Harper, New York
Published: January 28, 2014
Amanda is an ultra-intelligent young lady with a very free-spirited mother and a homicide chief in the San Francisco Police Department as her father. Indiana, the mother, and Bob, the father, have been divorced for a long time and Amanda deals with each one of her parents significant others, along with her grandfather and best friend, Blake. She plays a game called Ripper with various online friends from around the world and they try to solve real life murders. Unfortunately, a spate of murders start happening in San Francisco that are seemingly unrelated, and the Ripper players concentrate on these, along with Bob, who only realizes he is dealing with a serial killer after the players figure it out first and Amanda tells him.
By the end of the novel, the serial killer has kidnapped Amanda’s own mother, Indiana, and the players try to figure out who the killer is and where he has taken Indiana.
Many social issues were weaved into the story by Ms. Allende, as did Rowling. Some of these issues in Ripper are gang life, dog fighting, transvestism, post traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as alternative and wholistic healing methods.
Also, one of the characters in Ripper was an arts patron and I enjoyed reading about some of the art he admired. One of these paintings was Tintoretto’s Susanna and the Elders:
Excerpt about the painting from Ms. Allende’s novel:
“The lecherous old men are irrelevant; that’s why they’re hidden in the shadowy corners of the canvas. The focus of our attention is Susanna, and only her. Just look at the young woman’s skin: warm, smooth, gilded by the evening sun. Look at the soft body, the languorous posture. This is no virgin we’re looking at: we know she’s married, that she’s been initiated into the mysteries of sex. Tintoretto has achieved the perfect balance between the innocent girl and the sensual woman; in Susanna they coexist for that fleeting moment before time leaves its mark on her. That moment is magical. Just look at her.”
Other stops on the Ripper blog tour can be found HERE.