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‘Ripper’ by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende’s elements for a thriller in “Ripper” tend to unravel in a glut of detail.
Isabel Allende’s elements for a thriller in “Ripper” tend to unravel in a glut of detail.LORI BARRA

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The first casualty of a crime is often rational thought. People panic; emotions run wild. And in “Ripper,” Isabel Allende’s first attempt at writing a thriller, intelligent adults overlook the most obvious clues about what is happening, as even the police cease to act like professionals.

In fact, if it weren’t for one determined teenager and her unlikely cohort of on-line gamer friends, nearly 500 pages wouldn’t be enough to catch a serial killer in this overlong, strangely uninvolving book.

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