Read Ripper by Michael Slade Free Online
Book Title: Ripper|
The author of the book: Michael Slade
Date of issue: June 1st 1994
The size of the: 19.89 MB
Loaded: 1147 times
Reader ratings: 4.5
ISBN 13: 9780451177025
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:
Don't get me wrong, Headhunter, Ghoul, and Cutthroat are all fine books. But they've got nothing on Ripper. And if you've only got time for one Special X novel, I recommend you make it this one, as it stands alone the best.
There are, of course, references to previous Slade novels here. The Mounties refer to prior cases, mainly Cutthroat although Ghoul and Headhunter each get their nods. There are some minor references you won't understand, and the impact of certain scenes will be blunted, if you've not read the previous books but the overall story stands alone and stands alone well despite bringing together the protagonists of the earlier stories. Despite three major story threads, Slade has no problem keeping the pace running as the scene swaps between DeClercq's lesser-key role as the coordinator of his team, Nick Craven's work gathering evidence and interviewing the people who can best make sense of the motives behind the crimes, and Zinc Chandler's attempt to prove he's still got what it takes to be a cop after what went down on his trip to Hong Kong five years ago (chronicled in Cutthroat).
Slade's got no problem spilling blood as every reader should be aware, but the victims in Ripper are on the receiving end of some truly 'awful ways to go' scenarios. From having one's head ritually skinned and scalped to being on the receiving end of an airborne delivery of face-melting acid; from having one's intestines forcibly removed via brute suction to having one's head slowly pulped in a vise one crank-turn at a time, if you're looking to compile a list of "worst ways I can possibly think of to expire", Ripper will easily fill a dozen entries.
Ripper also throws a ton of historical fact the reader's way, Slade's trademark calling card. Police procedural stuff is lighter in this book than the earlier novels, but you'll get more than your fair share of background on everything from Jack the Ripper to Aleister Crowley, 'locked room' mysteries to the tarot, John Dickson Carr to Ellery Queen. Slade's books always end with a bibliography, just in case the info dumps don't tell you everything you wanted to know about a given subject raised by one or more characters.
All that's well and good, but what truly earns the fifth star here is Zinc Chandler's part of the story. Since he's been out of action for the last five years after suffering serious head trauma in Cutthroat, Chandler's been looking for an 'in' that will let him prove (to the RCMP, but more to himself) that he has what it takes to still be a cop. DeClercq, sensing a way to ease him back into the action, recruits him for a relatively easy assignment: he's to play Inspector against a dozen hardcore mystery writers who are staging their own live-action scenario for the chance to earn a $50,000 prize. Chandler's role is to see if his talent as a cop makes him better or less equipped for the job of solving a mystery than those who create them for a living. What should be a quiet, simple weekend getaway of fun turns into Slade's own homage to Christie's classic, "And Then There Were None" as the guests discover the mansion has been painstakingly fitted with all manner of vicious, violent, surprising and horrible death traps. The planes which dropped them on the island have departed, the power is out, the phones don't work, and a storm ensures there's no possibility of a rescue party. As bodies begin to mount, Chandler comes to the cold realization the killer has to be among them--the only question is whether or not he can solve the mystery before the party of fourteen is whittled down to a party of none.
This sequence alone is lovely, with Slade dispensing with secondary characters in gleefully sadistic ways, all the while taunting both Chandler and the reader with a never-ending series of conundrums and riddles. How do you fire a crossbow without your finger on the trigger? How do you cut a man's throat in the middle of an empty room? Read for yourself--I do spoiler-free book reviews.
The takeaway from all this is Ripper's a gas from start to finish. Slade's love/hate letter to the finest mystery scribes of all time is blanched deep red with his penchant for bloodletting. One of the scribes assembled on the island for the game explains he writes horror-whodunnits, a very niche market: the bloodier bits turn off the traditional mystery fans, while the mystery aspects don't do much to whet the typical horror fan's appetite. The man was referring to his own publications, but he just as easily could have been Slade, sneaking in a quick fourth-wall breaker about his own writing. No matter--Ripper rocks, and remains my favorite Slade offering to this day.
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Criminal lawyer MICHAEL SLADE has acted in over one hundred murder cases. His specialty is the law of insanity. He argued the last death penalty case in Canada’s highest court.
Backed by his forensic experience, Slade’s Special X and Wyatt Rook thrillers fuse the genres of police and legal procedure, whodunit and impossible crime, suspense, history, and horror.
Slade was guest of honor at both the Bloody Words crime convention and the World Horror Convention. As Time Out puts it, “A thin line separates crime and horror, and in Michael Slade’s thrillers, the demarcation vanishes altogether.”
Slade was guest speaker at the international Police Leadership Conference and several RCMP regimental dinners. As Reader’s Digest puts it, “The Slade books have developed a strong following among police officers because of their strict adherence to proper police procedure.”
For the stories behind his plots, visit Slade’s Morgue at www.specialx.net.
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