Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publish Date: September 20, 2016
# of Pages: 326
(**Warning: Possible spoilers!**)
(From Goodreads) Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…
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 story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco is a blood-chilling murder mystery that delves into the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. Set in the late 1800s, this book follows Audrey Rose Wadsworth, a girl of privilege and good breeding, as she pursues forensic science and lends her hand in solving the murders.
In short, I thought this book was fantastic. I really enjoyed Audrey Rose. She’s a girly girl with a strong feminist streak. She firmly believes she can do anything a man can do and does not let societal expectations hold her back from pursuing her unorthodox passions. Audrey has a strong interest in forensic science and apprentices under her uncle. She’s not immune to blood and gore, but she’s able to separate her emotions from the equation and peruses ravaged corpses with the eye of a scientist.
Along the way, Audrey meets Thomas, another of her uncle’s apprentices. Thomas is arrogant, sarcastic, and infuriatingly charming. I adored his character and loved the interactions between him and Audrey. Reading their interactions is like watching a cat play with a mouse. Thomas enjoys baiting Audrey, but Audrey can give as good as she can take. Towards the end of the book, they both reveal their feelings for each other.
The storyline is engaging and pulls you in from the very beginning. Jack the Ripper is fascinating in and of itself, and I really liked the new spin to this unsolved mystery. I appreciated the real historical elements that were incorporated into this book and found myself cross-checking facts on Google while reading, just to make sure I kept straight what was real and what was fiction. The author also provided a nice summary at the end of the book where she explains what’s real and what was changed to lend to the story progression.
The “who done it” reveal wasn’t a huge surprise for me. I had a couple characters pegged as the murderer, so I was pleased when one of my guesses proved to be true. While the murderer is deprived and emotionally sick in the head, I liked that his motivations had a very real human element to them. His story, in truth, is heartbreaking, and what he sets out to accomplish is equally heartbreaking.
If you haven’t read this book already, I would highly recommend you check it out. I have the second book on hold at my library!
Have you read this book? What did you think of Thomas as a character?
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