Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Release: 27th October 2016
A Victorian crime thriller that will keep you questioning the true motives behind Jack the Ripper, like you never have before.
This book had been all over social media, so I knew I had to pick it up. I’ve always had an interest in reading about true crime stories, and obviously the story of Jack the Ripper is one of the most notable ones there is, so I knew just from the title this was something I needed to read.
From start to finish I loved this book. There wasn’t one part of it I didn’t completely immerse myself in, it was brilliant. Not only is the cover absolutely stunning, but the novel inside matches the cover beauty.
The first thing that stood out to me when I started this book was the chapter headers. Not only were they beautifully designed with blood spatters and stunning cursive, but also many of them started out with a diagram or image of something to do with the chapter e.g. the image of something with a certain disease. It was such a wonderful detail and it really added to the overall atmosphere of the book!
Audrey Rose is definitely one of the main female leads who I aspire to be. Throughout this book she was so head strong and even though the males of her family constantly tried to make sure she kept with the times and did what she was ‘expected’ to do (as was custom in Victorian times), she never let them get away with it and if anything defied expectations even more. Her character is so ahead of her time, and after being surrounded by so many male influences it was wonderful to read as she become more and more confident in her abilities and believed in her deductions and skills in the morgue. She really is one of the most inspirational female leads I’ve read and I can’t thank Kerri enough for creating her.
The other characters and her relationships with them I found were also stand out. Her relationship with Thomas Cresswell was written amazingly. The romance was never less than subtle, as again would be custom of the time period, and it was such a slow burning romance that it really allowed me to get invested and believe the story.
In relation to this her relationship to her father and brother was also something that really stood out. She never let them get in her way, yet always made sure to respect them, and it really showed how hard it would be for a woman in Victorian times to be free to herself. I loved how they had a rocky relationship, but always resorted back to caring for each other and for their family.
I loved how the story of Jack the Ripper was brought in. The first killings were mentioned so subtly that it really felt like I was in that time period, and that I had no idea what monstrosities would really begin to occur as the killings went on. The information about Jack himself was also so historically accurate I couldn’t help but be in awe of just how much research Kerri must have done for the novel. From including information and names of all his victims, to even including examples of the infamous letters he wrote such as the ‘Dear Boss’ letter, it was such a wonderful addition, and brilliant for those like me, who are extremely interested in the history behind it.
The ending was amazing, and I couldn’t help but feel every emotion Audrey did. The explanation behind the motives of Jack linked so perfectly to the entirety of what had occurred throughout the novel, it tied up every loose end in the most perfect way. The development of Audrey’s relationship with her father was also such a beautiful chapter to read, it was a heart-warming addition to a gripping novel.
This book is such a beautifully written, historically accurate and truly well thought out book that I couldn’t help but almost read it in one sitting. The end links so well to the title of the sequel that I’m now counting down the days until I can get my hands on it! A perfect historical crime thriller, by a wonderfully talented debut author.
Stalking Jack the Ripper is out now on all online outlets!
The sequel, Hunting Prince Dracula, is available to pre-order now!