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The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Whitechapel Horrors: 10 [Paperback]

Edward B. Hanna
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Oct 2010 Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Grotesque murders are being committed on the streets of Whitechapel. Sherlock Holmes comes to believe they are the skilful work of one man, a man who earns the gruesome epithet of Jack the Ripper. As the investigation proceeds, Holmes realizes that the true identity of the Ripper puts much more at stake than just catching a killer...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd; Reprint edition (29 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848567499
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848567498
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The Whitechapel Horrors is at once romantic, mysterious, gothic and psychological." - The New York Times"

About the Author

Edward B. Hanna was a distinguished producer, writer and executive whose work won him many of broadcast journalism's highest honors, including the Overseas Press Club Award, several Emmys and four Peabody Awards. Hanna was a long-time Sherlock Holmes buff, and a member of the Baker Street Irregulars. Sadly, he passed away in 2008.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Works of fiction that feature Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's master detective Sherlock Holmes attempting to solve the mystery of real-life murderer Jack the Ripper are not exactly a new idea (it was first tried in the movie A Study in Terror, made in 1965, and has most recently become the basis for a 2009 Xbox 360 game), so it was with only mild surprise that I discovered The Whitechapel Horrors, yet another version of this scenario, a novel by Edward B. Hanna first published in 1992, and here re-issued as part of Titan Books' hit-and-miss `Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' series.
Though by no means terrible, this book did not prove to be the definitive account of `Holmes vs. the Ripper' that I was hoping for; in its favour, the story is quite exciting and gruesome in parts, and features a welcome, lengthy appearance by Holmes' brother Mycroft, who is well characterised here. Hanna's descriptions of the Whitechapel slums of 1888 are obviously well-researched, as are the exact details in his descriptions of the Ripper murders. But there are four problems with the book; firstly, it is written in the third person (supposedly assembled from some `recently discovered' notes), which is never attractive for readers used to experiencing most of Holmes' adventures in Dr. Watson's own words. Second, it follows a very similar narrative to that of the 1979 film Murder By Decree (still the best attempt to do justice to this story), as well as the 1988 TV mini-series Jack the Ripper, and the 2001 movie From Hell; all three efforts attempted to link the Ripper murders with the British Royal Family, and the much-slandered Sir William Gull.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 26 Jan 2011
By filmore
Format:Paperback
Being a fairly keen Sherlock Holmes fan, I read this book with steadily increasing despondency. I found that, for me, the stumbling block was the author's characterisation of Holmes himself. It seems that everyone has his/her own interpretation of the famous detective - indeed, one of the beauties of Conan Doyle's writing was that it allowed this to some extent. However, every trait becomes twisted in this tale and the sleuth becomes over-acerbic, supercilious and more sarcastic than one usually finds. This may have been the author's intent, but the character has now too many unforgivable flaws. The book doesn't flow, it reads very formulaicly as if the author has a number of points or set pieces he wants to include. The dialogue between Wiggins of the Baker Street Irregulars and Holmes made me cringe.

"Some sez 'e's a Jew w'iv a wild beard down 'is chest an some sez 'ees (why is this 'ees digfferent from the firs 'e's?) a butcher fwom da slaughter'ouses w'iv a l'edder h'apron, an' some sez 'ees a toff fwom da West H'end out to kill all da 'ores..." and so on.

I thought this way of putting an accent on paper had died out in the 50's. I almost stopped reading then and it wouldn't have been of any consequence if I had.

The tale itself is middling, but Sherlock Holmes it ain't.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow read 18 May 2011
By rdgb
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book thinking it would be a good read but it is a long drawn out plot and should have been condensed to at least half its length
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Well Written & thoroughly Researched 29 July 2011
By D. Webb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've been an avid fan of Doyle's work since my childhood. I'm also a scientist, anatomist and lover of history. As such, I'm very familiar with the life and works of Doyle's professor Dr. Joseph Bell, the real-life model for Sherlock Holmes and the father of the modern science of forensic medicine. I think that even the great Prof. Bell would have been impressed with the depth of scholarship that Mr. Hanna brought to this book.

