Whilst Patricia Cornwell is mainly known for creating the Kay Scarpetta series, she also ventured into non fiction. As for eample her book about the search for ‘Jack the Ripper’.
To anyone not familiar with the term, ‘Jack the Ripper’, it is a pseudonym given to a serial killer who commited several killings in London in 1888. All the victims were prostitutes and some had their insides cut out which gave the impression that the killer had some medical knowledge. There were several hundred letters sent to the police and some of those are believed to be from the killer.
Patricia Cornwell argues that the killer was Walter Sickert, an artist. She bases that claim on some of his paintings and similarities in the Ripper letters and letters sent by him to his mother. She also indicates his behaviour was alarming and that he had the psychological profile of a killer.
Whilst the book is very logical and appears to make a lot of sense, there are many ‘Ripperologists’ that don’t agree. They state that she had her mind set on Sickert before she started writing the book, that Sickert wasn’t actually in London at the time of some of the murders and that the similarities in the letters could be found in almost any letter, as long as the investigator searches hard enough.
Never mind that, the book is a very interesting read and reveals several interesting information about the ‘Jack the Ripper’ case, police work at the time and the time the murders happened. Would I have read it if it wasn’t written by Patricia Cornwell? Probably not, but I would’ve missed out on a great book otherwise.