Friday, November 18, 2016

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Miss Audrey Rose Wadsworth is not your average Victorian young lady, she has a fascination (and talent) for the grisly and bloody world of forensic science.  She is well placed to learn about forensics as she is apprenticed to her uncle, Doctor Jonathan Wadsworth, who has become tangled up in the case of a rather grisly murder of a woman who has been defiled in death in a most alarming way.  Audrey Rose is fascinated by the case, but not quite so fascinated with her uncles other apprentice Thomas Cresswell - who seems to think he is already an expert in the field of forensic science and investigation.  

Thomas is already at an advantage when it comes to his studies, as unlike Audrey Rose he doesn't have to worry about hiding his actions from his family.   Audrey Rose belongs to a good family, with an over protective father who wants to ensure his beloved daughter doesn't suffer the same fate as her mother - an early grave and a grieving family.  It is not until the second body, and then a third body appears that Audrey Rose, her uncle, and Thomas begin to understand that there is a serial killer at work in the streets of London - one with very particular tastes and hunting grounds.

All the clues soon point to someone in Audrey Rose's life, but surely no one she knows and loves could be the cold blooded killer that will one day be dubbed Jack the Ripper?  She will need all her intelligence and determination to solve the case, but will she discover who the killer is before it is too late?

I had seen postings for Stalking Jack the Ripper on social media and instantly fell in love with the cover and what was promised inside - and I was not disappointed in any way.  Kerri Maniscalco has created a clear strong voice for Audrey Rose, one that refuses to be bound by the conventions of her sex and time period with delightful results.  The action is fast paced and at times leaves you reeling as just when you think you might have the answer to who Jack the Ripper is the mat is ripped out from under your feet and you are left wondering what might come next.  

This book is a real treat and is one of those rare teen novels that passes easily into the realm of teen reads for adult readers.  I have to confess that when I read the author's note and found she had changed a few things I really didn't care, the setting of the novel and the atmosphere is what makes this historically accurate - the odd tweaking with names and dates doesn't take anything away from an amazing read.  Hopefully there are many more stories from Maniscalco as this was one hell of a ride.

If you like this book then try:
  • I hunt killers by Barry Lyga
  • The book of blood and shadow by Robin Wasserman
  • Acceleration by Graham McNamee
  • Death cloud by Andrew Lane
  • Crime seen by Jenny Pausacker
  • When by Victoria Laurie
  • The Christopher killer by Alane Ferguson
  • Guy Langman, crime scene procrastinator by Josh Berk
  • Dead to you by Lisa McMann
  • The limit by Kristin Landon
  • Holding smoke by Elle Cosimano

Reviewed by Brilla

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