About the book, Ripper
The Jackson women, Indiana and Amanda, have always had each other. Though their bond is strong, mother and daughter are as different as night and day. Indiana, a beautiful holistic healer, is a free-spirited bohemian. Long divorced from Amanda’s father, she’s reluctant to settle down with either of the men who want her—Alan, the wealthy scion of one of San Francisco’s elite families, and Ryan, an enigmatic, scarred former Navy SEAL.
While her mom looks for the good in people, Amanda is fascinated by the dark side of human nature—as is her father, the SF PD’s deputy chief of homicide. Brilliant and introverted, the MIT-bound high school senior Amanda is a natural-born sleuth addicted to crime novels and to Ripper, the online mystery game she plays with her beloved grandfather and friends around the world.
When a string of strange murders occurs across the city, Amanda plunges into her own investigation, probing hints and deductions that elude the police department. But the case becomes all too personal when Indiana suddenly vanishes. Could her mother’s disappearance have something to do with the series of deaths? Now, with her mother’s life on the line, Amanda must solve the most complex mystery she’s ever faced before it’s too late.
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About the author, Isabel Allende
Isabel Allende is the bestselling author of twelve works of fiction, four memoirs, and three young adult novels, which have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages, with more than 57 million copies sold. In 2004, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award in 2012. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.
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More than twenty years ago, I met my husband online. Specifically, I met him on a MUSH (it stands for “multi-user shared hallucination” and it refers to an online, real-time, text-based role-playing environment), which is a sort of online game. It is this experience, with the way our online and offline lives bleed into each other that made me really, really want to read the latest offering from Isabel Allende: Ripper.
If you’ve ever read Allende’s work, you know that she has this amazing way of using language that is both descriptive and immersive and amazingly lyrical, even when she’s talking about a man who was skewered by a baseball bat (which is a sight we’re treated to in the opening chapters). Ripper is no different than her other work in that respect.
But here’s where it is different: It rides the line between Young Adult/New Adult and Contemporary fiction. It’s a mystery/thriller but it’s also a family drama, a love story, and a coming of age tale. And did I mention there’s role-playing.
Of course, no matter what we’re reading, we read it through the veil of our own experiences. While my history with gaming drew me to the story, what kept me intrigued was the relationship between Amanda and her grandfather, Blake. Why? Because I was the favorite of my own grandfather, and the relationship Allende drew in Ripper resonated with me very strongly.
There are many reasons to pick up this novel. Pick it up because you like free-spirited women who care about their daughters despite having virtually nothing in common with them. Pick it up because you or someone you know has been involved in a computer game – even if it’s one of those tacky first-person shooter MMORPGs that all the kids are playing. Pick it up because you know Allende’s work and want to have the comprehensive Allende experience. You can even pick it up because you’re intrigued by the title over a picture of the Golden Gate bridge. It really doesn’t matter why you read it.
What matters is that you do, because it’s a wonderful story, and you will not be disappointed.
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