The Whitechapel Horrors is an astonishingly detailed fusion of historical and scientific fact together with suspensful mystery writing. Not only was Hanna's research into the Ripper murders very impressive; but the depth of his research into life in Victorian Lodon was breath-taking! Edward Hanna brings that bygone city and its inhabitants vibrantly to life.

The authenticity of his portrayal of Holmes and Watson rings perfectly true as well. Without being slavishly imitative of the original, I feel that he captured the essential nature of these two seminal creations of Dr. Dolye's fertile imagination.

I want to offer a comment about this book's conclusion. I know that other reviewers have criticized his choice to not have the Great Detective suceed and reveal the identity of the Ripper. I respectfully disagree. I think that was absolutely the correct approach to this issue. No one is ever going to know the identity of the Ripper and to have identified him would, in my opinion, have felt false and artificial in the context of this excellent work of historical fiction.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whitechapel Horrors: Well done! 30 April 2011
By K. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a reasonably well crafted tale, but the end is anticlimactic. Edward Hanna does an excellent job of convincing the reader that Sherlock Holmes was a real person. His interactions with Inspector Abberline, Sir Charles Warren, and other Historical figures come off as genuine. Hanna departs from the usual point of view. He does not tell the story from Dr. Watson's point of view. This may put off some hardcore Sherlock Holmes fans but does not affect the story adversely. Overall, I would recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Epitome of Ripper Fiction 1 Aug 2012
By Sand under foot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
(Potential Spoilers)

The concept of the world's greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes, facing the world's most infamous killer, Jack the Ripper, is certainly not a new one. The number of books dealing with such a meeting is far too many to count, and there are two very enjoyable films which deal with such a meeting. It seems as though I have hardly scratched the surface of his this supposed sub-genre having read only "Dust and Shadow" and the very interesting e-Book, "Bloody London." However, I finally found the time to read "The Whitechapel Horrors" which at 440 pages long, certainly seems as though it would be the definitive book on the subject.

The author of this book, Edward B. Hanna, is clearly a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast. His characterizations of Holmes and Watson are wonderful. It is evident that Hanna's interpretation of the character is based off of Jeremy Brett, for Holmes' actions and dialogue are clearly reminiscent of the great actor. The book is written in the third person and therefore the writing style is not in the vain of Arthur Conan Doyle's. However, if the book is viewed as a non-fiction account of Dr. Watson's story detailing Holmes' struggle against the Ripper, than the book can be thoroughly enjoyed. The writing of the book is detailed and informative, lending wonderful insight into the people who lived during the time, but painting an interesting picture of Victorian London on a whole.

Aside from Holmes and Watson, the book is fruitful with good characterizations. Throughout the book, Holmes and Watson rub elbows with Frederick Abberline, the inspector in charge of the Ripper case, Sir Charles Warren, the head of Scotland Yard, Oscar Wilde and the Prince of Wales. Characters from the canon are plentiful as well - Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft Holmes, Inspector Lestrade, Billy the page and even Shinwell Johnson (from "The Illustrious Client"). Further proof of the author's familiarity with the canon is evident in the fact that the investigation of the Hound of the Baskervilles occurs during the course of the book, and the story is artfully crafted around the events of the most famous Sherlock Holmes novel.

However, the book is not without fault. While the amount of details concerning the Ripper murders are plentiful throughout this book, it felt as though it lacked the true sense of horror which is associated with the five murders. This feeling of horror is evident in the other stellar Holmes/the Ripper novel, "Dust and Shadow." The concept of Sherlock Holmes fighting the Ripper is one which should be written as a Gothic horror/thriller, and that impression did not make itself evident in this book. The other fault I have with this story is the ending. It has been brought up by other reviewers of this book that it was an interesting move on the author's part not to reveal the identity of the murderer. In retrospect the concept is a good one for it allows the reader to consider for themselves who the identity of the killer was, by placing that person's face into the creeping faceless shadow which is described throughout the book. Even though the idea is a different one, after reading the book for more than 400 pages, it is something of a letdown that the author did not reveal the identity of the infamous Whitechapel murderer.

