Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Untitled Trilogy, Book 1
Release date: September 20, 2016
Published by: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Audrey Rose is the daughter of Lord Wadsworth. She lives a life of privilege and certain societal expectations including dressing a certain way, behaving a certain way, and so much more living in London. So Audrey does what she has to and lives a life of secrets to be able to do what she loves: forensic science, especially conducting autopsies on dead bodies under the tutelage of her uncle who is a known expert on the edge of what is known about this subject at the time. To make life even more dramatic, there is a killer on the loose in London who is terrorizing the city and its occupants. Soon the killer is even writing them letters and taunting them about their inability to catch him, signing them "Jack the Ripper". Will Audrey and her uncle be able to figure out who the killer is in time? Or will the killer just keep killing only to slip into the night and never be found?
My thoughts: This was an interesting twist on the mysterious Jack the Ripper case which has never been solved. I was excited to try this first book under the imprint of Jimmy Patterson. There were definitely thrills and chills in this one throughout the whole book. This was a very decent first novel by Kerri Maniscalco. I was hoping for more somehow, but this was a decent start for sure. Looking forward to more.
The character of Audrey Rose was one that not only had a broken family, which was kept secret, but also one who was secretly engaged in activities that were not groovy with the rest of society. She was very predictable as a character in her role of a young lady of high society who is kept innocent and breaks free in her own way but is still very naive about so much. I kept hoping I would like her more but it just didn't happen.
The secondary characters were all rather cookie-cutter in that they were all following the same recipe for their parts as so many stories do: the crazy uncle; the drug-addicted aristocrat; the handsome young man; etc. I kept hoping for things to get better, or to gain more depth but it just didn't happen.
The part of this book that appealed to me most was the forensic and criminal science which was a large part of the story. I love shows like Rizzoli and Isles, Bones and Rosewood that delve into both the science and the intrigue of homicides in society. This book's story hooked me because of my love for those topics. My issue was with the characters and how extremely predictable they were along with most of the storyline also being incredibly predictable. Some people really like that, but I'm just not one of those people.
Final thoughts: I will certainly be reading the rest of this series because I do love these topics so much, but it wasn't a wow for me.
Read-alikes: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly. That book was amazing! The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller. No homicide, but intrigue and girl power abound!
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