With the various YA fantasy novels I’ve been devouring lately I thought it could be a nice change to flip to a historical fiction mystery for my next book
Enter, Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco. A novel I’ve had my eye on due to a multitude of reasons which include the 19th century setting and the following of the Jack the Ripper murders.
Was Stalking Jack the Ripper a nice change from what I’ve been reading lately? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
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Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson (September 20, 2016)
Print Length: 326 pages
Audiobook Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
Narrator: Nicola Barber
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.
Kerri Maniscalco sure has a way of cramming a multitude of different issues into a single debut, only to come out on the other side having told a bold, cheeky, and smartly written exploration on what it meant to be female during the 19th century.
Set in Victorian London, Stalking Jack the Ripper follows seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth, and her dashing companion Thomas Cresswell, as they try to solve a question that has perplexed Scotland Yard for over 130 years, who was the infamous Jack the Ripper?
Maniscalco doesn’t shy away from the macabre, and I mean, given that the novel is influenced by one of the most brutal killing sprees in English history, it doesn’t suffer one bit from the use of clinical language and forensic application. I also appropriated the authors note following the conclusion of Stalking Jack the Ripper because she explained the historical liberties she took and why they were necessary within the context of the novel.
The character of Audrey Rose is a headstrong YA heroine that I can’t wait to read more about. As the daughter of a high standing member of Victorian society the reader is painfully aware of the way Audrey Rose should be conducting herself. But timid and incapable she is not, and instead of accepting her role, she uses her intellect to undermine her male peers, her male counterparts, and saucy Jack himself. The other character I can’t help but touch upon is Thomas Cresswell. At the beginning of Stalking Jack the Ripper he was nothing more than an insufferable pupil of Audrey Rose’s forensic pathologist uncle, Jonathan Wadsworth. By the end of the novel, however, Cresswell went through a metamorphosis of sorts by both understanding Audrey Rose for who she is and respecting what she could become. I don’t usually ‘ship’ characters, but you can find my feet firmly planted in camp Cressworth.
As far as the ending, I couldn’t for the life of me correctly guess who Maniscalco had cast as the man/woman behind Jack the Ripper. I was sad when the murderer was revealed, and torn apart when I learned why they chose to do what they did, so props to the author for keeping the ‘whodunit’ mystery alive for the majority of the novel.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco. Have any Jack the Ripper book recommendation? Leave your recommendation below and help my TBR grow.