BOOK REVIEW - ROBERT BLOCH Ė YOURS TRULY, JACK THE RIPPER 1945 in THE OPENER OF THE WAY Panther Books.

 

One of Robert (Psycho) Blochís best known and literate short horror stories and deservedly so. The premise is very simple and highly memorable, though its closing twist is not too surprising, In the 1940ís, a man visits a US psychiatrist in the conviction that Jack the Ripper, the Whitechapel, London murderer of 1888 is still alive and is now attacking more victims in America.

 

The psychiatrist, who narrates the story, finds the extent of the mild mannered manís neurosis and delusion extra-ordinary and gets quite a degree of camaraderie going with him.The psychiatrist points out that as Jack was killing in Victorian times, he would be about 100 years old in the 1930-s and 40ís. The man seems unwilling to accept that Jack could not possibly have survived so long in any state to still be able to go out on a killing spree. The psychiatrist disagrees and he tries to cure him of the delusion, and also follows him in his attempts to meet various potential suspects and challenge them as to whether or not they are the notorious killer, who survives by not actually being totally human, but more demonic than anyone else ever suspected. .

 

Eventually, the psychiatrist kills the patient, as he is himself Jack the Ripper and suspects that the man might sooner or later uncover the truth, though in fact the patient seems oblivious even to the brink of being butchered as to how close he was to the truth. There are clever digs at the obsession with Freudian shrinks and how the shrink exploits his sensationalist patient before the final denouement. Bloch would use jack The Ripper elsewhere in his stories too, notably in his Star Trek scripted episode, Wolf In The Fold.

 

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