This review, along with my other reviews, will be spoiler-free!
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 debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
Once I read the synopsis for STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, I was immediately intrigued! A serial killer story? A sassy, modern main character? Count me in.
This novel focuses on Audrey Rose, a curious, original, and rebellious teenager living in the Victorian era during which the Jack the Ripper murders were committed. When bloody murders start occurring near Audrey’s home, she finds that her forensics skills can be put to good use to solve the identity of the murderer. I found this concept fascinating, and I was anticipating following Audrey’s journey. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I will say that I was very surprised. The author did a magnificent job of writing plot twists, throwing red herrings around, and including background information about Audrey’s life without it feeling like information dumping.
The writing style was modern for the time period, so it wasn’t too difficult to understand. However, my favorite aspect of this novel, by far, was the inclusion of different images and artifacts before several chapters. Most of these images have something to do with the chapter it precedes, and it really immersed me into the setting in which the book takes place.
There was also a romance in this novel, but don’t fret, it doesn’t take up too much of the novel. Although the romance that bloomed in this novel was ultimately cliché, it was enjoyable. There’s cute banter and smirking and kissing, and it’s overall lovely.
The only reservations I have for this novel is that despite its originality, this book had several clichés in regards to the reveal of the murderer and the romance. Additionally, the beginning seemed to lag a bit, but once you get past a certain point, it’ll get increasingly more interesting. By the end of the novel, I was flipping through the pages furiously.
Overall, STALKING JACK THE RIPPER is a solid debut from author Kerri Maniscalco. Although this book does fall to some clichés and slow parts, it was generally intriguing and enjoyable. If you love a good Sherlock and Watson mystery, make sure to check this one out!
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.