4 star, YA

Review: Capturing The Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper #4

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

And here we are, the grand finale of this series! Part of me is sad that it had to come to an end, but at the same time, now that everything is wrapped up, I’m also glad that it was tied to a bow and just let sail. What a fantastic series – it was truly something special, and I’m so glad that Andge suggested it to me.

Here, Andge actually rated this book a 3.5 Drink Me Potions, her lowest rating for this series, and even with my 4, it is also my lowest. I think we both agree that in terms of the mystery and intrigue, and the dark macabre adventures of our favourite two protagonists, this last novel falls short. The story revolves more around the nuptials of Audrey Rose and Thomas, and their romantic story as it develops in America.

Capturing The Devil follows Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell in their final adventure together – this time in New York – late 19th century New York, that is. The devil himself has now come to haunt the streets of America, too reminiscent of the past killings by Jack the Ripper. Will Audrey Rose and Thomas be able to solve the mystery before it’s too late? And what else stands in the way of their love?

Honestly, so much praise for this series, even if this last one falls short a bit. It does manage to wrap up almost all the loose ends, and tie up the series nicely with a bow, and doesn’t heavily disappoint or anything like that in any way. Yes, I wish the quintessential mystery portion of the book was a bit more well-developed, but at least I enjoyed the more romance portion of the character development and relationship building.

The first three books had much more stunning and surprising, well-thought mystery whodunnit plotlines. This one… was definitely weak, to say the least. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it was certainly in the background as the relationship between Audrey Rose and Thomas took precedence. Mystery aside, I felt that the whole plot (revolving around their relationship) was actually well done, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Let’s just say that the usual effort that went into the dark and mysterious adventures were funneled into tying up the growth and ending for the characters. I definitely felt like I missed out a little bit for what I really wanted to read when picking up this series, but I’ll give it a pass since I loved the first three so much, and this was more just a finale for our two favourite protagonists.

I just loved how relatable the two main characters were – or at least as relatable as they could be considering they exist in a timeline more than hundred years ago. I’m really going to miss them and their adventures, and their tangoes with death and the macabre. I highly recommend this series to all, it really is excellent!

Overall Recommendations

Capturing the Devil is the fourth and last novel in the Stalking Jack The Ripper Series, featuring our favourite protagonists, Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell, for the last time. It follows their adventures in late nineteenth century New York as they investigate a series of murders all too familiar to them. What will happen to them and their relationship as they roam the streets of America, and who might be stalking them from the shadows? Although a bit more focused on their romance and relationship over their normal mystery style, it was still a great adventure. Find out what happens in this last installment of the series, as the whole series is wrapped up in a spectacular finish.

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