Welcome bookworms! Today’s review is of Stalking Jack The Ripper. I really enjoyed this, and I think for a debut novel, it was great. However, there were some aspects that annoyed me, or that I would have loved for it to be explored some more.
Book: Stalking Jack The Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Summary: 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.
Quote: “Fear is a hungry beast. The more you feed it, the more it grows.”
*Audrey Rose. Audrey was a great character. She was a very bold girl who was determined to excel at a job that was deemed a ‘man’s job’. She believed in equality and didn’t let social norms confine her. However, some issue are mentioned below.
*Mystery. First of all, I loved the idea of solving Jack The Ripper’s murderous reign in England. Many of the clues that the police did use back in 1888 or received were used through-out the story. The final plot-twist was shocking and the motive very twisted. However, the person who did it was partly predictable.
*Historical Aspect. I love historical fiction, and historical mystery fiction is my second most favorite genre ever. I’m especially very very fond of the Victorian Era and I loved that the story was set during it. I think it was pretty accurate in portraying 1888 London but I am no expert. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed this part of the story.
*Thomas Cresswell and Audrey Rose. Thomas was amazing. His flippant impropriety was amazing, and though he is sometimes very rude and arrogant, he was an amazing character. He and Audrey Rose were great together, both seeming to hate each other, or at least Audrey, and trying to out-smart and out-do the other. I wouldn’t say they were the best Sherlock and Watson duo, but they were great together outside the mystery.
*Clues. There were a lot of clues sprinkled around the story, and the cast of potential murderers was small enough to raise your suspicion of every person.
*Forensic investigation. It was fascinating to learn about how autopsies were carried out during Audrey Rose’s time. It was a bit disgusting, and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever want to perform one or even see a cadaver, but it was fascinating and very informative.
*The Ending. The ending was disgusting, twisted, creepy, and horrifying. I had an inkling about who it was, but actually reading the full reason why the person did the crime was revolting. And for that reason, I really liked it.
Quote: “There’s nothing better than a little danger dashed with some romance.”
*Audrey Rose. She is a great character, however, her mystery solving skills were not that great in my opinion. She was very stubborn and determined to prove that her father was the murderer. It annoyed me that she wasn’t very open to the possibility that it could be someone else.
*Indian Heritage? Through-out the story, we get several hints that Audrey Rose’s is part Indian, and she talks about saris and Indian food etc… but it’s almost like an after-thought. Something to say, “I’m not entirely white, I’m part Indian too”. I would have loved for this to be explored a lot more.
*Too many men. This has been pointed out by a lot of reviewers already: Audrey Rose is literally the only female character besides her aunt and cousin. I would have loved more time to meet Audrey Rose’s cousin because she sounds like a great character who was unfortunately cut-out to make more room to showcase Audrey Rose’s ‘feminism’. (I also personally think that her cousin might have been a great partner for Audrey Rose in solving the mystery.) It would have been nice to see some other female characters who are also bold and who fight in their own special ways against the social norms of the society.
Quote: “Wield your assets like a blade, Cousin. No man has invented a corset for our brains. Let them think they rule the world. It’s a queen who sits on that throne. Never forget that.”
In the end, I really liked this, even though there were some issues. I would recommend it, and I really hope you enjoy it if you read it.
One sentence summary: An engaging historical mystery with great characters, and an intriguing, yet predictable plot.
Overall, 4 shining stars.
Have you read Stalking Jack The Ripper? What did you think? Did you find any of the things that I mentioned problematic as well? Let’s chat in the comments!