Ripper

Stefan Petrucha, performed by a full cast. GraphicAudio, adapted, 7 CDs, 8.5 hrs., $19.99 ISBN 978-1-62851-447-6
This full-cast adaptation of Petrucha’s 2012 YA novel, set in 1895 New York City, focuses on Carver Young, a 14-year-old orphan with a penchant for criminology and a desire to find the father who abandoned him. He’s adopted by his mentor, Albert Hawking, a brilliant, physically damaged detective who helped create a secret steampunk branch of the real-life Pinkerton Agency that operates from a gadgetry-filled underground headquarters in the heart of Manhattan. Using the gadgets and his inherent sleuthing prowess, Carver, with the help of Hawking and fellow adoptees Delia and Finn, uncovers clues leading to a disturbing possibility: his father may be a transplanted Jack the Ripper slaying his way through the terrorized city. The production includes stereo sound effects and music to enhance the story as Carver rushes from one narrow escape to another, meeting historical figures like then-police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt and his daughter Alice while moving ever closer to the diabolical killer. The result is a fast-paced, entertaining thrill ride through old New York, heavy on suspense but not without humor and charm. Ages 12–up. A Penguin/Speak paperback. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/27/2017
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