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3.30  ·  Rating details ·  17,819 ratings  ·  2,568 reviews
Isabel Allende-the New York Times bestselling author whose books, including Maya's Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, and Zorro, have sold more than 57 million copies around the world-demonstrates her remarkable literary versatility with this atmospheric, fast-paced mystery involving a brilliant teenage sleuth who must unmask a serial killer in San Francisco

The Jackson wome
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Harper (first published December 3rd 2013)
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Josie Rideg Prefiero mucho las novelas historicas de Isabel Allende.
Jocelyne Palma
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Average rating 3.30  · 
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 ·  17,819 ratings  ·  2,568 reviews

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Federico DN
The problem with being too nice, is that sometimes you let the bad ones in.

In this novel we learn the story of Indiana, a masseur and exceptional healer. Innocent, sincere, and open to life, but with several love problems. Her path invariably ends up crossing the one of an implacable serial killer. Her young daughter, Amanda, and Ripper, a role playing game, may just be the only thing that might be able to stop him.

Promoted as Allende's first mystery, in truth it appears much more to be a romanc
Oct 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
I can not tell you how disappointed I am in this book. Isabel Allende is a great novelist and I was looking forward to her foray into mystery writing. It was so bad that I couldn't believe she has written it. I puzzled whether some non-talented relative wrote this under her name. It is the only scenario that makes sense to me. It has an unbelievable plot full of holes and cardboard characters.

Let's start with the characters. Indiana is Amanda's mother and a holistic healer. She practices Intuiti
Nov 09, 2013 marked it as didnt-finish  ·  review of another edition
So. Many. Descriptions. Of. People. Have we not heard of "show don't tell"??
It was like, Indiana is a reiki healer. Amanda is a geeky teenager. Ryan is an ex-navy SEAL. Michael is a painter. Carmen is a psychic. with like, a two-page description of what they do and what they look like and who they date and what they read and what scars they have and where they live and who they're related to and what's their job and their pets and etc and etc and etc omg.
(I forgot what all the names were but you
Isabel Allende was as always a good read. Her new adventure into murder mysteries was delightful, yet a bit drawn out and really over populated with too many characters. For each character there was a comprehensive backstory and it became too much in the end - for me. The book is 512 pages and could have been at least 150 pages shorter. It took most of the book to get all the backstories in before the murder mystery could really pick up speed. Maybe it was planned this way. Most readers had a gr ...more
Feb 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
I read in the NYTimes book review that Isabel Allende had a good time writing this, her first "mystery" novel. She might have had a good time, but I didn't. I put it down after the first 100 pages, because the story hadn't really started yet. The book was poorly written and full of quirky characters. Every time some action got started, Allende would stop and do backstory on one of these quirky characters. I gave up and looked at the ending. Reading the last chapter, I'm glad I didn't waste my ti ...more
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ripper grabbed me from the start with this line "Mom is still alive, but she's going to be murdered at midnight on Good Friday.". Racing through its last pages an earthquake couldn't dislodge me from my seat. An entertaining good read with a game worked into the plot.

Looks like I'm going to be the rogue reader here. I really liked Ripper and here's why.

Allende does characters studies well and those in Ripper were solid if a bit quirky. I liked them, wanted to know them and cared about what happe
Elyse  Walters
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Busting with terrific-vibrant- San Francisco life energy!

Multiple stories within the 'THE STORY' ...

Engaging Interesting Characters!


****POWERFUL subtle messages**** . In a world of crime, murders, drug trafficking, hustlers, poverty, disabilities, broken relationships, fear, loss, grief, etc.....
"The Only thing that can heal people is Love"!

May 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: worst-books
Um. Yikes.

So, this is clearly an Allende novel because her style and voice as an author are so distinct. There is no doubt in my mind that she wrote this book.... and that is what is most shocking. Isabel Allende wrote THIS book.

This is a crime novel, not a mystery, but a crime novel. If you are expecting a who-done-it, or spot-the-murderer type of book, then definitely go elsewhere. This novel is about the process of crime investigation... which has never been a prevalent theme in Allende's wri
aPriL does feral sometimes
There are a number of problems in reading this book.

The Number One problem is Upfront Bald-Faced Lying in the marketing of the book.

