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 will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
I was in the mood for reading some historical fiction and when I saw this novel about Jack The Ripper, well how could I resist? I’m also a big fan of the cover and reading the story I can say that the woman on the cover fits the story perfectly, she even made it easier for me to imagine Audrey Rose.
There’s A LOT that I liked about this novel. First of all I loved how the author was not afraid to dive right into the story. The novel opens with an autopsy in Audrey Rose’s uncle Jonathan’s laboratory and just reading that first line about the moment before making the incision was enough to know that I was really going to enjoy the story and writing. The author inserted real photos of that period which gave the story a sense of authenticity, and afterwards I read in the afterword also a number of details about the Jack The Ripper murders that she tried to replicate in the story as well.
I also loved how Audrey Rose didn’t want to fold to the Victorian standard expectations for a woman. I loved her fascination for the dead and how she’s adamant that she’s just as capable to perform a postmortem as a man. She has to walk a fine line, on the one hand she has to have tea parties and if she wants to wed soon she needs to be on her best behaviour, but on the other hand she sneaks away to assist her uncle, she doesn’t shy away from looking at Jack The Ripper’s havoc on his victims, she isn’t afraid to tell her mind and as an act of defiance further along she wears her riding gear.. when she’s not riding. She’s a perfect heroine and the exact character this novel needed!
I’d say she’s the star of the show but that’s a lie because she has to share first place with Thomas, another student of her uncle. Thomas has mad deductions skills, I was seriously in awe and I don’t know if I loved the murder mystery or the courting going on between Audrey Rose and Thomas most. I’m tempted to go for the latter. The flirting (on a Victorian level) was so good and I loved Thomas’s pursuit and his little remarks. Apart from that they were also great as a detective duo and I think it’s no coincidence that Thomas addressing her often as Wadsworth always gave me major Sherlock and Watson vibes.
Last but not least, the story is of course about Jack The Ripper. Audrey Rose and her entourage are called upon and soon enough it doesn’t let her go. There are a few possible suspects but I figured out who Jack The Ripper was very soon, without any real grounds I admit but I still knew I had to be right on this and I was. Authors always follow the same formula and I have cracked that formula so it takes a lot more than this to surprise me, although she did try to create some doubt. While I knew who I didn’t completely understand the why though and finding out left me a little speechless. Now I wonder about the real Jack The Ripper even more!
Stalking Jack The Ripper is an original young adult novel with a great Jack The Ripper twist. I neither expected the morbid details nor the romance but I loved both and I do hope to read the next in the series in the future.
I bought a paperback of this novel. This is my honest opinion.