Carver Young has always dreamed of being a detective, but growing up in an orphanage in 1895 isn’t exactly a path to fame and glory. When he receives a message from his biological father he never knew, he’s determined to track him down. However this puts in in the middle of an investigation by a secret sect of the famed Pinkerton Detective Agency to track down the notorious Ripper that has traded London for the streets of New York. A mix of steampunk, mystery, and murder!
Ripper is a good but not truly great mystery-thriller. The steampunk (futuristic technology set in the turn of the 20th century, often powered by steam) elements work really well and several are based on real technology of the time. Petrucha adds then head of the NYC police, Teddy Roosevelt and his super awesome daughter Alice. The real life (and larger than life) historical figures provide some of the best scenes and lines of the book. Another strength, is that the Pinkerton Detective Agency was awesome and stories about it always benefit from its awesomeness. The weakness is a plot that takes too long to get going and a main character that never feels that complex or real. However, if you stick with the book it picks up PUN ALERT steam, and has a strong ending. If you want a good historical fiction mystery, this will be a good (but not truly great) choice. I also recommend the Agency series by Y.S. Lee (YP FIC LEE) or the smashing Boy Sherlock Holmes series by Shane Peacock (YP FIC PEACOCK).
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