I received a most wondrous birthday gift this year when I walked in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper. I suspect that everyone knows his story, as Jack is inarguably the most famous serial killer in history.
My teenage daughter, her best friend, and I left our hotel in Kensington and took the tube to Tower Hill. The ride took a bit longer than we expected, so we were fearful that we’d missed the 6:45 pm tour. No worries, at the top of the stairs, our tour guide from Jack the Ripper tours was giving a rousing introduction of the case.
We walked through Whitechapel, an iffy neighborhood even today, shivering a bit from the evening coolness as well as from the suspense of the story as it unfolded. The deaths of five women have been attributed to Jack’s sharp knife, although there may have been more or, according to a dark hint from our tour guide, less!
There must have been a bit of Jack the Ripper in my mind when I wrote Wild Ghost Chase, for my nasty villain is named Jack as well. Here’s an excerpt that gives a little more insight into the mind of my killer.
“One man, in particular, is especially mean. His caresses are slaps; his kisses more like bites that draw blood. I try to scream, but the words are trapped in a throat closed from panic. I am passed from one set of arms to another. When I awake, I realize my dream has become my reality for the man I am to marry, Jack Wild, is one of the men from my dreams.”
Monica turned the page, but there was nothing more. The rest of the journal was blank.
Heartbreaking, but it still told her nothing. She laid the book on the desk and continued the search. Despite checking every book on the shelf, she found nothing more about Crescent Cove or Harrington House. The only other title remotely interesting was one on Gunslingers in the Wild West. Paging through the book, she scanned the pages. Most of the biographies wereof notorious outlaws and lawmen she knew the history of: Billy the Kid, the Younger Brothers, Belle Star. Then, toward the back, the names stopped being so familiar, Black Jack, Pony Diehl, and Jack Wild. She paused. Could it be the same Jack who MaryBelle had married?
Hunkering down on the couch and wishing she had an apple to munch on, she read about his exploits. Whereas most of the outlaws in this book were notorious for their involvement in gambling, rustling, and robbery, Jack Wild had a blacker reputation—he stole other miners’ claims by impersonating them or killing them. He was also a mean drunk and was in the habit of beating up the prostitutes who serviced him.
Nice guy. If he was MaryBelle’s husband, she pitied the poor child and wondered what happened to the newlyweds. Had marriage been the anchor Jack Wild needed to mend his ways?
Ericka Scott is a multi-published, bestselling author of seductive suspense. She’s written stories for as long as she can remember and reads anything under the sun (including the back of cereal boxes in a pinch). She got hooked on romantic suspense in her college days when reading anything but a textbook was a guilty pleasure. Now, when she’s not chauffeuring children around, wishing she had more than 24 hours in a day, or lurking at the library, she’s spinning her own web of fantasy and penning tales of seduction and suspense. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband and three children.
You can find out more about her books at www.erickascott.com