“Science never abandoned me the way religion had that night.”
Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery
Format: Digital Copy
Date Published: September 20, 2016
Publishing House: Jimmy Patterson
Goodreads Rating: 4.01
Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ / 5
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.
My Personal Thoughts
Stalking Jack the Ripper is Kerri Maniscalco’s debut novel about the popular serial killer in the district of London in 1888, Jack the Ripper. I must admit that the author impressed me in so many aspects! Wow! Just wow! When I was drafting and outlining this review, I couldn’t think of a negative thing to say because damn it was so good! Beautifully written and it definitely stimulated most of my senses. If crime/thriller/mystery authors would always come up with a story like this, it might bring back my love for this genre. A few years ago, I was so obsessed with these type of stories but as I’ve read novels with the same plot and twist and flow, I got no choice but to be disappointed and switch to fantasy novels. This is so refreshing and entertaining! All the characters are easy to like and understand. All the gripping and intense scenes were magnificently executed. I adore each and every chapter and I could not ask for more!
Audrey Rose Wadsworth – a 17 y/o young lady who’s wealthy and smart but loves forensic medicine which isn’t ladylike during those years
Thomas Cresswell – young bloke who loves forensic medicine as much as Audrey Rose
Nathaniel Wadsworth– Audrey’s older brother
Lord Edmund Wadsworth – Audrey and Nathaniel’s troubled father
Dr. Jonathan – Audrey’s uncle and mentor whose passion is forensic medicine
Jack the Ripper/Leather Apron – the villain
Aspects that I like most about the story:
- Medical Terms. Because being a registered nurse made me understand all the terms involved in the story. And I must warn you, it’s overflowing with these words so if you are not a fan of consulting a dictionary or Google while reading, then this novel is not for you. In my case, this is definitely my cup of tea. Incorporating medical terms stimulated my senses and made me understand the murders more.
- Fast Pace. The story is definitely progressed in a fast manner. You can finish the book in a day or two given all the gripping and mind-blowing events. I love how the author made everything easy and you’ll never ever put the book down. The turnout of events is just perfect, not too fast to the point that you won’t understand the messages and scenarios.
- Setting and Era. This is an old-school setting and I was amazed by how the surroundings and the settings were described. The author did a great job. I’m not a fan of the old era but everything became convenient because of the way she gave justice to every detail.
- Unpredictability. I suspected three to four people to be Jack the Ripper and all my guesses were wrong! That’s how unpredictable the story is and it’s the exact same reason why I liked it. Just imagine knowing the killer right from the start? It will make the reader bored and the reading experience not thrilling.
- Feminism and Equality. Audrey Rose inspired me a lot. How she values gender equality and how she showed the male species that being a woman and having a uterus doesn’t ma a lady incapable. She pushed through with her passion and did not bother on what the society would think of her.
Things that I am not happy about the story:
- Too gruesome to imagine scenes that almost made me puke. Don’t get me wrong, the author showed her readers how the popular ripper did his murders ages ago but everything was described in an intricate manner and if you’re weak, this isn’t for you; as for me, I can stomach the mind-boggling murder scenes and shit.
- Too few illustrations. I was hoping for more drawings and photos especially with hard to picture out things or apparatus. Hopefully, with the succeeding books, the author might somehow include additional illustrations to make the story more entertaining.
- Choice of Words. This is not a downside of the story, it’s just that some of the words are too deep and hard to understand. Maybe because it was set in the late 1800s so the words incorporated are classic and highly intellectual. I have to check the dictionary once in a while just to be sure that I understood them.
- Having the capability to bear a child doesn’t make us, women, less productive and competent in the society.
- Even those people that we love the most can surprise us in some ways that we can never imagine.
- Curiosity will help a person grow and learn.
“Roses have petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.”
“Arrogance usually y hides something below the surface.”
“It seemed it’d take a little more time for some girls to free themselves from chains society placed upon them.”
“I despised remaining silent under awful judgments.”
“Monsters were supposed to be scary and ugly. They weren’t supposed to hide behind friendly smiles and well-trimmed hair.”
Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆/5