Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Rating: 4 out of 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.
Set in the late 1800s, the opening pages start with our main character Audrey Rose in a laboratory working on a cadaver. Immediately you get the feel and tone of the book, very mysterious and dark. In a society where misogyny is on a all time high, many people expect Audrey Rose to hide her love for science and all things forensic medicine which includes dead bodies, Audrey Rose has a different take.
To get away from her father’s madness and society’s rules, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory. Audrey has been helping her uncle with the corpses of this madman serial killer, theorizing and trying to figure out who it is and why are they doing this. When trying to go public with help backfires on her, she starts secretly searching for clues and the answers she is searching for will lead to something never expected.
The writing was very well done. I honestly feel that the author wrote this book in a realistic way. Yes, some parts were boring but they felt authentic and necessary. Kerri Maniscalco definitely gets into detail with the mutilation of the bodies and how they were killed, therefore please read with caution if gore isn’t your thing. Definitely do not eat and read this book at the same time. However, I actually loved that the author wrote those scenes in such detail, showing us how dark this book can get without filter.
“the dead speak to those who listen. Be quieter than even them.”
The setting and society were very on point. Maniscalco definitely does not hold back with how misogyny took place in this time, sometimes to the point where it was a burden on our main character, Audrey Rose. It also made me cringe sometimes. It sucks that this was something that was very prevalent in that day and age (we still live through it now just not as heavy), however, Maniscalco took that and made it her own. She wrote scenes that showed us how strong Audrey Rose is.
We meet a few characters throughout the book. Some of my faves including Audrey Rose, Thomas, and the Uncle Dr. Jonathan Wadsworth. All three of these are on the same hunt for the serial killer. Thomas who was pretty much Dr. Jonathan Wadsworth apprentice definitely gave me bad vibes in the beginning of the book due to his quiet sarcastic attitude. There were times when I told myself “booooyyyyyy if you do not stop right now” lol. I loved the banter between him and Audrey though! They had me giggling.
“Science never abandoned me the way religion had that night.”
I definitely grew a soft spot for Audrey’s uncle because he always meant well and definitely tested Audrey and Thomas’s limits when it came to forensic medicine. I was sad to find out that Dr. Jonathan Wadsworth and Audrey’s father, Lord Edmund Wadsworth were not in speaking terms. In actuality, Lord Edmund hated the thought of her daughter being in that laboratory for reasons the book gets into later on. Lord Edmund’s paranoia left Audrey and her brother Nathaniel in a state of despair, not knowing what to do. Lord Edmund’ s madness is due to the death of his wife, Audrey and Nathaniel’s mother. I also enjoyed Nathaniel’s character and their sibling relationship. He was very understanding to his sister’s love for the science and curiosity but also very cautious.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read the second installment, Hunting Prince Dracula. The character development and the way things flowed was great. Now if you’re wondering as to why I gave the book 4 stars it’s because I found the book to be a bit predictable and some scenes were just boring. Other than that, I really enjoyed Stalking Jack the Ripper.
I loved the characters, the setting, and even the subtle steampunk elements. If you know me, you know I love steampunk. I am also a huge sucker for late 1800s to early 1900s London except for the misogyny of course because we don’t need that. Kerri Mansicalco definitely did a great job with transferring me to this world every time I opened the page.
And that ending??!!?? Although I predicted it, I was still shocked with how some things came about and I kept flipping the pages like nobody’s business. I would highly recommend this!