A serial killer stalks the streets of San Francisco. Bob Martin, the policeman in charge of the cases, searches everywhere for a connection between the victims, who seem totally random. However, this one may hit home for him:
there are indications that his ex-wife, Indiana, may be a target for the killer. Then there is Amanda, their daughter. She and a cadre of kids from all over the globe are involved in playing an online detecting game they call Ripper. They look at real cases and try to solve them before the police do.
Indiana is the original
Earth mother. She works as a massage therapist and taking in wounded and lonely people under her wing as naturally as a mother bird protects her fledglings. There are two men in her life. Alan is a wealthy, cultured man who has been her lover for four years. He can't imagine giving her up, but also can't imagine marrying her as she is not the typical woman in his social circles. Ryan is an ex-Seal who loves Indiana fiercely but is haunted by demons from his time in the service and the missions he has participated in.
Against this background, the murders continue to pile up. Often they are couples, both savagely killed. All the victims have post-mortem injuries that the police know must mean something, but that meaning eludes them. Then Indiana goes missing. Does the Ripper have her, and can she be found and saved before she is also brutally killed?
This novel is a definite departure for South American author Isabel Allende. Better known for her historical novels featuring South American history and culture, Allende refuses to be pigeonholed as an author. She recently wrote Zorro, a book in the popular heroes category, and has also written memoirs and children's books. Her novelist background shows through in this mystery, which gives extensive background for all the characters and the locations where the events occur. Readers will be interested in this book both for the mystery itself and the departure from her normal subjects. This book is recommended for mystery lovers.