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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 April 2017
being a Ripperologist I have read many books on Jack the Ripper and his victims, but so far, this has been the most engaging.. This book impressed me with the depth of characterisation, especially that of Mary Kelly. .
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on 7 April 2008
Don't be put off by the size of the book, because in this instance big really is best. This is a great read whether you're familiar with the subject matter - Jack the Ripper's alleged final victim - or just looking for a ripping (excuse the pun) period read. It documents the life of Mary Kelly, the most elusive of the canonical victims - no pictures of her exist apart from her awful crime scene photograph - leading her to be perhaps the most romanticised of the victims. With painstaking research Bill Perring has woven together from a variety of disparate sources an impeccably drawn picture of what is known of her life, never forgetting that these anecdotes came from Kelly herself; all or none may be true. This vagueness is part of the appeal of Mary Kelly, as you watch the awful downward trajectory of a fairly settled domestic life in Wales, to high class and finally gutter prostitution in Whitechapel. The ending is of course a true jaw on the floor moment. Essential Ripper fiction, it's the sort of book that you can expect to see on celluloid before too long.
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on 28 May 2011
I had this book on my wishlist for sometime and finally brought it when the price was right. Thank goodness i did!
This wonderful novel is one of the best books i've ever read. It tells the story of an ordinary, young Welsh girl destined to live an extraordinary life. It is long(590 pages), but the story is so gripping it never drags and there isn't a single paragraph or sentence that i would trim down. I read this in bed at night and an intended quick 15-min read would invariably turn into an hour!

This book will take you through the full gamut of emotions-joy, fear, love, sadness, horror. It is a book not about crime but about people, good and bad, kind and evil. It is hard to get across in this review how well written this book really is; every character, minor or integral, graces the page with their presence and brings Mary's world to life.

You don't have to be a Ripper expert to read this (any lover of fiction will find this a brilliant read), but if you are a budding ripperologist(as i am!) then you will recognize and appreciate the many traces of Ripper lore that run through this book. Quite a number of times i nodded my head in recognition of a character, or an event, and there were times where i felt a chill shiver down my spine!

If you want a well written, well researched book, with a gripping plot full of highs and lows, ups and downs then please get this!

Ps. I would love to see this book turned into a 9 or 10-part tv mini-series.
Pps. It is almost impossible to believe that this is the author's first novel. Absolute genius at work!
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on 30 August 2005
I was gripped from beginning to end and I can't get Mary out of my head. I do read alot and The Seduction of Mary Kelly is the best book I have purchased in a long time. It is not often that i do read a book and struggle to get the characters out of my head, i was bitterly dissappointed when I got to the last chapter as I would have loved it to go on and on. The twist at the end is remarkable and well put together. You get a real feel for the life Mary led and the hurdles she had to endure and overcome. I would have no problem reccommending this book to anyone, it is not to be missed
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on 2 August 2013
I absolutely loved this book. I've always had a fascination for Jake the Ripper and have read several non-fiction books on the subject. However, this is the first fictionalised version I have delved into, on the recommendation of the author's niece. I'm so glad I gave it a try. It's a coruscating tale of the kind of poverty that was rife at the time, making me realise just how easy we have it now. Mary Kelly's story - fiction though this maybe - is told in such a way, that I really believed that this could have been her life; certainly, it shows a version of life for many of those poor souls who struggled in the mire of poverty and deprivation that was part and parcel of existence for those on the margins of society in the latter years of the 19th century.

Here, the author vividly describes the squalor and hopelessness of those who must scrape a living any way they can, with none of the safety nets that we now take for granted. The terror of a sick child when there's no money for a doctor, and the ease with which the hardworking and respectable poor can find themselves cast down into the gutter are heartbreakingly depicted. The characters portrayed came alive on the page, and I wept tears of sadness for their losses and the cruel twists of fate which brought them low. I wanted to reach in and take hold of Mary Kelly, to offer her comfort and succour On finishing Book One, I immediately logged onto Amazon to purchase Book Two, which I can't wait to get stuck into.

A beautifully written, and brilliantly told story.
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on 24 April 2013
Bill Perring has a mind that can pick up the tiniest detail and turns it into huge substance. His imagination would be called devious if he were criminally-minded!

This book has charm, excitement, mystery, poignancy and outright cleverness. Don't fall asleep over it or you might miss something vital! Everything in it is possible - there's nothing in it that contradicts the known facts about the Ripper murders. So what he has written may well be the ultimate truth.

"The seduction of Mary Kelly" is a must for Ripper connoisseurs and whodunit fans alike.

The Seduction of Mary Kelly - Final Victim of Jack the Ripper. Book One
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on 7 October 2014
This is the first time I have left a review on a novel. I was thoroughly engrossed in both parts of the book from beginning to end , taking any opportunity to read it . I felt such a strong empathy for Mary and I shed a tear at the end . I read a couple of reviews on this book before I read it , and a reader had said they could not get Mary out of her head . That is something I felt throughout and still do . I have researched the internet a lot whilst reading the book to find information on Mary and the Ripper Murders .My heart ached for Mary and I often found myself thinking of her . I contacted William J Perring on Facebook to ask further questions , to quench my thirst on finding more and more on this tragic tragic story . To my complete astonishment , he replied and gave me a very detailed account . I was so surprised that he took the time to this . I would highly recommend this book to anyone, even if the didn't have an interest in the Ripper Murders. My mum never did, and now she feels the connection with Mary also . Also I can say is that I am so happy at the ending , I will reveal no more . Just buy and read !!
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on 26 July 2014
As I started reading this book I thought "this book was written for me!" Set in Wales and London it has all the elements I look for in a good novel: believable story, well-defined and sympathetic characters, ambiance, mystery, and a meaningful conclusion. That Jack the Ripper is involved is just a bonus. We follow Mary from an impoverished mining town in Wales to eccentric employment in upper middle-class London. Mary longs to return to Wales (she has left some precious things there) but is hindered by a series of poor choices and finds herself literally on the streets of London's Whitechapel district in the late 1880's. These scenes are some of the most evocative of time and place I have ever read. Here she meets colorful and tragic characters with no money or hope for a better future. Drinking becomes her ticket out of misery until her innate courage and determination set in. Written in beautiful language, the author takes us on a memorable journey and we emerge with a better understanding of the consequences of life's choices. I highly recommend this book.
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on 3 May 2013
I loved this book and was absolutely engrossed in it. It will make you laugh, cry and take your breath away. Bill Perring has entwined the facts of the real Mary Kelly into an incredible story, which could be the truth. A must read!
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on 2 May 2013
I'm not normally a fan of historical fiction but I loved this book. It's made me laugh and cry, in public no less...
The best book I've read for ages!
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