In all, "The Whitechapel Horrors" is an enjoyable Sherlock Holmes novel which although is not a new concept, is a wonderful retelling of it. The book is filled with a great amount of detail and it is evident that the late author did a great deal of research to write the story. This is indeed a historically rich novel and a treat for Sherlock Holmes fans and Jack the Ripper enthusiasts alike.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would have approved! 8 May 2011
By P. A. Panozzo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have always been a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson and I also have had a fascination with the Jack the Ripper murders in Whitechapel. I was a little skeptical of buying and reading this book because it was not written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I am glad I took a chance on it because, in my opinion, it is fabulous! You cannot tell that it is by another author! In the Foreword to the 2010 edition, Leigh Hanna (Hanna's daughter?) states that "...the characters became alive for Hanna and created their own destiny." As the other reviewer states, this is a well-crafted story, carefully researched and true to the Ripper facts and Holmes character. The author fits this story in amongst the other cases of Sherlock Holmes (the Hound of the Baskervilles interrupted this investigation). Each chapter starts with a quote from another adventure. At the end of the story are interesting footnotes that explain and clarify the text. I found this to be an extremely enjoyable read, as good or better than other Sherlock Holmes stories! This is just one volume of a series of "The Further Adventures of ..." published by Titan Books.The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Angel of the Opera and The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Giant Rat of Sumatra are two other titles in the series. If you have an interest in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories here is the link The Complete Sherlock Holmes: All 4 Novels and 56 Short Stories. If you need a great book on Jack the Ripper I would recommend Donald Rumbelow's Complete Jack the Ripper. I have a Listmania list devoted to Jack the Ripper resources that you may wish to view.Close To Holmes - A Look at the Connections Between Historical London, Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may also be of interest as well as Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters Update: I recently discovered and acquired this title. It receives accolades from Ripperologists (those that study the Jack the Ripper murders)!Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson. The author is Lyndsay Faye and this is her first novel! I haven't read it yet but it looks very promising!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting novel that drags on too long 2 April 2012
By Kevin J. Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
On of the most annoying things about pastiches are when the authors, in an attempt to show off that they know about the world they are writing about, forget who they are suppose to be.

What I mean by this is this: The stories of Sherlock Holmes are suppose to be written by Watson for people reading of Holmes' adventures in the 1890s-1910s. When emulating Doyle's style, less is more. Watson never spends pages upon pages describing buildings or systems...he assumes his readers know about these things and that there is no need to describe them. This helps make the story flow quickly. And when something is important, Doyle does take the time to describe it.

The Whitechapel Horrors falls into this trap. Well done for the author researching London...but dedicating pages to describing poor houses and churches only make the story drag on and on, to the point where the mystery takes forever to solve (coughcough).

For example, we have one chapter where Holmes talks with a boarding house run by a minister and his wife. The description of the building and the people never seems to end...and in the end does NOTHING to move the story along. And the fact that 'Watson' is describing such things took me out of the story...why would Watson need to describe such things...it would be like a modern writer explaining what an IPod is in great detail, for several paragraphs.

The other fact of the matter is...the mystery just isn't that interesting compared to other, stronger takes. 'Sherlock Holmes of Bakers Street' by William S. Baring-Gould presents a MUCH better telling of Holmes and the Ripper in a MUCH shorter space (only 4 pages, give or take). It has interesting twists, a wonderful disguise by Holmes, and a shocking conclusion that reveal just WHY Watson has earned his spot next to Holmes.

This story, on the other hand, is a long winded bore. Cut it down by half and give it an actual ending...and then you may have a masterpiece.
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