Ripper: A Novel

Ripper: A Novel

by Isabel Allende

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062291424
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/27/2015
Series: P.S.
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 250,653
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Isabel Allende is the author of twelve works of fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, and a novel that has become a world-renowned classic, The House of the Spirits. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.

Hometown:

San Rafael, California

Date of Birth:

August 2, 1942

Place of Birth:

Lima, Peru

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Ripper 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Twink More than 1 year ago
Isabel Allende's Island Beneath the Sea is one of my favourite books. (my review) I think she's brilliant when it comes to writing historical fiction. Her last novel, Maya's Notebook, (my review) was a contemporary piece with a teenage protagonist. Ripper is Allende's latest novel and is again set in present day with a teenage protagonist. Amanda and her five teenage online friends from around the world are part of a role playing game named Ripper. They investigate "fictional nineteenth century crimes in a fog-shrouded London where characters were faced with scoundrels armed with axes and icepicks, archetypal villains intent on disturbing the peace of the city." When a famous astrologer (who just happens to be Amanda's godmother) predicts a "bloodbath" in Amanda's city (San Francisco) the young crime solvers move their focus to real time cases. Okay, so that's the basic premise. It actually took me a bit to get into the novel. There are numerous characters and connections introduced in the first few chapters. I admit to feeling a bit confused as I tried to work out what the focus of the book was. Is it the murders? Or is it the story of Amanda's mother Indiana? Indi is a free spirited new ager who is torn between two lovers. There are many more storylines as the book continues - a few too many in my opinion. I usually enjoy Allende's in-depth study of her characters, but in Ripper I just felt overwhelmed. Some of the relationships seemed odd, stilted and convenient. Amanda's father just happens to be the Deputy Police Chief of Homicide. Much of the Ripper players' knowledge is freely and easily obtained from him. ( I just never really bought the Ripper players - they seemed more of a prop than an effective part of the book.) Many of the (numerous) other characters are clichéd and overdrawn. From the author's acknowledgements: "This book was born on January 8, 2012 when my agent, Carmen Balcells, suggest to my husband, Willie Gordon, and me that we cowrite a crime novel. We tried, but within twenty-four hours it was clear the project would end in divorce. So he stuck to his own work - his sixth detective novel- while I shut myself away to write alone, as always." I appreciate that an author would be interested in exploring something new and applaud Allende's foray into new genres. But, for this reader, Ripper was a bit of strange read. It was just way too busy and tried to do too much. There's the murder mystery, social commentary on war and the legal system, history, a love story, exploration of alternative therapies, new ageism, and more. The identity of the whodunit is well telegraphed despite the twist that Allende employs at the end. And the murderer's motive has been done many times before. (And the publisher's blurb of 'fast-paced mystery' misses the mark completely) I still think Allende is a wonderful writer, but Ripper missed the mark for me.
The_Book_Wheel_Blog More than 1 year ago
Prior to reading Ripper, the only Isabel Allende book I had read was House of Spirits. It was back in high school so, while I don’t remember much about it, I do remember that I enjoyed it more than most assigned books. That said, I was pretty excited to get my hands on her new novel, Ripper. I largely ignored the mediocre reviews because the ones I had come across were written by long-time Allende fans and, unlike them, I had no loyalty to the author. Turns out, however, they were correct in their assertions that this isn’t her best work. Granted, I haven’t read any of her books (other than House of Spirits), but I have to assume that they are much better than this one because she’s such a beloved author. Ripper is a murder mystery and Allende’s first foray into the thriller/mystery/suspense world. The story centers around Amanda, who runs an online murder-mystery game called Ripper that steps offline and into the real world as she and her online friends start investigating a string of real-life murders. Her mother, a free-spirited holistic healer, isn’t thrilled with Amanda’s morbid curiosity but her strong-willed daughter continues her investigations, anyway. Turns out, Mom had good reason to be concerned. Soon, Amanda is off to investigate the disappearance of her own mother and figure out whether it’s linked to the murders she had been investigating. While I have no doubt that this book could have done well (the premise has promise), I was disappointed by it. The writing was choppy and the characters were predictable and embodied stereotypes: the hardened Navy SEAL, the free-spirited Reiki healer, and the impotent rich guy, to name a few. So while I didn’t dislike the book, I didn’t enjoy it, either. There were some good parts and I tore through certain sections, but overall I was pretty ambivalent and disappointed.
ABookishGirlBlog More than 1 year ago
My Thoughts: Allende has a way of just plopping you right in the middle of some family’s life and luckily she does it at the most interesting moment! Every time I read one of Allende’s books I become completely engrossed in the characters and their sometimes complex relationships with each other and how it corresponds to the events transpiring in the story. Allende doesn’t leave out the mundane parts of life that still occur even when your world spins upside down there is still laundry to do, kids to feed, litter boxes to empty and this lends to the authenticity you feel from reading this story, this is so true to life it could actually happen, and if you read my reviews you know I like this type of fiction to be as close as literally as is figuratively possible. My Likes About This Book: 1.)The family dynamic. Even though most of what the Jackson family, well considered family, were not actually blood related Allende wove so many varying, complex characters together to make up this family and they fit just perfectly together each complimenting the other in some way. 2.)Ripper, the game. Very cool way to bring characters together and to be able to bring Amanda, a teenager, into the criminal investigation. I also liked how different all the other players of Ripper was, but they were all needed in some way to help solve the crime. 3.)Attila. Who could resist this dog? I wanted to go out and buy him a mammoth bone! Loyal, kind, and brave; if only most men could have these traits, sigh, lol! My Dislikes About This Book: 1.)Amanda’s inability to see things right in front of her face. This irritated me to no end especially when the killer is revealed after working so closely with two people how can you not tell. No girl living in a big city such as San Francisco would ever be that naive, it just didn’t seem really true to life in my opinion. 2.)Amanda’s access to police files. Again another not really true to life moments in the book, some talk and exchange of information  I see but actually getting autopsy records, no way. 3.)That not relevant parts could be dry sometimes. I know I like that Allende puts in the mundane events with the bizarre events but sometimes I just wanted to skip over them, particularly the ones about Keller.
