Title: Stalking Jack The Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Young Adult: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publication Date: September 5th 2017
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
“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 #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.”
Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending this my way, in exchange for an honest review! I have been excited to read this ever since I heard about it last year, but it wasn’t released in Australia until this September. Spoiler: IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT!!
This is Kerri Maniscalco’s debut novel, and I am surprised by how lovely and easy to read her writing is. It did not feel like it was her debut novel. Within the first few pages, I was completely hooked and wanted nothing more than to continue reading it. I honestly was afraid it would be hard for me to get into or or like it because of the hype surrounding it, but it ended up being amazing and the hype was well-deserved for the book.
Stalking Jack The Ripper was very dark, suspenseful, gruesome and full of mystery, which made it much more interesting and enjoyable. The novel continued to get more suspenseful and I developed many theories as to who the murderer was, but I did not have a solid suspect or anything. I think what makes a mystery novel more enjoyable, is also trying to figure out the murderer as well, and discovering if you’re right or wrong. There were sinister photos that accompanied some of the chapters, and luckily for me, I did not get many nightmares from seeing them. But they did help to visualise the things and places that were mentioned.
I grew to love the characters as much as the story. I found Audrey Rose’s character to be interesting and admired her courage to be unique and to be herself, in a time when society would look down on girls if they did not comply with society’s standards. I admired her determination to pursue her dreams and protect those she loves, which is mostly her family. And I love her wittiness and banter with Thomas, but I find her decision making to be rather reckless and sometimes stupid… because WHO ON EARTH WALKS BY THEMESELVES AT NIGHT, IN THE DARK WHEN THERE IS A VICIOUS MURDERER ON THE LOOSE WHOM IS AFTER GIRLS?! I may or may not have screamed at her during my reading progress ahaha. I also love Thomas and found him to be amusing and cunning and I love him even more because he does not look down on Audrey Rose for not doing things that are not “feminine”. I love them both together so much as well, and his subtle flirting with her haha. THEY ARE JUST SO CUTE!!
I actually loved some of the characters too, such as Audrey Rose’s older brother, her uncle and cousin. They are supportive of Audrey Rose and I found their relationship with her to be quite sweet, even if her Uncle has a heart of stone haha.
As I mentioned before, I did have some theories on who the murderer could be. But it wasn’t until the last 100 pages that I had a realisation and asked myself, “what if __ was the murderer” and oh my gosh, they turned out be the murderer. And in all honesty, it still shocked me because I didn’t actually think that would happen and there were so many twists and turns that occurred. I also loved how the author weaved many truths and facts of the case into her story, such as the events that happened and the notes that Jack left behind.
This book was set during Victorian London, and I would have liked to known more about that time period and the cultures and traditions they had, aside from women having to drink tea at tea parties *rolls eyes*. And with the notes that Jack the Ripper left behind, I would have liked if it were read by a character so I could decipher it because the cursive made it difficult to read.
To summarise, Stalking Jack The Ripper is the perfect Halloween read because it’s dark and mysterious and gruesome. But it can be read anytime really, because it’s a great mystery novel. I really enjoyed it, and definitely will pick up Hunting Prince Dracula, which I heard is just as amazing and I can’t wait to read more about Thomas’ and Audrey Rose’s adventures.
And here is an aesthetic for this lovely novel: