I read ‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ by Kerri Maniscalco a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it, and with the sequel ‘Hunting Prince Dracula’ (probably my most anticipated book of the year!) hitting stores in just a few days’ time (yippee!) I wanted to post about what I loved so much about the novel and why everyone should read it.
So, here are some reasons to start this series:
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.
An Original Concept
‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ is a fascinating take on the illusive murderer. The concept, plot and characters are unique and inspired, and that makes the book particularly thrilling to read. From the very opening – which features Audrey Rose, the daughter of a wealthy lord, in a mortician’s lab dissecting a cadaver – you know that this book is something fresh and very exciting.
A Gripping Plot
This novel is tense and engaging from beginning to end. Even when you think that you’ve guessed who the killer is, the multiple suspects and various twists and turns keep you second guessing yourself. You’ll be glued to the pages: I was so immersed and involved in the storyline that I read the book in one evening. But while this is definitely a book you’ll read in one sitting, the characters and the story will stay with you much longer than that (as they do in all the best books).
Wonderful Lead Characters
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell are brilliant main characters – one of my all-time favourite duos. The two trainee morticians, like Holmes and Watson, make a great team. Thomas’ swagger and the way that he manages to simultaneously infuriate and charm Audrey Rose is entertaining and lightens the mood, providing variation and contrast with the darker, creepier parts of the novel. The chemistry between Thomas and Audrey is electric; their dialogue is amusing and fun. Who knew dissecting and detective work could ever be romantic?! I can’t wait to be reunited with the duo when I read the sequel next week, and I’m hoping we’ll learn more about Thomas’ backstory, too.
The Vividness of the Novel
Another strength of the book (there are so many!) is how immersive it is. Each scene is clearly etched and engages all the senses – you can feel Audrey’s uncle hovering hungrily in the opening, wanting to get his hands on the corpse, waiting for any opportunity to interject; you can smell the scent of sandalwood and cigars and hear the swish of her skirts on the floor when Audrey Rose snoops around in her father’s office. My favourite part about reading is being totally enveloped in a story, and this is something you definitely get with ‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’. The writing is skilful and evocative.
‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ is an impressive and highly enjoyable opening to what I am sure will be one of my favourite series. I am very excited for ‘Hunting Prince Dracula’ to come out – so excited, in fact, that I am travelling to America to go to the launch party at Books of Wonder and to meet Kerri Maniscalco, along with a whole host of other awesome authors, at BTA Fest! I cannot wait!