Updated: Nov 2, 2019
For the love of books and amazing stories, I'm going to start writing individual book reviews.
Part of this review will be spoiler-free, but there will be a small section with spoilers for those who don't mind or have already read the book.
I decided to start with Stalking Jack the Ripper, which I read last month. I'm currently on the third book of this series, but my love for the characters and Kerri Maniscalgo's storytelling is so grand that I needed to vent it somehow. It is only fair that I start with the first book to give it a proper review. You will also find some interesting facts and some of my favorite quotes.
Here we go:
Publication date: September 20, 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, & Young Adult Fiction.
No. of chapters: 30
No. of pages: 326
Setting: London, 1888
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.
Audrey Rose: She is the main character of the book. Audrey Rose has an forbidden interest on forensics that leads her to have a double life–even dress as a boy in one occasion. She is smart and deviant from society, although she still cares about her reputation, she pushes boundaries to pursue her independence and passions.
Thomas Cresswell: Thomas Cresswell is confident, charming and mysterious. He is great at reading body language, drawing and smokes way too much for his own good.
Jonathan Wadsworth: Audrey Rose's uncle and mentor. He is the one that teaches her about forensics. He is shown as a passionate man.
Nathaniel Wadsworth: Audrey Rose's overprotective brother, he takes care of her while his dad isn't around.
I loved the story; it was fast paced starting from the first sentence. Everyone was a suspect and I could feel Audrey Rose's fear in some of the scenes of night, foggy London and her obsession with solving the murder. Maniscalgo doesn't shy away from describing the gruesome details of murder and disease, as well as the strict standards for women from the 19th century. She gives us realistic characters you won't help loving and suspecting at the same time.
• Maniscalgo used several elements from the Ripper case. The names of the victims, the Knight of Whitechapel, the letters Jack the Ripper sent to the press. (She manipulates some of these elements and dates to serve her story's purpose.
• Audrey Rose is half British from her father's side and half Indian from her mother's side.
• The original title for this book was Of Blood and Shadow.
What I liked:
• The elements from the original case are chilling and masterfully woven into the story.
• Thomas Cresswell. Most of my favorite quotes and scenes definitely have him.
• The hate turns to love romance. Audrey Rose and Thomas are one of my new favorite couples. They share a passion for forensics, and Thomas is pretty progressive compared to the other men in the story.
• The subtle nod to Frankenstein. Mad scientist, and sinful experiments, yes!
• The pictures throughout the book helped me visualize the story and the chilling details.
What I didn’t like:
• Audrey Rose suspected of everyone except who she needed to.
• I hated that it was Nathaniel. I kind of liked him but I guess his charm was what made him dangerous.
• Audrey Rose's neglecting father. Maybe his children wouldn't have deviated so much if he had been more present, but I guess he served his purpose in the story.
• Audrey Rose unnecessarily putting herself in dangerous situations. Yes, you can be brave but be smarter about it.
I hope you enjoyed this review and that it helps you pick up and read Stalking Jack the Ripper if you haven't. This is the first book of a four-book developing series.
I plan to post the review for the second book, Hunting Prince Dracula, next week.
Please subscribe to receive my blog posts straight to your email, and share this post with a friend.
Comment any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book/series.