Thu. Dec 12th, 2019

Read 4 Fun

Read the short reviews, read the book, comment

This Is Not Crime Fiction

2 min read

Quote from Today’s Author

I’ve always believed human blood is red because it really needs to draw attention to itself.

Patricia Cornwell                                                     

Chasing The Ripper by Patricia Cornwell will be of interest to those who want to take a non-fiction break from fictional crime novels. Readers who feel there is unreality to gruesome scenes in fiction may find that the gruesomeness exists in real life. Patricia Cornwell is a well-known popular writer of crime fiction. She does research to back up her fictional scenes; she worked six years in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia as a technical writer and computer analyst and has worked as a volunteer with the Richmond, (Virginia) Police Department.

In her preface to this book, Cornwell details several items of information that she discovered and for which she established connections, at least in her own mind. She notes that all the information she provides was always there but connections were not made by investigating officials. When she spotlights the connections and information, she supports her assertions with references and sources.

When it comes to conclusions, Cornwell writes in several places that there are things we will never know. She only maintains that her conclusions are the most logical. There is an Occam’s Razor rationale to her findings. She tries to use the latest available forensic technology to gain popular support but admits that there are limits to what tests can prove. Some evidence, such as cloth material, degrades over time. Some evidence has been handled so much that the integrity and relevance of the findings are in question.

As far as the gruesomeness that occurs in real-life as opposed to fiction, Cornwell’s depiction of the murder of victim Mary Kelly fills the bill.

Many people were unhappy with Cornwell’s identification of Walter Sickert as Jack the Ripper. Sickert was popular and well known. He traveled in high society and had given painting lessons to Winston Churchill. In fact, this might have helped Sickert to hide in plain sight.

This is a short read but will please the many readers who like their fiction supported by reality. That is about as close to a tautology as you can get.


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