Series:Stalking Jack The Ripper #1
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Published Date: Septemeber 20th, 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
He’s the infamous killer no man has ever been able to find.
Now it’s a girl’s turn.
Groomed to be the perfect highborn Victorian young lady, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has a decidedly different plan for herself. After the loss of her beloved mother, she is determined to understand the nature of death and its workings. Trading in her embroidery needle for an autopsy scalpel, Audrey secretly apprentices in forensics. She soon gets drawn into the investigation of serial killer Jack the Ripper, but to her horror, the search for clues brings her far closer to her sheltered world than she ever thought possible.
"You can play the gossip game nicely today, then go about your secret detective business tonight. It could be just like a novel."
Audrey Rose Wadsworth - Main Character, who works as an assistant to her uncle.
Uncle Jonathon Wadsworth - Professor and does autopsies
Lord Edmund Wadsworth - Audrey's father who has some problems
Nathaniel Wadsworth- Audrey's brother who is worried about Audrey and their father.
Thomas Cresswell - Uncles student and assistant, also Nathaniel's friend.
Of course we have other characters like an aunt and cousin, and some of the police force. But these were the main ones that most of the story revolves around. Audrey is a headstrong young woman who is determined to follow in her uncle's footsteps no matter how much her father forbids it. Because of this tensions are high especially when young woman start getting killed in the streets by the Ripper. This doesn't stop Audrey though if anything it makes her even more involved in what her uncle does.
"I was determined to be both pretty and fierce, as Mother had said I could be. Just because I was interested in a man's job didn't mean I had to give up being girly. Who defined those roles anyway?"
With the help of Thomas (who is now one of my favorite male protagonists) she tries to figure out who the Ripper is and why he is doing this. Thomas is a bit like Sherlock Holmes at times, cold and calculating. Yet he has his own charm and personality that Sherlock doesn't have. Thomas is a one of a kind character that everyone should have when trying to solve crimes in Victorian London. Plus the banter between Thomas and Audrey was pretty good and made the story lighter which was much needed at certain times.
"So is dissecting the dead prior to breakfast. But I don't scorn you fro that unseemly habit. In fact it's rather endearing seeing you up to your elbows in viscera each morning. Also you're quite welcome for the flower. Do place it on your nightstand and think of me while dressing for bed."
Overall I really loved this story. Audrey while being overly headstrong at times also truly cares for those around her and wants to keep them safe. Sure in order to do this she puts herself in harms way multiple times, she also keeps her emotions in check most of the time. She stands her ground in a time period where woman were supposed to do as they were told and not ask questions. I'm not going to lie though at times the detail of the murder scenes and autopsies does get a bit graphic so if you have a squeamish stomach you might want to skip over those parts. Though they were quite informative and useful to the case. This was a new take on the ripper case for me (I haven't read many dealing with it though). The ending of this will get you. I was starting to figure it out, but then at the end it switched people at the last minute and I couldn't help, but have my heart break a little because of how desperate the Ripper was. It was a sad ending especially when you look back at what had been happening throughout the rest of the book, and you can see the details that you missed the first time, or were able to place on someone else.
Even with that ending though I can't wait to see what Audrey gets up to next, because I have no doubt in my mind that it will be just as interesting as this book was.
"I've tried on my own way to protect you from the harshness and diseases of the world. But men- and young women- weren't meant to live in gilded cages. There's always a chance some contagion will find a way in. I trust you to change that. In order to do so you must venture out into the world, my sweet girl."