Stalking Jack the Ripper by: Kerri Maniscalo

Summary:

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 Review:

This was another book from my TBR that I really wanted to read, mainly because Hunting Prince Dracula was coming out soon and also meeting Kerri Maniscalo at Boston Teen Author Festival, and hearing her at the Out of Character panel, I finally decided to read this book.

What I like about this book is that it reminded me a lot of sort of film noir set in the 1800s, and also the murder-mystery plot. The way Kerri describes most of the setting it feels like a Gothic thriller.

Audrey, was a great leading character, I like that she always wanted more out of life. She always works at her uncle’s forensics lab, studying corpses. Kerri, puts a lot of thought into the description of the study of forensic science, which really adds to the book. I also like how Audrey is very forthcoming with her knowledge and very brilliant with solving cases.

The main plot of the story is the murder mystery plot surrounding the deaths of many prostitutes in the area, and I really like how it tests Audrey’s knowledge of forensic science and wondering if she could find out who the killer is before Scotland Yard. It reminded me a lot of elements of Sherlock.

It also was sort of an origin story of Jack the Ripper. What made it great was that it was Kerri Maniscalo’s own interpretation of the story of Jack the Ripper. I also like that he wasn’t called Jack the Ripper, the Apron murderer. She really made Jack the Ripper her own, which could have been challenging.

Throughout the book there is several clues into finding out who the killer is, and what I liked about is that it kept me guessing throughout the book, and I thought I sort of knew who the killer was and than it would introduce another element and catch me by surprise. It had good use of the red-herring plot and it didn’t waste too much time on red-herrings. I did feel that the ending was a bit rushed, and while the twist of who Jack the Ripper was good, I felt it could have been fleshed out a bit more.

The supporting characters were also great such as, her uncle, the relationship they have. Her uncle does care for her and pushes her to be smarter with forensic science. Her father felt as if Audrey should be more ladylike and not pursue forensic science.

Thomas Carswell, was one of my favorites out of the supporting characters. He is a student of her uncle’s and sort of assists Audrey in the murder mystery. While there is a subtle romance between the two it doesn’t take up much of the book. He also had a certain charm about him, it reminded me a lot of Richard Castle.

In the end, Stalking Jack the Ripper was a great book. The murder mystery element kept me guessing throughout the book. Aubrey was an amazing main character who was very knowledgeable about the mystery. It also kept up with the film noir setting

Grade: 4/5

 

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