Reviewer Fran Lewis:
Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing
Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters degrees and
a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently. She is a member of
Who's Who of America's Teachers and Who's
Who of America's Executives from Cambridge. In addition,
she is the author of three children's books and a fourth Alzheimer’s
book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey: Ruth’s story
in honor of her mom. Fran
hopes to create more awareness for a cure of Alzheimer.
She was also the musical director for shows in her school and ran the school's newspaper. Fran writes reviews for authors upon request and for several other sites. You can read some of my reviews on Ezine.com and on ijustfinished under the name Gabina. Follow Here To Listen to Fran's Radio Show and Here
Author is Robert Masello.
The publisher is 47 North.
Many people have two
different sides. One that adapts itself to being kind and benevolent
and the other wicked, cruel and power hungry and have the desire to
create situations that will change how people view them. Within the
darkness created within himself, author Robert Louis Stevenson in
some respects developed his own alter ego in the body of Mr. Hyde.
Sometimes the goodness that we reflect on others can be hidden by the
evil that we want to cultivate. A journal written by Stevenson will
deliver to readers his viewpoints, insights and information about his
declining health along with the unorthodox treatment he received at
the Hotel Belvedere Clinic.
Taking payment for his work and
administering the elixir he created would only be granted and given
if the patient submitted unconditionally and without question
submitted to his method of treatment. Along with his wife
Fanny and his stepson Lloyd that travel this long distance facing
hardships and difficult terrain to meet Dr. Ruedi. Writing is his
forte and although Lloyd appears to be enamored with him what he
really wants to do is be him in more ways than one. Learning that he
himself created a magic elixir that would divide his personality and
later what was injected into him the author brings readers into the
present where we meet Rafe Salazar. Wolves are very prevalent within
this novel as Rafe who is an environmental scientist has the job of
trapping these animals and then often sends them back into the wild.
The animal’s blood injected in the past is comprised from the blood
of a deadly wolf.
While Stevenson is rendered almost helpless when attacked by a wolf that he does not want destroyed but finds practically mutilated and hanging from a hook with bandages on parts of its body, the doctor injecting the serum claims that it will replenish his damaged blood cells and hopefully help him to breathe more freely. Stevenson has TB. Creating the plot for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde came as an outgrowth of his experiences in this clinic and a dream he had that provided the impetus and energy to write this novel. Mr. Hyde just might not only be Dr. Jekyll’s alter ego or personality but the author’s too.
While on a routine patrol in Topanga Canyon Rafe comes across an old steamer trunk where he finds the coveted journal written by Stevenson. The journal is alarming, the events that unfold within it help readers understand that there is much more within the confines of both author’s minds that has yet to be revealed.
During his stay at the clinic Stevenson meets not only the doctor in charge but also a well-known and respected artist and many of the other guests or patients are enamored by his presence as our two that stand out Desmond and Symonds.
With his assistant or trainee Heidi, Rafe soon realizes that she is well versed in many areas and learns fast they spy the trunk and she decides they should retrieve it not realizing that her life would be in danger as a dangerous wolf bites her. The link to the wolves and their blood will become apparent in both the past and the present especially when you read the startling end that Rafe will relate to readers.
Back in the past we once again learn more about the wolf’s blood being infused in his body and the link between the blood and the wolf that attacks him. But, things had spiraled out of control even before he set foot inside the room when the wolf attacked him and yet someone close to the doctor is killed but by whom and why? Why does this murder reflect back on Louis Stevenson and why would is he being hunted? Realizing that his life might be in danger he and his friend Symonds decided to leave the clinic and find other lodgings. Meeting William Ernest Henley at the clinic and learning about his works called Invictus we understand more fully the definition of Unconquered as Jack the Ripper comes front and center and the first victim is found.
Mind altering drugs are at the heart of this novel and as Jack the Ripper is now a vital part of this plot the author describes his work in graphic Technicolor. Jack sends messages to Scotland Yard taunting the inspectors in charge and frightening the public in London as he targets prostitutes in the Whitechapel area.
Lloyd, Stevenson and the wolves all have separate personalities and they emulate that of Mr. Hyde as the Ripper keeps killing more young women. While Fanny, Stevenson’s wife will not face the fact that Lloyd is deranged. Simple events like meeting the actor who plays Dr. Jekyll and going to a play and meeting the actor who plays the lead role creates problems for Stevenson. Even the detective in charge of the case questions him several times alluding to the fact that he just might be the Ripper.
In the present we meet Miranda who is Rafe’s landlord and who he has feelings for but she is involved with a meth head named Lazlo which brings the plot another thread. When his three meth heads Alfie, Axel and Seth catch wind of what Lazlo has been doing they want to eliminate him from the operation as Rafe wants to close him down and finds himself the victim of vandalism and attempted murder. Going after Rafe’s sister brings his fury and wrath against Lazlo. What happens will shock readers as a fire destroys the meth lab and the journal that Rafe coveted about Stevenson and started to read is: “Seared covers and a handful of dust.” Author Robert Massello take us deep inside the mind several demented killers and makes you wonder just who was Jack the Ripper and was he the real Mr. Hyde?