Title: The Ripper's Wife
Author: Brandy Purdy
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A vividly gory re-imagining of the chronicles of Jack the Ripper, I enjoyed some parts of this novel, but others just fell flat for me.
This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Jack the Ripper has become a household name in crime--especially of the gory type. And since Halloween is drawing ever closer, I decided to give this book a shot. A fictional account of the exploits of the famous murderer, this book is inspired by the controversial document known as The Ripper Diary. And I mean, come on--what's a better way to celebrate Halloween than a gory horror book?! What's so interesting to me about true crime is that it confirms that tiny little fact we all have to live with: Some monsters are indeed real, and we never know just where they might lurk, because they could wear the most harmless faces..
Florence "Florie" Chandler, a young woman of eighteen in 1880, feels that she has the fairy tale romance she has always dreamed of when she meets the charming and handsome James Maybrick, and marries him. But when the couple settles down in a suburb in Liverpool, Florie realizes that not all is well with her marriage, and that her husband isn't at all who he says he is. Secrets keep piling up, secrets even she cannot contain: He has a mistress, various drug addictions, and an awful temper. But she realizes that even through all that, it is worse than she thinks.. Because her husband just may in fact be the most notorious killer in Britain..
What I enjoyed:
-I loved the premise of this novel, steeped in fact and partially in fiction--Jack The Ripper's wife!
-The pacing of this novel was breakneck--I couldn't put it down even when I wanted to, truthfully
-I also really liked the increasingly creepy feel of the novel as it went on--it was quite gory and more often than not I had to put the book down for a break
-James Maybrick, also known as Jack the Ripper, charming and genteel one moment and then a demon from hell--almost literally--the next--he really sold the book for me, especially the creepy factor of it
-The ending--I liked the way it wrapped everything up neatly, concisely, and still did justice to every character involved
What could've been better:
-I really couldn't sympathize with or relate to Florie, and it made the book difficult to read--she just seemed so naive and so foolish, even after time and time again of countless mistakes--I just really feel that there was very little character development with her until the very end, and it was unsatisfying
-I didn't like the way Jim's and Florie's relationship was portrayed--I really thought that it was unhealthy and downright creepy, the way Florie took on Jim's "sins" as hers, and she didn't hold him accountable for his actions. Maybe the whole point of this was to show just how twisted love can make a man, but it really rubbed me the wrong way
-I didn't like almost any of the characters, save Jim and Florie, especially Edwin, Michael, and Florie's awful mother
-It seemed as though Jim and Florie almost had a darkly codependent relationship, and it was frightening to watch--it was like watching a trainwreck
I had high hopes for The Ripper's Wife, and while it delivered on the gore, everything else just fell flat. Next on deck: What the Lady Wants by Renee Rosen!