Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1
Author(s): Kerri Maniscalco
Synopsis: 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.
this review contains a spoiler free section and a spoiler-y section
I will tell you when the spoilers start so you can leave if you haven’t read this book
I’ll start this review by saying I guessed who Jack the Ripper was before even having the book in my hands. That does not mean that I didn’t enjoy this book a hell lot.
It is set in Victorian London, which must be my favourite era of all times, at the time the Ripper started his murders. While in reality the case is unsolved to this day, we get an ending in Maniscalco’s debut.
Our protagonist, Audrey Rose Wadsworth, the 17 year-old daughter of a lord, is as loveable and admirable as she is smart. The book opens with her cutting into a dead body. Not quite the usual beginning, huh?
She studies forensic science, something that was not usual for women in the 19th century. While the society thinks she should be more interested in girly things, such as tea parties and finding the perfect dress, Audrey Rose is prefers to spend her time finding out how people died. You go girl.
She is one of the most feminist characters in YA literature I’ve encountered. Not only she wishes girls wouldn’t be thought of as weak; she wants them to be allowed to think for themselves, to be able to study for a man’s job without being judged.
Oh? Where in a medical dictionary does it say that a woman cannot handle such things? What is a man’s soul made of that a woman’s is not? I had no idea my innards were composed of cotton and kittens, while yours were filled with steel and steam-driven parts.
Okay. That’s pretty much all I have to say about Audrey. I mean, she’s great, but let’s jump to my favourite character, Mr. Thomas Cresswell.
Argh. How I love him. Plus he reminds me of Velma from Scooby-Doo, deducing everything OUT OF THIN AIR HOW DOES HE DO THAT???
So apart from being bloody intelligent, he is, in order: handsome, sassy, attractive, rude and irritating (Audrey said it, not me).
What I loved the most about him is how much he cared for Audrey Rose. In the beginning, I thought he was just a shameless flirt, ya know, like most boys are in YA fiction. But throughout the story, it becomes clearer his feelings are genuine AND ASDFGHJKL I love him so much.
You must know what you mean to me? Surely you must know how I feel about you, Audrey Rose. The thought of losing you…
No, I’m not crying, you are.
I decided. I’m asking Santa for a Thomas. That’s it.
Moving on to some unimportant matters (since Thomas is the most important one duh).
I found every character to be a little mad, in their own way, thing I loved. I think that was the idea, for every character to be shown as a little crazy so we would be suspicious of everyone. I must admit: even though I had my theory of who the killer is, and that theory has been confirmed because of a spoiler (oopsie. I’m not sorry), I was almost convinced Jack the Ripper was who Audrey Rose suspected him to be.
The book has some illustrations, too! They are pictures from 19th century, some of them creepier than the other, and they certainly make the reading experience more entertaining!
In a nutshell, I adored this book with all my heart. I can’t wait for the second one, which is set in Romania! The characters travel here- wait, no, there, not everyone is from Romania (sorry, foreign friends!).
I would recommend this to everybody who likes mystery, thrillers and murders, of course.
Now to the spoiler-y part!
Goodbye, people who don’t want to be spoiled.
Let’s talk about Nathaniel for a second. I knew he was Jack, but I was starting to doubt it because he? was? so? nice??? Like he was the sweetest cinnamon roll, and I kinda understand he did what he did out of love and grief, but he still murdered women in cold blood for nothing.
Who tries to bring back their mother from the dead? After 5 years?!
A bad example of people reading fantasy.
Now you may be wondering how I guessed he was the killer before even reading the book. No, I’m not as smart as Thomas Cresswell. I just thought Hmm, who is the least suspicious out of all the characters? I knew the characters thanks to the awesome PhontomRin, whose art I love. (Go check her out on Twitter and Tumblr)
Oh and that part when Audrey Rose and Nathaniel were in his lab and their father came in and he told Nathaniel to untie his sister, that part was kinda funny to me, because in my head he sounded just like a dad punishing his child for not playing nice.
Aaaaaaand I want to talk a little more about Thomas and Audrey because asdfghjkl. Pages 261-262 are my favourite because of the kisssssss. I’ve been waiting for it. I was seriously acting like a mad woman after reading that scene. And also when they went to talk to Mr. Thornley and the old man was like “Hey yo are you two gonna get married?” AND THOMAS BLUSHED AND STUTTERED HE’S SO PRECIOUS AND LOVES AUDREY ROSE SO MUCH.
Can they get married already? And have 5 kids? They’d be great parents. Plus Thomas kinda started courting Audrey in the… mannered way, may I say.
Okay all I ask for is a wedding scene in book 3. That’s all.
What are your thoughts on Stalking Jack the Ripper?