Published by HarperCollins on January 28, 2014
Genres/Lists: Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Read synopsis on Goodreads
I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours.
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Update: Isabel Allende told NPR that she wrote this book as a joke because mystery novels are so awful. It sparked some outrage, but it does explain why the book is…. what it is. Read about it on NPR.
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. Regardless, I think I’m going to go read some of Allende’s other works because I know she’s a fantastic author!
Full Tour Info
Tuesday, January 28th: Jen’s Book Thoughts
Wednesday, January 29th: Book Club Classics!
Tuesday, February 4th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, February 5th: Literally Jen
Thursday, February 6th: Little Lovely Books
Monday, February 10th: bookchickdi
Tuesday, February 11th: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, February 12th: The Book Wheel
Thursday, February 13th: M. Denise C.
Monday, February 17th: she treads softly
Tuesday, February 18th: In Bed with Books
Wednesday, February 19th: Bibliophilia, Please
Thursday, February 20th: Literary Feline
Monday, February 24th: Between the Covers
Tuesday, February 25th: Savvy Verse & Wit
Wednesday, February 26th: Under a Gray Sky
Thursday, February 27th: The Scarlet Letter
TBD: Peppermint PhD