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Imitation in Death
Robb, J. D.
NY: Berkley Pub Group. 2003.
352pp. [Fiction]
ISBN: 0425191583

Casebook Review:

The 17th installation in the In Death series follows Lt. Eve Dallas in the year 2059 as she attempts to capture a serial killer who is imitating infamous serial killers of the past. The saga begins when a street licenced prostitute (prostitution being legal and regulated) is killed and her 'pelvic region' removed. A taunting note signed Jack leads Dallas to speculate that she is looking for a fan of Saucy Jack. A second murder in the style of the Boston Strangler widens the focus to an imitator of famous serial killers and not just Jack.

The actual Jack the Ripper information is scant and, for the most part, accurate with established facts and fanciful with details regarding the Ripper. For example, the number of victims attributed to Jack was between five and eight, which is a fair guess however the imitation killer dresses up in a cape and top hat. Although this could be excused by his proclivity towards costuming himself as the murderer he is imitating and since Jack was never known, he simply picked the most colorful of the costume choices. However, a serial killer expert in the novel also makes the claim that Jack was most likely a member of the upper class, a claim which most Ripper buffs would find laughable. If you haven't read the previous sixteen books, this isn't the one to start with. The majority of the book is devoted to subplots and furthering the stories of several supporting characters. The plethora of threads being tied or unraveled in this book could be very confusing to a reader with no prior knowledge of the characters.