Goodreads describes this as follows:
Whitechapel, November 1888: Jack the Ripper is committing his last known act of butchery in the one-room hovel occupied by the luckless harlot, Mary Kelly. And beneath the bed on which the fiend is cruelly and cheerfully eviscerating his victim cowers a fifteen-year-old boy….This is just the start of the extraordinary adventures of Trevor Bentley, a boy who embarked on an errand of mercy and ran into the most notorious serial killer in criminal history, a boy who became a man as he travelled on a quest of vengeance across a wild and untamed continent–a boy who brought the horrors of Jack the Ripper to the New World.”–taken from back cover
I have to say I was pretty excited about this book. I have long enjoyed the mystery surrounding Jack the Ripper – finding it curious that he was never found though I have long subscribed to the idea that he must have died in a traffic accident.
Unfortunately, this book was not as good as I had hoped – in many places I found it downright boring as hell. I could relate to the boy to some degree – he felt responsible for many things that Jack did and took it upon himself to make sure the Ripper paid. However, mishap after mishap befalls him until it began to get a bit ridiculous. I can take so much, as I know I have said before, but when things start going into the absurd, I draw the line.
Now I am beginning to wonder if I want to read the next book coming out about the Ripper – David Golemon is doing that one and I’ve been looking forward to it but now have to question if he can make it better than Laymon. I loved Supernaturals so I would like to think so but I hate being disappointed in books.
Laymon does write a vivid portrayal of the White Chapel area, I enjoyed that and the boy’s British brogue. But so much of the book was about the boy, leaving the Ripper nothing more than a subplot. In fact, it could have been about any serial killer – Laymon might have picked the Ripper simply for his notoriety and to sell books.
There were some interesting parts, I can’t say it was a horrible book – but it wasn’t that great either. I guess in the long run I would have to rate the book a C.