From New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell comes Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert , a comprehensive and intriguing expose of one of the world's most chilling cases of serial murder--and the police force that failed to solve it.Read more...
From New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell comes Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert, a comprehensive and intriguing expose of one of the world's most chilling cases of serial murder--and the police force that failed to solve it.
Vain and charismatic Walter Sickert made a name for himself as a painter in Victorian London. But the ghoulish nature of his art--as well as extensive evidence--points to another name, one that's left its bloody mark on the pages of history: Jack the Ripper. Cornwell has collected never-before-seen archival material--including a rare mortuary photo, personal correspondence and a will with a mysterious autopsy clause--and applied cutting-edge forensic science to open an old crime to new scrutiny.
Incorporating material from Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed, this new edition has been revised and expanded to include eight new chapters.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-23
- Reviewer: Staff
In this follow-up to 2002s Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed, Cornwell doggedly clings to her accusation that the legendary serial killer was painter Walter Sickert, though she concedes that her original case was overstated. However, in this account she does little to remedy the holes left in the last. Cornwell still imputes significance to facts of dubious relevancefor example, she links the uncommon use of ha ha in Rippers letters to Sickert through his friendship with James McNeill Whistler, who was known for saying ha ha. Her account jumps around chronologically, which makes ill-suited to readers who are unfamiliar with the case. She includes a section responding to critics of her prior book, as well as a litany of bizarre occurrences that she attributes to the Rippers lingering psychic presence (From the first moment I began this work, I sensed an entity, a terrifically negative energy that when invoked causes strange aberrations of physics). At one point, she oddly claims that she chose not to interview a previous author whod suspected Sickert, though that writer had died 16 years before she began her quest. Even readers willing to put her idiosyncrasies aside will find that after so much time and effort, Cornwell still fails to present convincing proof of her theory. Color illus. (Jan.)