Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1)
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.
My Rating: 5 stars
I have to be honest and say that I did not want to read this book. I've been aware of it since it was published but it has taken me this long to finally pick it up and read it. I was wrong in my assumptions and hate that I did not read it sooner. I truly wasn't sure what to expect and once I put aside my preconceived notions, I was able to dive right in.
Stalking Jack the Ripper gutted me. By the end, it had me crying and feeling so many feelings that it has taken me this long to sort them out enough to write this review. I'm not even sure where to start. I loved the book. It was amazing and I absolutely adore Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell. Audrey Rose was not your typical young lady that you would have expected to come across in Victorian London. For one, she worked with her uncle in his laboratory studying and practicing forensic medicine against her father's wishes. It was barely a suitable profession for a man in that time so it was off limits for a woman. Audrey Rose did not care about that. After a tragedy befell her family, she turned to medicine and forensics to cope and see how she could help others with her skill. The story started right in with the Jack the Ripper murders. Audrey Rose's uncle was tasked with studying the body so she was called in to assist him along with another forensics student, Thomas Cresswell. Right off, the two of them did not get along well because Thomas came off as arrogant and dismissive and cold.
This book did not shy away from the gruesome details and I was okay with that once I realized Maniscalco intended for the reader to "see" some of these autopsies and the details behind the murders. The murder mystery and trying to figure out who Jack the Ripper was, propelled this book forward. From the beginning it was clear the killer, for the purpose of this book, was going to be someone close to Audrey Rose. I think Maniscalco did a marvelous job of concealing just who was the killer and I wasn't surprised but I did not guess it until the very end. The killer was as depraved and brutal as you would think a serial killer would have to be. The revelation was a lot for Audrey Rose. Maniscalco did a great job of weaving mystery with historical facts and romance. I liked that at the end she explained the liberties she took wit the story and why. It was so well written and an engrossing story that completely pulled me in. I read it rather quickly and enjoyed it more than I could have even imagined.
I loved Audrey Rose and Thomas. The two of them together was gold and they had me laughing on so many occasions. I loved how Thomas said inappropriate things and made Audrey Rose smile and helped her with her case. they became friends before they became something more. The fact that they were both interested in forensic medicine for the same reasons helped solidify their bond. Audrey Rose was such a strong and fierce character that is one of my new favorite female leads. She had this sense of justice and did not want to be coddled or told that she could not do something because she was a woman. I found it hilarious how she'd snap at most of the men in her life if they tried to treat her like that. Thomas was sarcastic at times and could be playful but he was there for Audrey Rose when it counted. He was dependable. I cannot wait to see what kind of adventure the two of them get into in Hunting Prince Dracula. I want to see where their relationship goes.