STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by Kerri Maniscalco is an exciting and different twist on the traditional Jack the Ripper tale. Audrey Rose, the heroine, is not your traditional highborn Victorian lady. While her peers are learning how to run their future homes and trading gossip, Audrey Rose is performing autopsies with her uncle and sneaking into medical school classes dressed as a boy. It’s here she meets Thomas, an equally driven and incredibly frustrating and overly confident man who gives Audrey Rose a run for her money. But soon they find themselves working as partners not only to find Jack the Ripper but also to exonerate her uncle from prison.
All of Maniscalco’s characters are deeply flawed but also incredibly likeable, even down to supporting characters you only meet for a few pages. I especially enjoyed Audrey Rose’s cousin who comes to visit for a few weeks – she’s quick witted and kind and Audrey Rose is able to see the good in her even if they are incredibly different and choose different life paths.
Maniscalco is obviously a gifted writer. Even when the story slowed down, she still is able to draw you in with her witty prose. She did an incredible job creating a perfect atmosphere of creepy Victorian London.
Be warned, STALKING JACK THE RIPPER is definitely a dark tale involving incredibly detailed descriptions of murders. It’s not for the faint of heart but if you can hold on until the end, you’ll be rewarded with a charming ending.
What Left Me Wanting More:
While STALKING JACK THE RIPPER is incredibly interesting, it’s also probably five chapters too long. It definitely slows down in parts and it can feel like you’ll never really start moving again but when it does, it moves at rapid speed.
While I really liked both Audrey and Thomas as individual characters, I thought their romance was a little awkward. That could have been a result of a romance set in the Victorian era where dating had an entirely different culture but overall I felt it lacked a little luster.
STALKING JACK THE RIPPER is an exciting story, even when it falls short and feels too long. Audrey Rose and Thomas are characters you’ll love to follow even if you’re following them around London chasing a murderer.