Monday, August 15, 2016

Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Release Date: September 20, 2016

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.

I've not hidden that historical fiction isn't my favorite genre.  It's not that I don't enjoy it; I do.  It's just that I rarely ever get the urge to pick up an historical book.  That urge definitely hit when I decided to read Stalking Jack the Ripper.

We open up with Audrey Rose, typical Victorian high society girl, helping perform an autopsy with her uncle, much to basically everyone's chagrin.  Her father is germaphobic, and her brother helps her escape the house to do what she pleases, simply because messing with his father and seeing Audrey Rose get her way make him happy.

Enter Thomas Cresswell, a student of Audrey Rose's uncle.  He's handsome, tall, brilliant, and impossibly blunt with all of his observations and emotions.  How strange for a Victorian man to act as such.  Together, they begin an investigation to find the infamous murderer killing women.

So what did I love about this book?  Basically everything.  There are major Sherlock and Watson vibes going on between Thomas and Audrey Rose.  I couldn't help but get so dragged in to the investigation, myself.  Oh, that little detail from 100 pages back?  Yeah, it was important.  While I don't read too much historical fiction, the Victorian Era is absolutely one of my favorites, and I couldn't help feeling so immersed in the daily activity of Audrey Rose, while she balanced being the daughter of a lord and wanting something different with her life.  And even more impossibly, her developing feelings toward the insufferable Thomas.

Stalking Jack the Ripper is about as historically accurate as fiction based on a real event can get.  Did this happen?  Most certainly not, but the dates, places, and times of the murders were all kept the same, as well as the original letters sent to the newspaper by Jack the Ripper.

Thomas is such a swoony love interest.  And Audrey Rose's reactions to him are somewhat hilarious at times.  Calling him a liar and such when he's obviously being so truthful and forthright about himself.  And he's as close to genius as can get, figuring out things others never would have.  As the book progresses, we get ideas of who might be the murderer, who it probably isn't, etc.  So even though I went through so many ideas, the ending did come as a slight shock.  But it was still good.

Reasons to read this book
1) Sherlock Holmes vibes, and according to Kerri, there are some Easter Eggs as nods to Doyle.
2) Swoony romance
3) Victorian London
4) Awesome gothic feel
5) Interesting take on an unsolved case

Reasons not to read this book
1) You loathe romance
2) And/or hate historical fiction

I loved this book so much.  I would recommend it to basically anyone, even if historical fiction isn't really your thing, as it isn't for me.

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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