David Golemon: Ripper

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David Golemon Ripper
  • Название:
    Ripper
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    St. Martin’s Press
  • Жанр:
    Триллер / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2012
  • Город:
    New York
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • ISBN:
    978-1-250-01517-4
  • Рейтинг книги:
    3 / 5
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Ripper: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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The real Jack the Ripper is loose, and this time he’s brought friends to the darkness of the deep desert in the newest adrenaline rush from David Golemon,  bestselling author of . In the tradition of works by James Rollins, Preston and Child and Matthew Reilly, is the latest in an action-packed series about the nation’s most secret agency — The Event Group. In 1887, the British Empire contracted brilliant American professor Lawrence Ambrose to create a mutant gene to turn an ordinary person into an aggressive fighting machine. But all too quickly, Ambrose was found to be behind a streak of vicious murders, and in a cover-up of massive proportions, Queen Victoria ordered the project, and Ambrose, terminated. Thus the legend of Jack the Ripper was born. The killings stopped as suddenly as they had begun — but not because Ambrose was caught. Instead, he escaped and returned home to America where he and his formula faded into history. But in 2012, a raid against a Mexican drug lord uncovers a small cache of antiquated notebooks containing long-buried instructions to create blind killers out of normal men. Enter the Event Group and Col. Jack Collins, who are desperate to stop one of their most feared enemies. When the formula is loosed in the underground halls and vaults of the Event Group complex itself, brother will battle brother, and for the first time in many men’s brave lives they will understand the true meaning of fear. The next heart-stopping chapter in the bestselling Event Group series, takes readers to new levels of suspense, where death could be hiding around any corner on this non-stop thrill ride.

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David L. Golemon

Ripper

For my granddaughter, Kiera — the most beautiful flower in the world

… within the empty streets of London

upon the witching hour, a specter of the past awakens,

its purpose, to devour …

… So remember my friends

you can close your eyes to reality,

but never to a memory …

— Unknown author, from the poem “From Hell”

PROLOGUE

NOVEMBER 8, 1888 WHITECHAPEL, LONDON

Mary Jane Kelly stood silent and still as the man watched her from a rickety chair in the darkened corner of her shabby two-bed flat. The oil lamp had been dimmed on that side of the small room so the only thing Mary could clearly discern were the shiny white spats that covered the tops of the man’s expensive shoes. The ornate cane the invisible visitor used was propped between those shoes and would move only when the man spoke in his accented English.

Mary tried her best to control her breathing as she felt the man’s eyes roll over her in that infernal darkness. But it was the well-dressed man’s voice that unnerved her like no other she had ever heard — it was as though she were hearing the voice of the Big Bad Wolf from the nursery rhymes she heard when she was but a child. She could feel the rage boiling just beneath the surface of her visitor as the hate emanated from the dark recesses of the room.

“You’re so lovely my dear. Perhaps you could sing me a little song, something sweet — a song from your childhood. It will help cool my blood.”

For the first time the man blinked and she saw the glow of the eyes. At first she thought it was a trick of her imagination, but then the eyes flashed again, and this time Mary knew she had seen a ring of yellow and one of red surrounding the black abyss of his pupils, which were the largest she had ever seen.

Mary closed her eyes as she stood before the man. In her fear she tugged on the white linen apron she always wore over that same moth-eaten skirt and blouse she wore at least four days of the week. She opened her mouth to comply with the visitor’s request, but any memory of a happy childhood song had fled her terrified mind. She tried to open her mouth once more and the first words of a song came pouring out.

“London … bridge … is falling…,” her cracked and halting words stopped as Mary sobbed, and then her right hand shot upward and covered her mouth to stop the scream that threatened to escape her constricting throat.

In the far corner the glint of metal in the dim light and then a gold coin appeared as if by magic. Its glimmer shown in the weak light from the lamp. She could see that the coin was one she had seen before on more than one occasion in the drinking establishments that lined the streets of Whitechapel. It was a twenty-dollar American-minted gold double eagle.

“Perhaps this will persuade you to help soothe the animal that is awakening inside of me. Sing well and there will be two more of these at the end of our … session.”

The word session sent chills up and down the fine skin of Mary’s neck and back. She knew who this man was. The entire city of London had been terrified of what and who this man was in the months leading up to this night. Her eyes went from the sparkling coin to the door. The slide lock was in place, and Mary knew she would never be able to open the door in time before the man would be upon her. She opened her mouth to start the song again, but the only sound to exit her mouth was an even louder sob than the one a moment before.

The coin disappeared and the man made a sound that made Mary Kelly cringe. It was so animalistic that she came near to swooning. It was a low growl that came from the deepest recesses of the faceless man’s throat. She kept her eyes closed.

“Very well,” the words were far harsher than the ones uttered before them. “Perhaps we should conclude our business.” The cane moved between the man’s feet and then the tip was tapped three times in succession. “You may remove your clothes my dear.” At the end of the request, the word dear was sounded through a growl, as if a wolf were speaking to her from the darkness of a long-ago dead forest.

Mary removed her apron first and let it fall to the floor. She heard the man remove something from his breast pocket and then realized he was holding a piece of paper.

“No, no. Fold your clothes as you remove them. Neatness is a virtue my dear — a virtue!”

The shouting of the last two words drowned out Mary’s involuntary cry as she reached down and hurriedly picked up the apron.

“You have a physician that treats you and your … colleagues for the harsher social diseases and problems that may arise with unwanted conception?”

“Yes, Doctor Freemantle,” Mary said through whispered words that actually made her feel weaker than she was.

“You are with child?”

“Oh,” she moaned through her tears.

“You are with child?” he asked once again with the low-based growl sounding once more with a steadily increasing crescendo.

“Yes,” Mary answered as she closed her eyes tightly.

The man suddenly stood in the darkness and emerged into the dim light. This time there was not the glimmer of gold that shown in the dim lighting, but the chromed blade of a large knife that froze Mary Kelly’s heart.

The next twenty minutes were the most violent of all the attacks that took place in Whitechapel that summer and fall.

Jack the Ripper was not the man the newspapers described as meticulous. It was an attack that symbolized the violence of the times that were coming and would lead to a legend being born that would haunt mankind for a century to come.

Blood flew as the flesh of Mary Kelly, the attractive brunette that had no enemy outside of her landlord, was cut and hacked until the young woman was unrecognizable as anything resembling a human being.

Outside the rundown flat in Whitechapel, the fog started to roll in from the river.

The man’s eyes watched as the policemen came and went from the small room that had quickly become the most vicious crime scene London had ever been witness to. He saw the familiar form of the chief inspector for the municipal police force as he stepped from the small flat. The tall man and his constant companion pushed through the crowd of curious onlookers who had gathered after the body of Mary Kelly had been discovered at eleven that morning. As the two men approached the chief inspector they could both see he was not feeling that well after seeing the body. The chief inspector gathered his wits and then noticed the man in the tweed suit with his companion close beside.

“You two again,” the inspector said as he angrily eyed the two men. “I am obliged to ask what you gentlemen are doing here at my crime scene.”

“Chief Inspector Abberline,” the taller of the two men said as he removed his bowler hat. “What have we here?” he asked as he first eyed the gathered residents of the area and then the house itself.

Frederick George Abberline looked the man over and then his anger rose even more than a moment before. He took the man by the arm and pulled him away from onlookers who took no notice of the three men as the body was finally being removed from the shabby flat. Abberline glanced at the covered remains and cringed as an exposed arm of the victim fell free of the sheet that covered her.

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