This debut novel features an intriguing setup that, unfortunately, becomes bogged down in a too-busy narrative: American time travelers from the year 2007 find themselves in 1888 London on the trail of a dangerous interloper from their time, just as the escalation of the legendary Jack the Ripper murders has driven the city into a frenzy. Wary that they or their quarry, Jonathan Avery, might change history in a way that would eliminate their own time line, partners-of-convenience Sara Grant and David Elliot simultaneously search for their target while attempting to assist Scotland Yard Insp. Jonas Robb in thwarting the sadistic serial killer—who may be one and the same. What they don't realize is that Avery has taken a much larger role in events, and that it may be too late to salvage their future. A keen sense of history (such as the inclusion of lesser-known Ripper suspects Francis Tumblety and Michael Ostrog) bolsters this fast-paced pale, but Baker piles on bite-sized scenes and jarring shifts among characters to overwhelming, disorienting effect. (Feb.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Jack Knifeby Virginia Baker
For Inspector Jonas Robb, each night brings a new victim, a new terror. It’s also brought two strangers—David Elliot and Sara Grant—who’ve arrived in London, seemingly with no past. What they do have is
London, 1888. The streets of Whitechapel are haunted by a killer. In the darkening shadows, he waits, and no woman is safe.
For Inspector Jonas Robb, each night brings a new victim, a new terror. It’s also brought two strangers—David Elliot and Sara Grant—who’ve arrived in London, seemingly with no past. What they do have is knowledge about the elusive Whitechapel fiend, including the name he calls himself: Jack the Ripper. Because David and Sara do have a past—it just happens to be in the future.
Sent back in time, they’re in pursuit of a 21st-century madman whose purpose is to change history. Already, they can see his sinister influence at work. As the body count rises, Sara and David realize that their quarry and Robb’s have become linked in a way that threatens not only Victorian London, but the very fabric of time. Joining forces, they must stop the carnage before it’s too late—for the past and future.
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- 18 Years
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I enjoy time travel stories and found this one of interest. It is not perfect as compared to others I have read. It took me sometime to get the gist of reading the story, because of how it is broken down into numerious chapters which at times seem to leap around. The story is about two members of a time travel project in 2007 who must travel to the past to retrieve a colleague who made an unauthorized trip. They land in 1888 London right in the middle of Jack the Ripper's crime spree and discover history is already being changed. Relying on what tools they brought with them and their wits, they must find their colleague and set history right again. Oh, they also have to figure out how they are going to get home. Overall, not a bad story and a nice twist on the Ripper legend.
Jack Knife is a great time travel mystery. Virginia Baker did a wonderful job at portraying Victorian London through the eyes of both it's citizens at the time as well as Sara and David who travel back there from the 21st century. I loved the whole Jack the Ripper aspect and the mystery surrounding it. I agree with Orson Scott Card when he said this book is "A great first novel". I really hope to see more from Virginia Baker.
This was a great book! I can't wait for her next book - I hope she will have more adventures with these characters and the time machine!
Jack Knife is a very different look at the Jack the Ripper tale, within the framework of a time travel setting. While I am usually quite leary of time travel books, this one hooked me with the idea of trying to find and retrieve somebody. But the part that made this book really shine was the characterizations. You can tell that Baker knows not only the world in which her charactors live, but also the people themselves. She has a fine feeling for humanity, and makes you feel as though each of the victims were real people. This book is exciting, fast-paced, and breathtaking. An excellent read.
In a black ops experiment, a time travel machine was built by brilliant scientist Jonathan Avery. However he was not chosen to be the first person to travel through time his co-worker Sara Grant was. Avery made an unauthorized trip back in time while Sara and special ops officer David Elliot follow to bring him home before he changes anything. --- When the duo arrives in 1887, the Ripper slayings are headline news in the papers owned by Sir Jay Osborne, who is Avery though he does not know it. In his years living in the nineteenth century Avery bought up the newspapers, polarized the social classes, and counterfeited bills to buy up gold by illegal means. Although David and Sara have no idea what he plans to achieve, they know it must be horrendous. They work with ¿native¿ Scotland Yard Inspector Jonas Robb in an effort to prevent Avery¿s scheme from happening and perhaps help him with his Ripper case. --- Using the Wells' science fiction device of time travel, Virginia Baker creates a strong historical police procedural that is unique and entertaining. One of the most fascinating elements of this tense tale is the identity of the Ripper, which will stun readers. Great characterizations, a strong story line that merges two inquiries and a foggy Victorian atmosphere conjure up a memorable thriller. --- Harriet Klausner