Review: Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2)
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.
My Rating: 5 stars
OMG! I did not think it could get any better than Stalking Jack the Ripper but it did. Maniscalco is a genius and so amazing in her storytelling abilities. I loved Hunting Prince Dracula just as much as the first one. This one followed Audrey Rose and Thomas to Romania to a forensics school to vie for a spot at a prestigious academy. Audrey Rose is still reeling from the revelations from the Ripper case. She lost someone dear to her and had to contend with the despicable things he did to those women. Since she is such a strong woman, she is trying to handle things in her own way. She feels that if she breaks down, it is a weakness that she cannot afford at the school. I did get frustrated with her a little but it was mostly because she was taking her pain, anger, and grief out on Thomas when he tried to help her. But I could forgive her because she usually realized that and admitted it to herself almost immediately. Thomas was even better in this one and showed just how much he cared for Audrey Rose. He was willing to do anything for her and he clearly had feelings for her greater than friendship. I thought Audrey Rose's struggles were done well and it showed that she was a vulnerable character who needed other people. She realized that it was okay for her to grieve.
Now lets get into the mystery that prodded this story along. Someone is killing people and making it seem as if a vampire is killing them or a vampire hunter is after the others. Audrey Rose and Thomas ended up in the middle of it all and I was shocked to find out who was involved. I never expected the person who was unveiled as the killer. Again, Maniscalco did a brilliant job of concealing that fact until the very end. The mystery along with the great writing, detail, and characters made this book a must read and a hard to put down story. I got through it rather quickly. There were parts that had me closing my eyes and crying out loud which is the mark of a good book. I will not relive the scene that need not be mentioned. One other thing that I liked was the fact that Audrey Rose felt the need to rebuke society's constraints on young women but she seemed to always make it a point to talk about impropriety when it came to being alone with Thomas without a chaperone. It was ingrained in her and she just could not get over that. Some of society's rules she just had to uphold and could not really bring herself break without feeling guilty about it.
I loved how it ended with Thomas and Audrey Rose. The two of them are so perfect together and I cannot wait to see what else happens with them. I need Escaping from Houdini. September cannot get here fast enough.