Edited by Ross E. Lockhart
August 31, 2013 Paperback $15.99 eBook $5.99
Review by Kat Yares
Chances are if you are reading this review, you are asking yourself if it is really possible to offer up any new insights into the Whitechappel murderer. Any new theories, any new stories. The answer is an unequivocal YES. Just like Jack captured my imagination as a child, it’s obvious the various authors in this anthology have thought quite a bit about him also.
In this collection you will find 18 solid stories, and a poem at the beginning to set the mood. As with all anthologies, some stories struck a chord with me better than others. But, that’s just me. I’m not fond of 1st person, and my favorite author of the group, Ramsey Campbell, chose that POV for his story, Jack’s Little Friend. Termination Dust, by Laird Barron (another fantastic writer) felt more like a novella than a short story.
So what were my favorites? A Host of Shadows by Alan M. Clark and Gary A. Braunbeck tops my list. Absolute wonderful speculation of where the Ripper went after the murders, turning his life around, only to have it return to bite him on his deathbed.
The Truffle Pig by T.E. Grau is a wonderful take on the story adding in a mythology of its own. Ripping, by Walter Greatshell has an ending I didn’t see coming and that makes any story nigh on perfect in my estimation.
The stories that really blew me away were the ones written by women. They captured the victims (or at least how I see them) so wonderfully faithful to what is known, that the stories – while brutal – were honest and real. Something you don’t see in short fiction often.
The bottom line is these are all excellent stories, all about Jack. Who he was, who he became and all sorts of speculation in between. Many of them will haunt you with the what-if they are right. If you’re a Ripper fan (is that the right word, probably not) you owe it to yourself to get this book. You won’t go wrong and you will be entertained for hours and be thinking about what you just read for days after you are done.