effective part of the book.) Many of the (numerous) other characters are clichéd and overdrawn. From the author's acknowledgements: "This book was born on January 8, 2012 when my agent, Carmen Balcells, suggest to my husband, Willie Gordon, and me that we cowrite a crime novel. We tried, but within twenty-four hours it was clear the project would end in divorce. So he stuck to his own work - his sixth detective novel- while I shut myself away to write alone, as always." I appreciate that an author would be interested in exploring something new and applaud Allende's foray into new genres. But, for this reader, Ripper was a bit of strange read. It was just way too busy and tried to do too much. There's the murder mystery, social commentary on war and the legal system, history, a love story, exploration of alternative therapies, new ageism, and more. The identity of the whodunit is well telegraphed despite the twist that Allende employs at the end. And the murderer's motive has been done many times before. (And the publisher's blurb of 'fast-paced mystery' misses the mark completely) I still think Allende is a wonderful writer, but Ripper missed the mark for me.
Date published: 2014-01-28

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR MAYA'S NOTEBOOK:

"An explosive novel. . . . A boldly plotted, sharply funny and purposefully bone-shaking novel of sexual violence, political terror, 'collective shame' and dark family secrets, all transcended by courage and love." -BOOKLIST (STARRED REVIEW)