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Jaclyn the Ripper    by Karl Alexander order for
Jaclyn the Ripper
by Karl Alexander
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Karl Alexander, author of Time After Time, now brings fans a sequel in Jaclyn the Ripper. In the first book, Jack the Ripper used Wells' Time Machine in 1893 to escape Scotland Yard. He journeyed to the future and launched a killing spree in 1979 San Francisco. H. G. Wells went after the legendary murderer and met his lover-shadow, Amy Catherine Robbins, while tracking Jack down and banishing him to infinity. Wells and Amy returned to 1893 London, where they married and had two sons, despite Wells' penchant for passades.

As Jaclyn the Ripper opens thirteen years after the lovers settled down together, Amy has left her Bertie, Gip and Frank, concerned about the likelihood of a San Francisco earthquake in her parents' time. Amy's time travel inadvertently frees the Ripper, but changes him in the process so that he falls into 2010 Los Angeles in a gorgeous female body, hence Jaclyn. Wells arrives shortly afterwards and makes his way to San Francisco, looking for Amy, while a vengeful Jaclyn cuts a swathe of new corpses through California, also seeking Amy (and Wells).

After Wells arrives in 2010, female LAPD crime technician Amber Reeves discovers who he is and develops an unhealthy (for her) interest in him. She helps Wells navigate the modern world and the Internet, all of which naturally fascinate him. Her boss, Lieutenant Casey Holland, develops an even unhealthier interest in Jaclyn after he meets her during an investigation of one of her kills. And though Jaclyn finds herself changed by the new hormones coursing through her body, her essential nature is the same and drives her actions.

It's quite a romp, back and forth through several times, and between Los Angeles and San Francisco as Wells and Amber, Jaclyn and Casey all track Amy while she struggles to explain to her parents and newfound sister where she's been for all this time. Though Wells loses the race once, he wins it the next time and defeats Jaclyn just as he did her male persona, though not without sacrifice. Fans of Time After Time will not want to miss this wild and woolly sequel.

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