Thanks to NetGalley and Vintage for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Of the real-life serial killers whose gruesome acts have been splashed across headlines, none has reached the mythical status of Jack the Ripper. In the Ripper’s wake, terror swept through the streets of London’s East End in the fall of 1888. As quickly as his nightmarish reign came, Saucy Jack vanished without a trace, leaving generations to speculate upon his identity and whereabouts. He was diabolical in a way never seen before. A killer who taunted police, came up with his own monikers, and ultimately, got away with his heinous crimes.
More than a century later, the man from hell continues to live on in the imaginations of readers everywhere and in some of the most spectacularly unnerving stories, both fiction and non-fiction, ever written. The Big Book of Jack the Ripper immerses you in the utterly chilling world of Red Jack’s London, where his unprecedented evil still lurks.
The Big Book of Jack the Ripper is made up of a huge assortment of both non-fiction and fiction which makes for some fascinating reading. The first section covers the factual aspects of the case including: newspaper articles, statements from witnesses as well as ones by authorities and doctors involved in the case. Also included are some fascinating theories from some of the world’s most respected Ripperologists. Given what was done to the murder victims, this isn’t exactly easy reading, especially the autopsy reports. These chapters provide an intimate look at not only the crimes, but the women themselves and their poverty-stricken lives. While there’s not a lot here factually that’s new for readers familiar with these unsolved crimes, it still makes for some fascinating reading. The rest of the book features more than 40 fictional stories. Some are reprinted classics by authors such as Robert Bloch, Ellery Queen, and Marie Belloc-Lowndes. Others are brand new stories by contemporary authors like Jeffery Deaver, Anne Perry and Lyndsay Faye. Some are short stories, while others are novellas and even short novels. Despite its hefty length, the format is very easy to follow and you can easily put it down and pick it up hours later, without losing your train of thought. I highly recommend The Big Book of Jack the Ripper as a must have for anyone who’s fascinated by this unsolved crime.