‘Jack the Ripper: Threads’ (2021)

Threads on GoodReads

Think you know Jack the Ripper? Think again.

In ‘Jack the Ripper: Threads’, Jay Hartley presents a compelling fictional exploration of the idea that the infamous serial killer was actually James Maybrick, a cotton merchant from Liverpool. Using a mix of fact and fiction, this historical crime thriller brings to life actual events and characters from the era in a way that will challenge everything you thought you knew about this unsolved case.

With gripping prose and meticulous attention to detail, Hartley paints a vivid picture of Maybrick’s life and his possible involvement in the gruesome murders that terrorised London’s Whitechapel district in 1888.

But the story doesn’t end there. Did one of Maybrick’s family members murder him in 1889, bringing an end to the Ripper’s reign of terror?

This debut novel will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow the clues and try to piece together the truth behind one of history’s most baffling mysteries.

So if you’re ready to challenge your assumptions and dive into a world of intrigue and deception, ‘Jack the Ripper: Threads’ is the book for you.


Jay Hartley has written an intriguing novel which effortlessly fuses together the dark psychotic worlds of Jack the Ripper and James Maybrick. I was impressed by the level of factual detail Mr Hartley skilfully brings to his book without letting the research distract from the energetic and gripping narrative. The author’s preface, by way of a disclaimer, includes an honest and cautionary note reminding the reader that the story “…should not be regarded as a historical fact, for now.” I rather hope this means we can look forward to a follow up novel from Mr Hartley which fictionalises the extraordinary on-going thirty year real life modern investigation into the authenticity or otherwise of the diary of Jack the Ripper.

keith skinner
historical researcher & jack the ripper expert
Jack the Ripper: Threads: Think you know Jack the Ripper? Think again.: Fascinating New Look at an Old Mystery I have been interested in the unsolved mystery of Jack The Ripper for a long time but was unaware of the discovery of the James Maybrick Diaries until now. Threads is a fascinating read which merges fact and fiction ( something I do enjoy) and gives a definite possible answer to the mystery. Maybrick could certainly be placed in the area at the right time. The question I have always asked is ' Why did the killings stop'. The obvious answer is that Jack died. James Maybrick was poisoned, allegedly by his wife about 6 months after the killing of Mary Jane Kelly. So, was Maybrick Jack The Ripper? Maybe or maybe not but he is certainly as good a candidate as any. I would suggest you read Threads and decide for yourself.
Amazon Customer
Amazon Customer
Jack the Ripper: Threads: Think you know Jack the Ripper? Think again.: Really enjoyed this take on the Jack the Ripper legend. Really original take on the Jack the Ripper legend.
Jack the Ripper: Threads: Think you know Jack the Ripper? Think again.: It's Jack, But Possibly Not as You Thought You Knew Him The 'diary' of Jack the Ripper which emerged in Liverpool in 1992 has been debated over for just shy of thirty years now. The vast majority of commentators assume it to be a hoax, and there are many reasons for drawing that conclusion, but - critically - there are also very strong reasons for concluding that it is actually authentic. Sounds far-fetched, right? Jack was the quintessential End End psychopath who stalked the streets of his native Whitechapel, yes? Well, perhaps not the former but possibly the latter. James Maybrick - a wealthy Liverpool cotton merchant - knew Whitechapel in Liverpool very well, and significantly he had means, motive, and opportunity for the crimes he may well have transferred to Whitechapel in London (to protect his identity). After almost three decades, the debate goes on around the 'diary' (and the associated watch), but there is no debate that this most unlikely of candidates for Jack nevertheless fits the bill on many levels; and it is his 'fitting the bill' which has inspired Jay Hartley - a regular contributor to Jack the Ripper online forums - to weave what we know about Jack together with what we know about James to create a hugely readable version of what may very well have been more or less true. Using his writer's licence, Hartley joins the various threads of both stories and presents them in a gripping tale of fiction which - to those of us with many years of insight into the case - clearly form what may very well be the final truth in this most enduring of murder mysteries. Despite knowing a fair amount about both Jack and James, I read 'Threads' as though I were there in the late Victorian period, and Hartley's creative interpretation and skilful prose kept me enthralled as he challenged some of my own assumptions about Jack's crimes. In many regards, if you are new to 'Ripperology', you would be very well served to start with 'Threads' as your introduction to the case and - if you find that what is woven is also believable to you - you may have saved yourself many tortured hours of reading the plethora of Jack the Ripper books to try to fathom just exactly what did happen during those weeks of the 'Autumn of Terror' in late 1888. Don't be fooled by the fact that 'Threads' is fiction - it contains all of the characters and all of the relevant information that ties James Maybrick to Jack's terrible crimes and as such it is a fiction which informs and educates as well as stimulates and entertains. An excellent first work of fiction (to my knowledge) from Hartley, and a terrific read. Highly recommended, but beware - once you have been pulled in to the enigma of Jack the Ripper, you may find that the search for the truth turns the erstwhile casual reader into a dedicated sleuth. It's very addictive once you're gripped!I bought the hardback version of 'Threads', by the way, and I have to say it is beautifully made.
Jack the Ripper: Threads: Think you know Jack the Ripper? Think again.: Captivating Never have I felt the need to write a review of a book before finishing it!As a reader of Jack The Ripper true crime books for 50 years i think it is fair to say I am a quite absorbed by the subject matter of this novel. I have previously only considered one other fictional work on the subject worth the reading time. HOWEVER this book is beyond expectations.Anyone who knows about the Ripper diaries and Maybrick has a view on their authenticity. I wanted to believe that they solved the identity of who Jack was , but my head always weighed up the evidence and decided that they were false. BUT if they could ever have been true , then this well written book could convince me this was how! Still got to finish the read, hope I am not disappointed!
david haviland
david haviland
Jack the Ripper: Threads: Think you know Jack the Ripper? Think again.: Dramatic and suspenseful This is a powerful mixture of fact and fiction, to create a dramatic and suspenseful novel that brings the world of Jack the Ripper to life. An extremely impressive debut, highly recommended.




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    The Knotty Yarn of Mark Woolston

    What happened to James Maybrick’s illegitimate children?

    James Maybrick’s Normanston Invasion (Part Two)

    A Night in Venus

    James Maybrick’s Mine Game

    “Maybrick caught stealing watch”

    The Inconvenient Truth of the Maybrick Watch

    James Maybrick’s Normanston Invasion

    Are the Peterborough Maybricks really connected to James?

    The Sheer Truth of Gertrude Conconi

    Here’s To You Miss Robinson…

    Lemons & Lime

    Etched in Chalk

    ‘Jack the Ripper’ – The Usual Suspects

    It is done!

    The Writing on the Wall

    Victorian Whitechapel & London in Colour

    Writing Soundtrack: Threads

    Letters from Hell

    Jack the Knife

    Locating Jack the Ripper: A Geographical Profile

    A Sight For Sore Eyes

    Who Was Mary Jane Kelly?

    FBI Profile of Jack the Ripper

    Damn Diary Defenders!

    My Love/Hate Relationship with ‘Ripperology’

    Who was James Maybrick?

    Who Was Jack the Ripper?