by Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper, Book 1
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Horror, Romance
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
My Rating: ★★★★☆
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’ve been wanting to read the Stalking Jack the Ripper (SJtR) series for a while, but $8 for an eBook is more than a little expensive (yes, I said it). But, I finally bit the bullet the other day and bought it.
SJtR was a good story, and well polished. I didn’t find any errors as I was reading, and I enjoyed it, even though it was a bit on the obvious side. I also found it odd that there were, in some ways, two endings to SJtR. There was the ending to this book’s storyline, then the ending to the book itself that set up book 2.
The first ending came as no surprise. Ms Maniscalco left us enough hints throughout to figure out the big reveal despite her attempts to mislead us. I will say, however, that the Ripper’s complete personality change during that ending seemed out of place. We’re given no reason for its occurrence, and people don’t just change personalities at the drop of a hat. I would have liked some explanation for it.
The second ending is lighthearted. It comes across as a “pick-me-up” after the intensity of the first ending. I like the changes in relationships that it promises, and look forward to seeing what happens in book 2.
The attraction between Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell was well written, although perhaps a bit more disregarding of Victorian mores than it should have been. Still, there’s a delicious tension between them that I kept expecting to ignite into something more. Granted, it is a young adult book, so I shouldn’t really have expected much in that direction.
Click to read minor spoilers.
I did, however, greatly appreciate the author’s note at the end regarding the historical and creative liberties taken. It’s always nice to have a glimpse into an author’s mind. The author’s note gives some great explanations and backgrounds to various elements of the story.
Ultimately, while I certainly recommend the story, I’d suggest you check it out at your local library if at all possible. At only 352 pages, I don’t feel the eBook is worth $8. Without the recurring productions costs you have with a printed book, this eBook is significantly overpriced.
About the Author
Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.
Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.
Disclaimer: This review is based on an eBook I purchased from Amazon on November 27, 2018.