My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery, (Bad) Romance, Jack the Ripper, Retellings, Crime, Feminism
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, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
Well that was a charming ending to a rather dark story.
By that I mean the last three pages warmed my heart while the previous three hundred ones chilled my bones.
Stalking Jack the Ripper was easily my most anticipated release of the second half of 2016. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I’m fascinated by the horrifying personage that was Jack the Ripper, but my curiosity (and disgust) cannot help but awake at the mention of him and his doings.
Kerri Maniscalco created very ‘‘human’’ characters in this story. Humans are, and we know this, highly flawed. We like them – we like our peers – but there are moments when we want to send them straight to hell.
Audrey Rose, the heroine, as well as every single person surrounding her are strangely likeable despite all their flaws. As soon as I finished the first chapter, I was certain I would come to despise Audrey’s uncle to the core of my being… but he proved himself to be surprisingly endearing, as introverted and grumpy as he may be.
Therefore, the characters are not ones I had any problem with. Truly, I cannot wait to see them again (the ones still alive that is, heheh) in the sequels.
The writing style is another wonderful element of this book. Even when the story slowed down (very, very intensely), I still managed to enjoy myself with Maniscalco’s witty words. She captured the right atmosphere a mystery novel with dark scenes should have.
Now, what I wished were different is the romance. Both Audrey and Thomas are intriguing and loveable so, individually, they are not a problem. But together, they are awkward and seem to exasperate each other to no end instead of awakening romantic feelings inside one another. What could have been an exciting case of ‘‘love-hate relationship’’ fell short.
Furthermore, while the story is, overall, complex and well-written, it is not always interesting per se. Firstly, it’s quite slow and descriptive – so much I sometimes had to go back and reread dialogs to remember what the talking was about. And, secondly, the ‘‘stalking’’ Audrey and Thomas do, for the most part, helps little in the end, and reveals to be more reckless than courageous. And it’s not exactly ‘‘stalking’’ either, so you know.
But, all in all, I don’t regret reading this book, for I had the chance to meet memorable characters and discover a new author with talent in weaving words. Not a book I will reread in the next ten years, but one I will certainly remember.
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