Angela_J_R More than 1 year ago
This is a crime novel, but still undeniably and wonderfully Isabel Allende. It's a good story, but lots of time is spent in filling out the characters, which usually doesn't happen in the average crime novel. So that leads to a pace that is more typical of Allende than of crime novels, but the book is the better for it. The canvas may be a little too wide -- for instance, I'm not sure what the title game was... There are moments when Allende's voice comes in loud and strong as the narrator -- or perhaps it's the grandfather -- and those are delightful for me, but this is in the context of her other work, which I enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tried five times to read it. Too many names. I could not get interested. Very, very disappointed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This e-book was expensive, but I could get through only a few chapters. Her husband is a mystery writer, and she should leave the genre to him. Save your money. Stick with her other books.
Chelseagirl1 More than 1 year ago
Suspenseful! The one thing I love about Ms. Allende is she is willing to take a gamble and write outside what may be her comfort zone. I was entralled by this book from the start. A talented, multifaceted writer and author, I always look forward to the next book she has to offer. I know I am always entertained.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
It's been many years since I first read and enjoyed an Isabel Allende novel. She is best known for magical realism in her literary novels, so I was surprised to find that she tried her hand at the mystery/thriller genre with her latest work, Ripper. Ripper has a serial killer at work in San Francisco, but no one know it yet. Amanda, a high school senior at a nearby boarding school run by feminist nuns (very cool!), is kind of nerdy and smart and spends time with other smart, nerdy teens in an online role playing game called Ripper. They are intrigued by an astrologer (and friend to Amanda's mother Indiana) who predicts a bloodbath of murders will take place in San Francisco, and when a high school security guard is found brutally murdered, they have their first case. Amanda's father is a police detective, so Amanda tries to get information for her team from him. Amanda's grandfather (Indiana's father) Blake is part of team Ripper, and I loved his relationship with his granddaughter.  They love each other fiercely, and Blake spends as much time as he can with Amanda. The story opens with Amanda telling us that her mother is being held by the serial killer, so we read the rest of the rest of the story waiting to find out why and how this happens. This conceit ratchets up the tension dramatically. Other murders occur and the police don't believe they are connected until team Ripper puts all the pieces together. Amanda's father does not like his daughter's interest and involvement in these murders, but at least Blake is there to keep an eye on things. Indiana Jackson is a holistic healer, a real crunchy-granola type. She is also knockout gorgeous and can get men to do whatever she asks, but she doesn't take advantage of that. She is in love with Alan Keller, who is from a wealthy family but doesn't like to work. Ryan, a former Navy SEAL who lost a leg in the war and now works for the CIA in some kind of clandestine manner, is a client of Indiana's. They are good friends, but he would like to be more than that. As I was reading the story, I thought there were too many characters to keep track of- Indiana's many clients, the Ripper team, police, murder victims- it felt overwhelming. But as the story got rolling, I saw how everything came together and it worked. Allende gives a few clues as to who the murderer may be, which I picked up on, but I had no idea how or why the murderer killed. The final resolution was a little hard to swallow, although the action scenes at the end were nail-biting. The characters in the story are well-drawn and interesting, and I was particularly interested in Ryan's backstory. If the mystery's resolution stretches credulity a bit, I am willing to go with it because I liked the characters so much. The book is translated from the Spanish by Ollie Brock and Frank Wynne, and they did a marvelous job. I would have never guessed that the author wasn't from San Francisco herself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Isabel Allende and have read nearly all of her books. While I enjoyed this new venture of hers, it is not her best one. But still I am glad I read it.
Laeljeanne More than 1 year ago
Teenage Amanda ups the ante in her online mystery game with diverse, global players by introducing a real murder for investigation, using her grandpa as her game “henchman.” Amanda convinces her father, San Francisco’s Chief of Homicide, that the following murders add up to a serial killer. When her mother disappears, the gamers link her to the murders and assist in finding her. As riveting as this story is, a police detective sharing vital information with civilians, especially a teenager, doesn’t make sense. Amanda’s parents, who are divorced, alternate between frustration with her inappropriate efforts at police work and aiding in her investigation without realistic transitions, often changing their attitude from one sentence to the next. That being said, if one can suspend judgment, the characters of Amanda and her grandfather are compelling and humorous, with a unique, quirky relationship, and worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed most of Allende's books, but this one was hard to finish. The portrayal of the young characters read like a young adult book. The rest of the book fell a bit flat and read like a TV show. I guess they can't all be winners.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one. The plot, twists and turns had me hooked!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting premise and overall a decent story. However I agree with some other reviews that there are too many character names and descriptions to keep up with. It's disorienting and detracts from the main plot. Also, all of the characters are vaguely off putting, even the ones you are supposed to like. I actually quite disliked Amanda and the ripper players were generic at best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read interestiing enough to hold your attention
LindaCAPA More than 1 year ago
Always descriptive and great to read but not her best novel.
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This book stinks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
10000000000,000onehunded
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi fireclaw