Thursday, October 13, 2016

Jack Knife by Virginia Baker

I went through this period where if a book looked even remotely interesting, I'd buy it/request it from Netgalley/borrow it from the library. As you can imagine, this was problematic for several reasons - book clutter, for one. It also resulted in some very serious buyer's remorse. Take JACK KNIFE.Two government agents go into Victorian England to collect a rogue scientist who is hell-bent on reenacting the plot of Tomorrow Never Dies? Please.

I brought this book along with me to read while on a very long bus ride, so maybe it's the fact that I was essentially a captive audience, but I didn't dislike this book merely enough as I felt I ought to have. The writing quality was on the poor side - pulpy - and the characters of Sara and David, the government agents, were two-dimensional. David is your typical tough army guy with the heart of gold and Sara is the ball-busting feminist who everyone is attracted to, in spite of (because of?) the fact that she can kick their butts.

Sara and David find out that Jack the Ripper is running rampant, but for whatever reason, he's killing way more and far more bloodily than he ever did in their time. On the case is detective Jonas Robb, who is the son of a duke when he's not a cop, and who is also very attracted to Sara. He's suspicious of them, though, and he knows enough to know that something about their alibis doesn't match up.

I found JACK KNIFE entertaining, but it's a throwaway read. Not something I'd ever pick up again, unless I were marooned on a long bus ride and had no other reading materials present. There were a lot of plot holes and things left unexplained at the end, and I didn't really care for the characterization of any of the people in here. Or the use of science. Honestly, it seems like the more the characters stress how essential it is to preserve the timeline, the more they do their best to f*ck it up.

2 to 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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