Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thrilling Mystery Pick: Ripper

by Stefan Pretrucha
432 pages

Available March 1, 2012

Thrilling, scandalous, scintillating, and highly engrossing, Ripper is a real page-turner for teens. Part mystery, part history, part crime novel, part detective story, and awesomely steampunk-y cool, this book will have tons of teen fans.

Set in New York in the late 1890's, Ripper tells the story of Carver Young, an orphan abandoned as an infant who grows up in Ellis Orphanage under the tutalege of Miss Petty. When he is fourteen, he picks the lock to the attic door and finds out what the files hold about his past. There are no papers other than a mysterious letter written by someone he thinks is his father. His mother died in childbirth, yet his father could still be alive...somewhere.

The orphanage has to find homes for the older children, including Carver. They hold a big party for notable citizens to get to know the orphans, hoping someone will adopt them. The police commissioner himself--Teddy Roosevelt--attends and Carver hopes to meet him. Carter wrote to Roosevelt asking him to find his father. Sadly, Roosevelt leaves before Carter can gather the courage to speak to him. Luckily, a chance encounter with another man secures Carver a "home."

Albert Hawking agrees to take in Carver and train him to be a great detective. Hawking used to work for the Pinkerton Agency and now has his own secret agency with grand inventions worthy of visionary Jules Verne. His company develops a subway, a horseless carriage, and an office periscope.

Carter is thrilled to be in the company of such a great mind and is even more excited to be tracking down his long lost father.

There is a killer on the loose in New York who is brutally murdering young women, leaving their mutilated bodies in his wake. Roosevelt is determined to find the macabre madman. Hawking and Carter are hot on the gruesome killer's heels. As the clues unfold, Carter gets closer to finding his father. Can they stop the killer from grabbing his next victim? Can they protect Roosevelt and his daughter?

Highly, highly recommended for reluctant male readers (and females who love mystery and detective novels) grades 7-up---even though page count is 432 pages, each chapter is short--2-6 pages--and each ends with the reader hopelessly immersed in the story and wanting to read on. I dare a teen not to read this voraciously! This novel is for fans of Sherlock Holmes and steampunk lit. No language, no sex, some gruesome details, mystery.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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