Steve's Reviews > Night of the Ripper

Night of the Ripper by Robert Bloch
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Jan 08, 2009

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bookshelves: fiction, horror, crime-badness-noir
Read in January, 2009

Bloch must of done a lot of research on all the various Ripper theories, since he seems to touch on them all, whether they be royal conspiracies, Jill-the-Ripper, mad doctors, etc. He also does a great job portraying 1888 London, or more accurately the dark slum of Whitechapel, and all the accompanying paranoia that came as a result of the murders. I was also impressed with Bloch’s portrayals of various historic characters (Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as many of the detectives and witnesses), all of whom seemed like real people, rather than historical cut-outs. On the downside, I got tired of the historical horrors that Bloch prefaced each chapter with. Since the chapters were short, you get quite a catalogue, and as a device for the novel, it became sickly silly after a while and probably unnecessary, since the real Jack the Ripper was as savage as any in history. The ending, once I saw what was coming, was also a let down, but I realize Bloch was pretty much in a historical box on that front, so with that in mind, I suppose he made the most of it. Four stars seems too much, and three stars seems too few. Whatever. It's a good, quick read. 3 1/2 stars.
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