12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A not very ripping yarn,
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This review is from: Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Hardcover)
This book was sold with the words "Case Closed" on the picture illustrating it on the Amazon website. On receiving my copy I was interested to see these words missing from the cover- a mystery in itself- but would have sued under the trade descriptions act if this book really claimed to solve the case. I should have known it would be inadequate as soon as I saw the words, "Now a Major TV documentary" which begs the question why was it written- to serve the Channel 5 viewers who wanted to check the veracity of the programme or the general reader or those people with the self-styled label- "Ripperologists" or fans of Andrew Cook? Either way someone at Channel 5 or Mr Cook himself is clearly hoping to make a killing (if you forgive the pun) Also, (and yes I'm being snobbish) a BOOK supporting a documentary on CHANNEL 5; a broadcaster with all the investigative backbone of a jellyfish is clearly an oxymoronic concept.
Not to say the basic idea wasn't interesting (I won't use the word arresting which seems slightly inappropriate) but it was a single idea, explained with some equally interesting narrative based on primary evidence concerning the press coverage of the time. But thats it- granted there is some obvious padding out with quotations from autopsies (strangely repeated in some superfluous appendices) and some good illustration but overall the text is badly copy-edited with sentences tailing off and some not complete plus some repetition. Ultimately,the text is thin and Cook spends much time condemning other writers for deciding on a theory and then only selecting the evidence that fits, only to pretty much do the same thing. He starts with his idea and conveniently fails to discuss a variety of aspects that might undercut his point. He seems to misunderstand the idea of escalation in serial killing which does not just apply to the levels of violence involved and seems to ignore the victims to a great extent as though they are a side issue. Overall, a big disappointment and though like other reviewers, I have avoided mentioning his overarching theory it is a useful contribution to debate rather than a definitive solution and more the basis of an article than this padded out book. The are other good versions (both long and short) that do the subject more justice.