Portrait Of A Killer: A Penny Dreadful Review
I would have to say that the most famous cold case is that of the Jack the Ripper murders in the 1880s. The identity of the savage killer has been hotly debated for more than a hundred years. In Portrait of a Killer, internationally famous mystery author Patricia Cornwell weighs in on this debate with her conclusions.
Ms. Cornwell applies modern detecting techniques, handwriting analysis, modern psychology, and other extremely convincing methods to pin the murders on a particular someone. I shan’t reveal the identity of the gentleman in question, saying only that he is well-known for his art which contains some disturbing subtext as Patricia Cornwell points out.
Her application of modern methods to this case is fascinating reading, and she certainly knows how to make an argument. After reading the book, it boggles the mind how the man in question never came under suspicion in the original investigation. Patricia Cornwell’s skill as the weaver of fascinating mystery is never in question. The first several chapters are stunning, clever, and frightening. Unfortunately, after she finishes the narrative of the Ripper murders, the book trails on for much longer than is needed.
In conclusion, the first bit of Portrait of a Killer is a Must Read, but skip the end. It doesn’t add any new information. I give this book three and a half gears out of five. It is a fascinating work of true crime, and ought to be read by anyone fascinated with the late Victorian era.
Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,
Penny J. Merriweather