Stalking Jack the Ripper
By: Kerri Maniscalco
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: Historical fiction, horror, YA
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
*The first section of this review will be spoiler free.*
I saw this book on a lot of other blogs, and the reviews were so great I added it to my TBR list. I am so glad I listened to my fellow bloggers because this book was a really enjoyable read. It is sort of a historical fiction novel, but with a darker twist. It takes the mysterious story of Jack the Ripper and adds backstory and answers to the historical version’s many lingering questions. The main character, Audrey Rose, was a great female lead. She was headstrong and independent, and I loved how even though she had a passion for forensic science and cadaver dissections, she was still girly and liked girly things. This is usually not the case with strong heroines, as in many books they shun feminine things all together, which isn’t always that relatable. Thomas Cresswell, the other main character, was arrogant and smug some of the time, but sweet and thoughtful others. He was a really intriguing character and I have no doubt we will learn more about him in the second book Hunting Prince Dracula.
The relationship between Audrey Rose and Thomas was very reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, as they also had a mutual respect for one another, despite often annoying each other to no end. The book was very well written, and I would warn that if you don’t do well with gruesome imagery and macabre themes, this is not the book for you. Some of the scenes detailing the Ripper’s victims were described in great detail, and could be difficult to read.
This book is perfect for fans of mystery or dark fiction, it had twists and turns, and great characters. I am very excited to read the second book, hopefully it is just as good as the first.
From the first moment he was introduced it was obvious Thomas and Audrey Rose were going to fall in love. I mean the girl who loved science, and the boy who appreciated an intelligent girl, come on, it was inevitable. I did like that there was no insta love, and in fact, by the end of the book they had only kissed once. I look forward to seeing where their relationship goes in the second book, and I hope there will be more of their annoyed banter, it was really enjoyable.
Now for the major spoilers, warning you again because I am about to talk about the identity of Jack the Ripper, so stop reading now if you don’t want to know. It wasn’t a huge surprise, I kind of saw it coming halfway through the book, because the back cover said she loved the Ripper, and I knew it wasn’t Thomas, so it had to be either her Father or her brother. The fact that her brother, her closest friend, was Jack the Ripper made the whole thing so sad. He clearly had some issues that hadn’t been dealt with properly, and as a result he went a little crazy. All in all the ending had a lot of shock factor and was a fitting way to bring this story to a close.
Have you read this book? Was the end a surprise to you? let me know your thoughts in the comments.