Capturing the Devil
By: Kerri Maniscalco
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Page Count: 453
Synopsis: Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.
Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.
Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?
The first section of this review will be spoiler free
I finally got the last book in this series! I am so proud of myself, I have a nasty habit of buying new books instead of books in series that I am already reading, leading to me having even more unfinished series lying around. However, recently I embarked on a mission to remedy this, and so I bought this book. I really enjoyed this series, it’s a fun historical fiction spin on some classic bad guys, and there are always some nice twists and turns that you expect from a murder mystery novel. I once again had the same problem with this book as I have had with he previous three, that it just doesn’t grab my attention enough. What I mean is, when I read a truly great book I physically cannot put it down, I read with an almost obsessive need to find out what happens, and honestly sometimes I just sit and read for hours until I finish because I just can’t help myself. These books do not grab me in that way. I enjoyed it and wanted to see what happened but I also found myself putting it down for a week at a time and having no pressing desire to pick it up.
Audrey Rose is once again our only POV in this book, and honestly I would have liked a little bit from Thomas’ point of view, he has been a main character in all four books and I want to know what’s going on in his head! But Audrey Rose does a good job of keeping the reader entertained and providing enough romantic angst to keep everyone happy and invested in the story. The characters are beautifully written, and they are actually I would say accurate representations of their time period (well as accurate as you can be in a work of fiction where we also want to give women a bit more to do than meander around the house hosting parties for the whole book).
I would say that this was a satisfying conclusion to the series, and though mystery books a=can typically just keep going since there will always be another murder for our protagonists to solve, and another serial killer for them to bring to justice, i am happy that this series ended when it did. I think even if another book comes out, I like the way this book left our main characters, and the way it wrapped up the story. And honestly, feeling satisfied at the end of a series is a very rare thing so I want to hang on to that feeling!
So as per usual this spoilers section will almost exclusively focus on the romance in this book because honestly it was the most dramatic parts for me (yes, yes, the ripper murders were dramatic too but they didn’t involve an almost wedding and a romantic scandal so it’s really no contest). So Audrey Rose and Thomas officially get engaged, and like all YA romances they decide to just get married right away because of course knowing each other for just a few month mean you have enough info to be married for life, right? Anyhow, they are all set to get married, they even throw Victorian custom out the window and sleep together the night before their wedding, because they’ll be married in the morning anyways so what’s the harm. However, a mysterious woman shows up, stopping the wedding and declaring that Thomas was promised to her in marriage, and yes she has the papers to prove it. What follows is many pages of angst, some secret trysts, and a lot of general sadness from all sides at this predicament. Of course we all know Thomas and Audrey Rose end up together at the end, but it was fun pretending to believe that they wouldn’t for half the book.
Have you read this book, or any of the others in the series? Let me know your thoughts below win the comments!
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Hardcover or Paperback?