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Paperback, first edition
Curtains of Blood: A Novel of Jack the Ripper
Robert Randisi
New York City, NY: Leisure Books. 2002.
353pp. Bibliography. [Fiction]
ISBN: 0-8439-5068-4

Casebook Review:

Another Ripper fiction set to be released in December 2002. This one involves Bram Stoker in his pre-Dracula days, managing the Lyceum theatre's performance of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Unfortunately the Whitechapel Murders have the police on edge - and they want to shut down the show, fearing that the gruesome performance may be enciting the killer to even greater atrocities. Stoker bristles at the suggestion but agrees to halt production.

Out of a mix of frustration and morbid curiosity, Stoker decides to play gumshoe himself and try to find the murderer - and, with any luck, return his show back to the Lyceum where it belongs.

Its not the most likely of premises. When Bram Stoker finally meets the Ripper, the two form a peculiar relationship of self-interest. The Ripper wants Bram's input as an author on his letter-writing, and Bram wants to learn the "dark side" of human nature from the killer, as research for his next book. Never mind that countless innocent women are being slaughtered... after all, Bram's got a book to write!

In the end, Curtains becomes a strange mix between Interview with the Vampire and any of a hundred other Ripper novels. The dialogue is predictable and labored in places, and the actions of the main characters are not always believable, but for a quickie-novel, a beach-read sort of book, its certainly enjoyable.