Hunting Prince Dracula
By: Kerri Maniscalco
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Page Count: 434
Synopsis: In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?
Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.
But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.
The first part of this review will be spoiler free.
I had read the first book in this series (Stalking jack the Ripper) quite a while ago, so I was pleased that this book functioned almost as a self-contained story. There were of course elements that related to book one, and certain events that the characters mentioned, but it was reviewed enough times that I wasn’t lost or confused. I really enjoyed the mystery and historical fiction combination in this book. The mystery was as good as book one, and really kept me guessing until the very end. As usual Audrey Rose and Thomas (or should I say Wadsworth and Cresswell) exhibited their wonderful Holmes and Watson rapport, adding wit and tension to the story.
The mystery of this story far outlays the historical fiction, so if you are hesitant about a history heavy book, don’t be. If anything the forensic science elements were far more prevalent. There is some nice romance in the book, but it isn’t overwhelming which is nice. I will say that the character development was very erratic and didn’t really deliver in the way I had hoped. I also found Audrey Rose’s frustrations were a bit much, she always seemed to be upset at someone or about something and it got on my nerves after a while. Overall I enjoyed this book, but didn’t think it was quite as engaging as book 1.
So I alluded to this above already but Audrey Rose kept going back and forth with her feelings for Thomas and it was driving me mad! Like the guy is so sweet and clearly progressive for his time, butte kept getting unnecessarily angry when he made any little mistake. Anyways, now that I got that off my chest, The mystery was very good, I had no idea that Anastasia faked her death, that came as a huge shock! Also the fact that she was bathing in other people’s blood… I mean ew. I really loved the LGBTQ representation in this book, I am seeing it more and more in non contemporary YA and am loving it!
Have you read this book? what were your thoughts?