Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: Ripped A Jack the Ripper Time-Travel Thriller by Shelly Dickson Carr


After her parents were killed, Katie left Boston to live with Grandma Cleaves in London. It still seems like a bad dream. But she's doing okay, even making new friends.
A bit of a history buff, Katie likes living in a city where so much has happened, likes walking the same streets as the authors of Dracula and the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. This cool, bookish teen is working on her British accent and even learning some Cockney rhyming slang from handsome Toby.
When a museum visit with friends turns funky, Katie finds herself in a long, uncomfortable dress, wearing a ridiculous hat. What happened to her jeans and high-top sneakers? Where's her iPhone? It's London, 1888. Smart, gutsy Katie realizes she's here to stop a serial killer. She can't bring her parents back, but maybe she can save these women. Katie 's read about the Ripper, knows the names of his victims, even knows where and when they were killed. She's watched her fair share of CSI, knows about profiling and forensics. Surely she knows enough to save the lives of his victims. But how will changing history affect the lives of those she loves most?

I've always had a thing for mysteries and a lot of historical fiction books, so the idea of a YA mystery book that focused on one of the greatest mysteries of all time really intrigued me.

In Ripped, Katie travels back to Victorian London after making a wish and touching the raven's claw fissure in the London Stone. She finds herself right in the middle of Jack the Ripper's reign of terror, but what does this have to do with her wish?

I wasn't quite sure where the story was going at first. That is, it seemed to me like they were just after who Jack the Ripper was. As such, through most of the book, I was guessing who he could be. I actually did guess correctly but as I was so focused on the whole mystery and if Katie could actually change things, it never occurred to me to put two and two together and realize the significance of Jack the Ripper's identity on Katie and the other characters. For that, I give kudos to this book. It's definitely an intelligent, intriguing plot.

The only downside for me was Katie herself. She's impulsive, doesn't think before she speaks and she's selfish. There were times when she was actually okay, especially the last chapter, but for the most part, I found her really frustrating. It's a good thing that the story was compelling, otherwise I would not have been too eager to continue the book.

Thanks to NetGalley and Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Members' Titles for the e-copy.


  1. The plot twists are not that predictable.
  2. It's a good way to familiarize yourself with Cockney slang.
  3. You get to see the nice and not so nice parts of Victorian London.


  1. Katie can be annoying.

Katie was surprised to see Major Brown and Reverend Pinker at the sideboard scooping up heaping portions of poached eggs, roasted tomatoes, kippers, bacon, and sausage onto their plates.

  1. You are fascinated by the mystery of Jack the Ripper.
  2. You like novels set in Victorian London.
  3. You like time-travel stories.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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