Jack the Ripper. He is a legend among serial killers and the boogie man to the rest of the world. The brutality shown in the five murders attributed to him is almost as notorious as the mystery surrounding his identity and abrupt disappearance. However, what if instead of being a homicidal maniac, the Ripper was actually a mad scientist working for the British government? David Golemon explores that possibility in his latest Event Group book, “Ripper”.
Professor Lawrence Ambrose is an American scientist hired by Queen Victoria to create a formula able to turn British soldiers into intelligent killing machines. Using an early version of his concoction, later named Perdition’s Fire, the professor becomes more than anyone can imagine or control. Unfortunately, this forces the Queen to order the formula to be destroyed and the doctor terminated. After a battle reminiscent of the Mr. Hyde fights in both “Van Helsing” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, Ambrose escapes to America where he is eventually stopped by a contingency of US Army soldiers led by Lt. George S. Patton.
Per author, David L, Golemon, “The Event Group is the most secret organization in the United States, comprised of the nation’s most brilliant individuals in the branches of science, philosophy, and the military. Led by the valiant Major Jack Collins, they are dedicated to uncovering the hidden truths behind the myths and legends propagated throughout world history—from underground agencies and conspiracy theories to extraterrestrial life and UFOs.” The group is so secret, only the President of the United States (both past and present) knows of their existence. When a member of the group is captured by a ruthless Mexican cartel leader, Major Collins leads a small team to rescue her. During the course of the mission, a secret cache of Perdition’s Fire is discovered with terrifying results. The British government is willing to pay any price to destroy the formula and keep their involvement in its development a secret. Much death and destruction follow.
I freely admit that I hadn’t heard of this series before this novel. I am, however, a fan of Jack the Ripper stories, so I thought I’d give this book a go and am glad I did. The way the author weaved the story made the historical parts seem plausible, and got you caring about certain characters and whether they make it out of the story alive. (Not spoiling a thing, mums the word) As much as I enjoyed the story, however, there were some faults that proved a little bothersome. There were some recurring characters whose presence didn’t seem to add to the story. Also, while I expected a violent story since it is military sci-fi, the amount of headshots taken seemed gratuitous for a non-zombie book. Overall, I rate the story a 4 out of 5 and look forward to reading the rest of the series.