1. The title has nothing to do with the contents of the book on any level. It supposedly is the name of a video game. However, the video game is never played or used as a clue or ever referenced again after being used to explain how a club in the book starts. 'Ripper' references nothing about ripping or anything knife-y which occurs in the book. Instead, it is used
Kaethe Douglas
Don't read it for the mystery, read it for the things which make an Allende novel so rich and satisfying: a large, diverse cast with complex backstories and complicated relationships. Solving the mystery is the driver of the plot, but it isn't compelling in the way that Amanda's relationship with her family is. The teen characters playing Ripper together aren't explored very deeply. But the adults are. There are the divorced but amiable parents, their respective partners, their parents, their si ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
2 stars

In Isabel Allende's Acknowledgments for Ripper (which to me almost come off, really, as a mea culpa for her 500 page genre buster), she indicates that this was a 2012 project idea by her agent to have Allende and her husband (evidently an author himself, though good luck finding anything about Willie Gordon on Goodreads) to collaborate on a 'Crime Novel', but that they quickly realized "the project would end in divorce". (Prophetic, given their separation announcement a scant two years
Feb 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Sorry Allende, I just can't read this one. I gave up due to so many shortcomings--shallow, two-dimensional characters, a plot with an identity crisis, and no audience awareness. Who is the target audience of a book about grisly murders and YA gamers that references Eva Perron, Charles Dickens, and 1990s-style new age spirituality? I have no idea, but it's certainly not me. I feel so disappointed, so let down, as I have read every one of Allende's previous books and loved each and every one with ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
What a busy book! But although there was so much going on, it was not hard to keep track of everything and everybody - unlike some books I have read.

Amanda is the odd one out in her family - she takes after Blake, her maternal grandfather. Strong-willed, feisty and eminently practical. She has a strong curious streak and heads an internet group "Ripper", an online mystery game she plays with her beloved grandfather and a select group of friends scattered around the world.

Her mother, Indiana, is
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
At the age of 71 the great novelist Isabel Allende has published her first suspense and crime novel. After reading an interview in El Heraldo last year, I could hardly wait for the book to be launched.According to the newspaper,after writing Maya's Notebook, she thought about working alongside with her husband and writer William C. Gordon on a crime novel.However, the collaboration didn't last more than 24 minutes since both of them had different ways of working.

The idea of the name Ripper came
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Linda by: SPL Your Next 5
Shelves: audio
Fortunately, after having read some negative reviews of this book, well, many actually, my local librarian recommended it to me and I decided to toss all caution to the wind and give it a try. I'm very glad I did as I thoroughly enjoyed it and have concluded that the book is getting a bad rap.

First to dispel the preconceived notions. This book does not even come close to resembling the much loved and admired House of Spirits with the exception that it is written by Isabel Allende who has such a
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isabel Allende is certainly not a writer known for her thrillers and in fact this is not a canonical thriller. The plot revolves around two women: Indiana, the mother, and Amanda, the teenage daughter.
Amanda has an above average intelligence, beats anyone in very difficult games and has a real obsession with the criminal world, investigations and the disturbed psyche of serial killers; she is not very happy with her peers and instead has a good relationship with Blake, her maternal grandfather w
Jul 24, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is a 1 1/2 star read for me. I read it for my bookclub or else I would not have stuck it out to the end. The writing could have been worse, but it also could have been much, much better. I scanned the last 50 pages just to say I finished it at our meeting next week. :-)

There is one thing that I cannot stand is a character that can do no wrong. Unless it is a fairytale, I like my characters to have real weaknesses and faults. It really gets under my skin when an author creates a character li
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I had some trouble getting started on this book but once I did I tore through it. It has some flaws and I had several quibbles but it was still a really fun read. I have read reviews where it is criticized for telling and not showing but I like Allende's storytelling style and her sometimes overly long descriptions of characters. The relationship between Amanda and her Blake (her grandfather) was terrific and I really loved Indiana she was such a great new age hippyish character.
This was horrible. I'm all for a good serial killer book, but not this. This book was all over the place. I just had to stop 80% in. I was done. Stick a fork in it. ...more
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nothing like anything else Allende has written. But still a beautifully written story and a great read.
Feb 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
Whenever I am about to write a "not so great" review it pains me to no end. I have a great amount of respect for the process of writing and for the writers themselves. And to complicate things even more Isabel Allende is one of my all time favorite authors. The way she plays with words, the themes and stories she creates stay with me long after I've finished reading the book. I knew that Ripper would be a departure from her usual style and genre but I embraced the idea of that change. Yet in the ...more
Feb 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: novels, mystery
Should note that I received an advance reader copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program last fall. Read it and then subsequently reviewed it in November 2013 as a 3-star mystery novel, but certain recent events have transpired that have made me want to re-evaluate my criticism. What follows is the text from my original Amazon review of 11/21/2013, followed by some current thoughts:

