My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - over 4 days
Pages - 437
Publisher - Headline Feature
Source - Amazon
Blurb from Goodreads
Whitechapel, November 1888: Jack the Ripper is committing his last known murder and beneath the bed on which he's butchering his victim cowers a fifteen-year-old boy. So begin the adventures of Trevor Bentley: a boy who embarked on an errand of mercy and ended up on a quest for vengeance, a boy who will bring the horrors of the Ripper to the New World.
Imagine Jack the Ripper had an eye witness to his last slaughter, that witness is fifteen year old Trevor. Trevor gets a first hand account of what Jack is capable of and being the fine young lad he is he can't let Jack carry on, by intervening he changes his own life and those he encounters forever. The first part of the story is Trevor, encountering Jack and how they come to part. Then Jack ends up on a bit of an adventure, a bit of a western, outlaws, coming of age, fighting, shooting, murder and then back to Jack. It was almost two different stories, the part with Jack the Ripper then a few hundred pages of different adventures, growing up, shaves with death and then back to Jack.
For a fifteen year old Trevor has a very good streak of nobleness, righteous and justice - maybe kids where like that back then who knows. It has a bit of a Tom Sawyer I think I want to say, remember Treasure Island type adventures and pirates, jostles with bad guys and growing up? A bit of all that and then one of our worst killers in history.
Certainly different and an interesting take on the old Jack the Ripper but whilst some parts worked well some could have been stronger if left to that vein or split into two separate stories. I have read a few Laymon books and I do like his writing. He carves great characters and sets scenes so vivid you can easily lose yourself in the world he has created, even just a few pages in. 3.5/5 for me this time, I will be buying more of his work!