Is it just me or do murder mysteries and serial killer scream October to you? Determined to get this book off my shelf, as soon as I saw the audio book at my library I knew I wanted to read it this fall. Keep reading this book review to see if I was as thrilled as I wanted to be!
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.
Some things you should know about me: I love historical fiction and I am also very intrigued by murder mysteries. I also love the history of medicine. One of my favorite places I visited in Edinborough was Surgeon’s Hall Museum. While there were plenty of body parts in jars, and I am no doctor, I loved witnessing the evolution of modern medicine. (I also just want to say that it’s important to also acknowledge the history of modern medicine to exploit, or be weaponized against, marginalized groups throughout history).
Audio Book Notes
Because of that, I was intrigued by Stalking Jack the Ripper for the hype and the subject matter. As I mentioned earlier, I listened to this book on audio, which I think meant that I was swept away more by what the characters were saying and not what they were saying. To clarify, I read in some reviews, before beginning, that the writing was overly descriptive in some odd sensory descriptions, which I didn’t realize in audio format.
I enjoyed the audio immensely not only for the different accents, but the pauses. While reading I feel like I miss the impact of a weighted pause. But in audio books, I appreciate the weight of the pauses, the well timed moments of silence.
But for me, I think the characters were the weakest. While I enjoyed how progressive Audrey Rose was as well as how much she enjoyed fashion, I felt like she tried a bit too hard to show how intelligent she was. I appreciate a good character who shows how clever they are, but there were so many times when her intelligence was either lost on me, or was just told by her or other characters.
And, it may just be my personal preference, but I didn’t really enjoy Thomas as a character. To be honest, despite his good looks, he seemed to remind me of a lot of male YA characters: arrogant, intelligent, charming. I also felt like there wasn’t a lot of character depth to any of the side characters, Thomas included. And because of that, the romance in the book was a hard sell for me. I wanted to ship them, but I ended up just being a bit confused?
As a whole, I enjoyed the murder mystery and historical fiction aspect immensely. I haven’t read a Jack the Ripper book in a while, so it was fascinating to see the cases develop, as well as listen to the author note about historical accuracy. Even though I predicted quite a few twists, I enjoyed listening to the story and the suspense Maniscalco created and am looking forward to the next one.