4.5 star, YA

Review: Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper #1

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.

Okay, just have to start off right off the bat that this was amazing. This series (book one here) was suggested by our very own Andge and I am 100% on board and thankful for this recommendation. I even checked with her and she agreed with my 4.5 rating here.

I was never much of a history buff, and so I tend to avoid historical fictions if left to my own devices. But ever since Andge introduced The Last Magician to me, I honestly have a newfound interest and curiosity for them. So if you have never tried historical fictions, I can honestly say you should give it a try – you may find that you also enjoy them!

I can’t think of a better first dive into historical fiction, especially if you’re into YA (which is why we’re all here, right?). Stalking Jack the Ripper may be a bit of a intimidating title, but I promise it’s not a sappy love story where a girl falls in love with a serial killer. Set in the late nineteenth century England, Audrey Rose Wadsworth is not your typical young lady. Studying as an apprentice under her uncle in post-mortem studies, she is no stranger to dead bodies and getting her hands dirty. Don’t be fooled by the macabre setting – all the essence of your favourite YA novel can still be found!

Audrey Rose is a wonderful character. I was immediately enchanted by her (though I am a sucker for those strong female heroines), but she is definitely a girl struggling to fit in. Understandably so, even by today’s standards, coroners aren’t exactly portrayed as a glamorous profession. Poor Audrey Rose then, who is supposed to be more interested in gossip and tea parties but is unfortunately the complete opposite. While this is a fairly common trope to set apart the protagonist, I often found her to be extremely charming in her wit and humor, when it came to the hopeless juxtaposition of her passion versus societal expectations.

The characters in this novel were beautifully crafted, and each one was consistent and/or grew in a plausible manner over the course of the novel. Every character we are introduced to feels like a genuine part of the story, and not just stuck in there for the sake of it – something I learn to appreciate more and more. The mystery whodunnit part of the novel was also intriguing and exciting, and plays out a lot like Sherlock Holmes. If you’re into that kind of story, this one is definitely one for you.

Like I mentioned earlier, I am not really into history, but this book actually made me look up Jack the Ripper and read more into the mysterious circumstances around which he supposedly existed. Here was where I really got to appreciate the research that was put into this novel. If you already have a strong knowledge of such historical events, I think you’d appreciate even more how well the Maniscalco has woven in the historical facts and blended it in with her work of fiction.

I am definitely, definitely, going to be reading the rest of the books in this series for review. Stay tuned for the rest!

Overall Recommendations:

Stalking Jack the Ripper is a historical fictional novel and murder mystery set in nineteenth century London, England. Unsurprisingly, it is set in Whitechapel, where the infamous Jack the Ripper terrorized the city in a series of brutal murders. Well-researched and thrilling, this mystery follows our main protagonist, Audrey Rose, who is a lord’s daughter but leads a double life studying dead bodies in his uncle’s lab. All too soon her uncle gets caught up in investigating Jack’s victims. Will Audrey be able to solve the crime? Or will the chains of society suppressing her prove too much for her to break free from? Full of intrigue, character growth and thrilling twists, be sure to read book one of this exciting series!

8 thoughts on “Review: Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco”

  1. This is a great review! It’s been on my tbr for ages now and I don’t know when ill get around to it but hopefully soon! it had sort of fell off my radar until this post brought it back to my attention!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hiiiiiighly recommend the whole series. It was an absolute pleasure, hopefully you’ll get around to it soon! And let me know when you do 🙂


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