Stalking Jack the Ripper
By: Kerri Maniscalco
Release Date: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Format: Print ARC
Source: TLA Convention
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.
I was so excited to get an early copy of this book because the description was so ‘me’. I just knew this novel would be so much fun and I was totally correct in thinking that. Maniscalco created likeable characters that exude that “Sherlock and Watson” feel. Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell had great dialog and chemistry. I loved their banter and I look forward to seeing where their story goes together.
Audrey Rose was a strong willed woman in an age where that was frowned upon. Her father and brother were constantly trying to tame her and keep her from her interest in anatomy. I love that her Uncle disregards this and decides to include her in his experiments and investigations. I really loved the mentor/student relationship they had and how easy it was to get a grasp of who her uncle was.
There is always something awesome about an arrogant, highly intelligent “Sherlock” type. Why am I drawn to these types? I’ll never know but Thomas filled this role perfectly. I loved that he didn’t care about convention or how things should be. He speaks inappropriately and was an actual flirt (sort of rare in these types of books). I couldn’t help but blush and smile with Audrey at his flirtations.
I didn’t feel that this book took itself too seriously though the anatomy and topic were serious and well done. I felt that research was involved and it showed in the way the descriptions were done. I also loved the touch of having period photographs sporadically in the book. I had a phase in high school where I was enthralled with the psychology of serial killers so I did some heavy reading on the topic of profiling. I never ventured too deeply into the Jack Ripper case though, like everyone, it always was a source of intrigue. I think we all wonder who exactly was behind these horrible slayings. I was very drawn to Jack the Ripper being the villain in this story and the fact that the book called on real evidence (his letters to the newspapers). I think it really added a wonderful touch to the world building and story telling.
I am so impressed that Maniscalco took the topic of Jack the Ripper and turned it on its head. Not only did she add in some historically relevant things she also was able to keep the book from being dry by including humor and a lightness that kept the book from being overly dark. I think this was and excellent start and I’m so happy there will be a sequel (or two) coming up.