I had read one of this author's book last year since I was familiar with him from ID tv where he hosts a true crime series. I rather like him so thougI had read one of this author's book last year since I was familiar with him from ID tv where he hosts a true crime series. I rather like him so thought that his writing would be worthwhile. I didn't like the book but thought I would give him another chance as sometimes authors have at least one bad book in a series. Well, now he has two bad books in a series. The same faults appeared in this story as those I found in the first book....repetitive writing. Repeating the same facts ad infinitum becomes quite boring since I understood it the first time he said it. The book almost appears to have been written for the YA crowd. It is an interesting story and should have been much better than it was. I don't think I'll try a third time with this author....more
What fun......but it is the kind of book that makes you laugh in order not to cry. Politics in all its ugliness and it hasn't changed since the beginnWhat fun......but it is the kind of book that makes you laugh in order not to cry. Politics in all its ugliness and it hasn't changed since the beginning (if one discounts Washington who didn't have an opponent). The author writes with humor and is fairly unbiased as he dissects each Presidential election....the boring (very few) and the battles (most). Lots of new information and reminders of things that happened during more recent runs for the highest seat in the land. Currently we talk about how the media controls elections and gets away with less than truthful information. It is nothing new and in the days before radio/tv/internet, the newspapers and broadsheets got away with some truly litigious "facts" about candidates and their public and private lives....such as the poster that stated, "Martin VanBuren wears women's clothes" and "Dewey hates you and hates your children". A light look at dirty tricks and unqualified candidates....more
Probably the most famous murderer of all time, Jack the Ripper has fascinated the public for over 120 years. He (or "she" as some would posit) has beeProbably the most famous murderer of all time, Jack the Ripper has fascinated the public for over 120 years. He (or "she" as some would posit) has been the subject of books, television, film, broad sheet articles, guided tours and stage plays. Compared to serial killers of current times, the number of his crimes were few, although some credit him with more than the accepted number of five. But he was never identified, never caught, never punished and it continues to challenge "Ripperologists" to put forth their opinions of the identity of Saucy Jack.
His hunting ground was the poverty ridden East End and his victims were all prostitutes, thus the police were initially less than concerned. But the "double event" in which two women were killed and mutilated within minutes of each other caught their attention and the public demanded something be done. The police work was sloppy, evidence disappeared, and suspects were arrested by the dozens, all of whom were almost immediately cleared. The crimes suddenly stopped and the identity of Jack the Ripper was never discovered.
The author does not attempt to name the Ripper in this book; rather he writes a complete history of the crimes and the investigation. The final third of the book looks at those men who have most commonly been named as the Ripper and explains why some could not possibly have committed the crimes and why some could have. They range from a member of the Royal Family to a Jewish hairdresser and in most cases, nothing tangible could connect any of them with the murders. It is probably time to admit that we will never know who was Jack the Ripper, as does the author, but that will not stop the introduction of new theories and "lost information" suddenly found. He has passed into history as part folk hero and part myth.
I think Rankin was still trying to develop the persona of John Rebus which is so strong in the later books in this long running series. But that is thI think Rankin was still trying to develop the persona of John Rebus which is so strong in the later books in this long running series. But that is the fun of reading the early books in a series......seeing the protagonist change and get comfortable in his skin. I think the problem I had which kept me from giving a higher rating (I love the Rebus books) was the story itself. There was way too much going on around the overdose death of a local addict. Rebus has a feeling about it that says it is murder. Then the wild ride begins through dog fighting, gambling, sex clubs, rent boys and a few more things of which I lost track. There were more characters in this short book than are found in War and Peace. Certainly not my favorite of the Rebus adventures....more
Truth is often stranger than fiction but not necessarily in this case which is pretty straightforward and resembles many of the stories that we hear oTruth is often stranger than fiction but not necessarily in this case which is pretty straightforward and resembles many of the stories that we hear on the news. An upper middle-class family appears to be the epitome of the American dream but, of course, they are not. The husband, who has some secrets that he wishes to remain secret, kills his wife and is almost immediately arrested. He is released on bail (surprising) and from that point the book spends way too much time on the custody battle for the two small children of the family. It had me skipping pages to get to the murder trial which then had me skipping pages to get to the end. The author did a great deal of good research but there was just too much over detailed and superfluous information which prevented the story from moving along smoothly. It certainly wasn't a waste of reading time but it came close....more
A young pregnant servant girl, Jane Clouson, is found brutally murdered and thus begins an inadequate police investigation that causes the reader to sA young pregnant servant girl, Jane Clouson, is found brutally murdered and thus begins an inadequate police investigation that causes the reader to shake his/her head. But more is yet to come when the suspect's trial begins and the vaunted English court system takes over. I looked at this book as more a study of the class system and the justice system than a true life murder in Victorian England. Society was made up of the "haves" and the "have nots" and the murder of a "have not" did not get much attention from the authorities.
In this case, however, the "lower" classes rebelled against the system, causing the murder to become a very public crime and calling attention to the cavalier attitude of the police. Unfortunately this did not endear the judge to their call for a fair trial and his show of favoritism for the accused, who was the son of the family who employed Jane and therefore a "have", was almost beyond belief. The outcome of the trial was preordained even though the evidence some of which was thrown out by the judge as irrelevant or "lost" by the police, strongly suggested guilt. It appears from the author's conclusions that a terrible miscarriage of justice occurred and the murderer of Jane Clouson walked out of court a free man.
This is an interesting look at police procedures (or lack thereof) and the prejudices that the working class had to deal with in legal matters during the mid-Victorian era....more