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Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed

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Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed Cover

ISBN13: 9780399149320
ISBN10: 0399149325
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The number-one New York Times-bestselling novelist Patricia Cornwell is known the world over for her brilliant storytelling, the courage of her characters, and the state-of-the-art forensic methods they employ.

In this headline-making new work of nonfiction, Cornwell turns her trademark skills for meticulous research and scientific expertise on one of the most chilling cases of serial murder in the history of crime-the slayings of Jack the Ripper that terrorized 1880s London. With the masterful intuition into the criminal mind that has informed her novels, Cornwell digs deeper into the case than any detective before her-and reveals the true identity of this elusive madman.

Enlisting the help of forensic experts, Cornwell examines all the physical evidence available: thousands of documents and reports, fingerprints, crime-scene photographs, original etchings and paintings, items of clothing, artists' paraphernalia, and traces of DNA. Her unavoidable conclusion: Jack the Ripper was none other than a respected painter of his day, an artist now collected by some of the world's finest museums.

Review:

"Cornwell, who spent $6 million (deductible) on her investigation...presents as prime evidence...the fact that Sickert titillated a young mistress by donning a red Ripper scarf at his easel....[I]n her scramble to get down to forensic business, Cornwell gets befuddled herself by first principles." David Cohen, Slate.com

Review:

"In order to make herself and her readers believe [her thesis, Cornwell] draws assumptions, plays fast and loose with facts, misinterprets language and makes fanciful readings of Sickert?s paintings....She quotes evidence to support her view but ignores it when it doesn?t suit her case....To attribute those murders to any person without cast-iron evidence or due regard for what is known rather than what is speculative, as Cornwell has attempted, is an act of irresponsible cruelty." Richard Shone, The Spectator (U.K.)

Book News Annotation:

Crime fiction writer Cornwell adds yet another volume to the Jack the Ripper literature. She argues that the serial killer had to be the painter Walter Richard Sickert (d. 1942) and that the killings continued beyond the 1888 murder spree. She presents a portrait of Sickert as deranged by genital deformations and points to clues in his paintings and his biography as giving weight to her description of him as psychopathic. Explorations of the physical evidence, including DNA tests commissioned by Cornwell are presented and new clues are sought in the accounts of the murders of the Ripper's victims.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Patricia Cornwell's most recent number-one bestsellers include The Last Precinct and Isle of Dogs. Her earlier work includes Postmortem-the only novel to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards and the French Prix du Roman d'Aventure in a single year-and Cruel and Unusual, which won Britain's prestigious Gold Dagger Award for the year's best crime novel of 1993. Her fictional chief medical examiner, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, won the 1999 Sherlock Award for best detective created by an American author. Cornwell helped establish the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, the first forensic training facility of its kind in the nation, and serves as the Institute's Chairman of the Board. Visit the Institute's website vifsm.org and Cornwell's own website at patriciacornwell.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Gold Gato, May 17, 2013 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
Oy.

I'm one of those folks who is forever entranced by the Jack the Ripper saga. Victorian crime in the grimy, fogbound, poverty-ridden streets of London. I've even done the walking tour. So, I picked up this volume with high anticipation.

Oy.

Prior to this, I had never read a Patricia Cornwell book, so I was not a follower of her mystery books. Safe to say, after making it through this "expose" of the Ripper, I won't be reading any other Cornwell books. She could have made her case fairly quickly, but instead she goes on and on and on and on. Since I have always felt the responsibility of reading a book from cover-to-cover, this meant torture. By the time I finished, I had lost interest in Jack the Lad.

In fact, this is the kind of book that has to sit in quarantine on a bookshelf, because it's so creepy the other books want nothing to do with it. Like goths in high school.

Book Season = Winter (hope for a blackout)
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kygolfers637, May 2, 2008 (view all comments by kygolfers637)
Jack the Ripper, people have had a fascination about him for many years. This is the best of Cornwell’s books. She researched this case and gives her readers an authentic view of what probably happened in London in 1888. Her personal knowledge of forensic science enabled her to identify the author of the Ripper’s letters. I have read and seen many ideas of who the identity of Jack the Ripper was. Cornwell has the best answer to this old question. This book is so much better than “The Last Precinct.” By Ruth Thompson the author of “The Bluegrass Dream” and “Natchez Above The River
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780399149320
Subtitle:
Jack the Ripper--Case Closed
Author:
Cornwell, Patricia
Publisher:
Putnam Adult
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Murder
Subject:
History
Subject:
Serial murders
Subject:
Whitechapel
Subject:
Murder - General
Subject:
General True Crime
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Edition Description:
Hardback
Series Volume:
296
Publication Date:
November 11, 2002
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.55x6.39x1.53 in. 1.78 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime

Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Putnam Publishing Group - English 9780399149320 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Cornwell, who spent $6 million (deductible) on her investigation...presents as prime evidence...the fact that Sickert titillated a young mistress by donning a red Ripper scarf at his easel....[I]n her scramble to get down to forensic business, Cornwell gets befuddled herself by first principles."
"Review" by , "In order to make herself and her readers believe [her thesis, Cornwell] draws assumptions, plays fast and loose with facts, misinterprets language and makes fanciful readings of Sickert?s paintings....She quotes evidence to support her view but ignores it when it doesn?t suit her case....To attribute those murders to any person without cast-iron evidence or due regard for what is known rather than what is speculative, as Cornwell has attempted, is an act of irresponsible cruelty."
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