Ripper - Isabel Allende Ripper is an online who-done-it game with a difference. The game master is Amanda. Amanda is as introverted as she is intelligent, yet she likes to take charge. She and her on line group of fellow social misfits enjoy investigating long ago crimes coming up with their own solutions. When a local astrologer predicts that San Francisco is going to experience a “blood bath” the Ripper players decide to turn their attentions to modern day crime … aided by Amanda’s long suffering grandfather and any information Amanda gleans from her father, a homicide detective. It all sounds like an exciting mystery to solve until it hits too close to home and Amanda’s mother becomes a victim.

I found the concept of these five on line friends forming the “Ripper” club to solve crimes on line intriguing and that description is what prompted me to pick up the book. As it turns out, much to my disappointment, that concept is not the center of the storyline, in fact it’s only what amounts to a miniscule part of the story at all. Amanda’s new-age mother and her disappointing love life, poorly paying career choice and absentmindedness take over the plot. That was too bad because I really didn’t like the character. Unfortunately I did not like most of the characters in this book. With the exception of Amanda’s grandfather (who she dearly loves but constantly treats like crap) I found all of the character’s self centered and rude to each other. Even the serial killer responsible for the “blood-bath” was so overly complicated that by the big reveal at the end, I didn’t care any more. I will say that Ms. Allende was very clever with her antagonist. Very clever but overdone!