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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper- Case Closed (Patricia Cornwell)


I have found over the years, that sometimes, reality can be more horrific than fiction.  This can truly be said of the Jack the Ripper killings...

Using forensic techniques, Patricia Cornwell (author of the Scarpetta series), pieces together a case regarding the true identity of the infamous Jack the Ripper...

"Portrait of a Killer" is an interesting piece of non-fiction writing.  The style is fairly easy to follow, though some areas are a bit murky to understand due to use of technical jargon.  Cornwell's writing also flows nicely  too- with her being able to make even the drier parts interesting and engaging.

I liked the fact that she goes to to out of the way places in search of evidence to support her case, and she does a credible job of it too.  Credible, but not altogether convincing.  While her presentation of the evidence is persuasive and skilled, there is still reasonable doubt as to whether or not her suspect was actually Jack the Ripper.

While of interest to Ripperologists (though most disagree with Cornwell's theory), and true crime readers, "Portrait of a Killer" isn't likely to convince you that a famous painter was also a sadistic serial killer.  I'm going to place this book in The Bad.

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