Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Updated: Mar 2
Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper#1
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Date Published: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Genre: Historical Mystery
Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion... 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, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
I thoroughly enjoyed this captivating mystery. Audrey Rose was a strong, realistic protagonist who as a woman in 19th century England, is not afforded many rights, fights constantly to be able to do the work she desires.
This is one of those books I’ve seen around a lot and had me very intrigued before I even started it. I enjoyed the premise, a fictional take on the Jack the Ripper days. I loved that the author including pictures at each chapter start and loved the chapter headings, they really helped to get me engaged with the scene and the time setting.
The historical aspect was done superbly; so much detail was given to every aspect of the story that made me believe that it accurate and I could truly imagine it would have been just like that at that time period. Everything was described beautifully, the settings, the building, the attitudes, the clothes, the jobs, all of it felt very real.
I loved how Audrey Rose was an independent woman who wanted the life she wanted and was unapologetic about it even though no lady should want that at all nor would be given the opportunity to try. She worked hard for and she embodied the perfect balance between being a women who didn’t fit society’s expectations and someone who also loved certain aspects of it, eg the clothes, she didn’t give up any of herself to conform when she was with Thomas or by herself, and at the end she didn’t even bother to pretend for the rest of the society.
Her interactions with Thomas were always very entertaining and I enjoyed learning more about him though he’s still a bit of a mystery. I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops in the rest of the series.
Historical Mysteries aren’t generally my genre so I was slower than usually in reading this but that is likely because there is such depth needed to create a world so like the era it is based upon. I still thoroughly enjoyed it, but I found the pace a little slow, but again this is personal preferences and I imagine this is a very ideal pace for historical mystery.
The story itself was an interesting mystery, with a lot of the key events from the actual ripper murders being highlighted in the story. I enjoyed following Audrey rose on her journey to discovering the truth, and I had no idea who it was! The ending was a shock and appropriately gruesome for Jack the Ripper (This was of course all fictionalised). The link to Audrey Rose and the role she played really brought it all together, and as we learnt about her history it was interesting to see it all come full circle at the end. And the aftermath of the end was delightful and set the scene for the following book in a way that made sense after everything that had happened. I look forward to the next instalment in this gripping series of mysteries.
Rating: 4.5 Stars