Ripper: It's only a game... or is it?

Isabel Allende is an award-winning Chilean author and journalist who
I've read worse books, to be honest. But this one is an all-around fail, so I'm not going to rate it any higher. This is my first Isabel Allende book, and I'm aware she has a fantastic reputation as a magical-realism author (one of my favorite genres). It bugs me that I had to start her oeuvre with this turkey.

What was wrong? Let me see. The main premise of the book is supposed to be a series of murders in San Francisco that a bunch of smart teenagers come together to solve online. It's there,
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I have history with Isabel Allende, beginning with The House of the Spirits, a book I first read when it came out in paperback. I was on my honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta and it was a wonderful place to read it and a wonderful story. I've since read many of her books and I always find something to love in them.

In theory, Ripper is a thriller, a bit of suspense, a crime novel. In reality, Ripper is the story of a sprawling network of family, friends, and acquaintances in San Francisco, particularly
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Contrary to some negative reviews that I have read, Ripper by Isabel Allende is a fantastic novel. Allende tells the story in a circular manner which seems to bother some people but it is story telling at its finest. The story keeps circling around the characters and slowly expands the world the story inhabits. This style of storytelling is not normally seen in mystery novels. I first discovered the style when I read the novels of John Irving who wrote one of my favorite novels, A Prayer for Owe ...more
Jan 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
horrible, horrible, horrible

When I say this isn't your typical Isabel Allende novel, I don't say it because it isn't her traditional historical fiction. I say it because the book was a mess of "discombobulation". I came across a Goodreads review that stated that this book had the feeling that it was written by an inexperienced author and Ms. Allende attached her name to it. When I read that review, I kind of rolled my eyes, but now must state that I agree with that reviewer. I don't know if this
Nov 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I read an interview with Allende in which she indicates that this book is supposed to be enjoyable and it is in no way transcendent.
Somebody proposed to her and her husband to write a book together mixing their styles (he writes police novels)
They tried it but it didn't work as they were fighting over it the whole time. At the end, she just wrote it alone.

Based on that, I am not angry that this was not the best mystery novel I've read or the best she has ever written. It was ok. There is a lot o
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The description of this book has it as a murder mystery but this book was actually not a murder mystery until the last 150 pages. For over 300 pages we spent time getting to know all of the quirky people that make up Indiana's cluster of friends/patients, which was really some good, light-hearted, totally amusing fun. It would give a person of the conservative persuasion a heart attack but for me it was a lot of fun. We get little bits of the murder mystery along the way but not really enough to ...more
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Although many reviewers
have found fault with this book written by the brilliant Allende, i enjoyed it. I love books with teenage heroines for one thing. Allende writes beautifully and I enjoyed some of the various characters in the book. I admittedly enjoy all that "new age" stuff. The mystery part of the book didn't start until right near the end as far as I am concerned but it was engaging with a satisfying ending.
Feb 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: thriller, 2014
From the blurb on the back of the book; "For Amanda Martin, Ripper started off as just a game - a virtual thriller based on the crimes of the notorious Victorian killer. And although her mother Indiana finds it a rather morbid pursuit, Amanda's grandfather and most trusted henchman is always there to keep an eye on the proceedings", and the blurb continues further speaking of the investigations of Ripper players as they investigate a series of murders.

Sounds like a great premise for a book, ri
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Isabel Allende Llona is a Chilean-American novelist. Allende, who writes in the "magic realism" tradition, is considered one of the first successful women novelists in Latin America. She has written novels based in part on her own experiences, often focusing on the experiences of women, weaving myth and realism together. She has lectured and done extensive book tours and has taught literature at s ...more

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