Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Release Date: September 20th 2016
He’s the infamous killer no man has ever been able to find.
Now it’s a girl’s turn.
Groomed to be the perfect highborn Victorian young lady, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has a decidedly different plan for herself. After the loss of her beloved mother, she is determined to understand the nature of death and its workings. Trading in her embroidery needle for an autopsy scalpel, Audrey secretly apprentices in forensics. She soon gets drawn into the investigation of serial killer Jack the Ripper, but to her horror, the search for clues brings her far closer to her sheltered world than she ever thought possible.
An e-ARC was provided by the publisher for this blog tour. This does not affect my opinion whatsoever.
Stalking Jack the Ripper is a thriller focusing on Audrey Rose Wadsworth, who is apprenticing under her uncle to study forensics. It's an unseemly interest for "proper" ladies of the Victorian era, but that won't stop Audrey Rose and her desire to learn. Through her uncle, she meets Thomas, a charming, brash and intelligent young man who she finds herself intrigued by and also finds a partner in helping her solve the Whitechapel murders.
The novel is told in Audrey Rose's point of view and at first, the novel moves kind of slowly, building up the relationship between Audrey Rose and Thomas. It also sets up the series of murders and the mystery. Kerri manages to weave in the historical facts of the murders and her own world seamlessly and I really enjoyed how she managed to write a world around the historical facts. But oh holy crap, does the novel ramp up in speed near the very end, as Audrey finally finds out the truth of the murders and the identity of Jack the Ripper.
I really enjoyed Audrey Rose's character. She doesn't care too much that she's flouting societal norms by apprenticing under her uncle and I love the way that she's escaping the gender roles imposed by society in Victorian England. She is bold and courageous, taking on the case of these murders herself and looking for the murderer. One of my favourite moments of hers, was when she was picking out fabric for new dresses, and stated that just because she was interested in autopsies and cadavers, didn't mean she couldn't also appreciate beautiful clothes and other feminine things.
Thomas irked me at times. He has that sort of Sherlock-ian way of ignoring societal cues and being able to shut down his emotions to suit the role of investigating murders. He also has that Sherlock-ian observational skills in that he notices many tiny things and makes inferences in order to piece together the larger picture. He is much more charming than Sherlock though and charms Audrey.
While I managed to guess at who the perpetrator would be, I didn't exactly expect the way it would be revealed. Oh boy. Overall, this novel was a great historical thriller that I highly enjoyed and definitely had me internally screaming at the climax. The novel wraps itself up tidily though leaves room for another novel and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel that Kerri is writing.
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. Stalking Jack the Ripper is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history, and is the first in a new series of gothic thrillers.