I don't often read horror or thrillers since my stomach goes weak whenever there is blood and gore involved, but I'm sure glad I gave this book a chance because AMAZING doesn't even begin to cover it. Like the characters, I learned to push my feelings over blood aside and grow cold and calculated trying to solve the cases of Jack the Ripper. I was going back and forth over my suspect list, ever growing as each chapter moved on. I started to strongly suspect a certain character by 50% into the story, yet the author does a great job at keeping you second-guessing until the very end. I really liked that.
The main character, Audrey Rose Wadsworth, is a force to be reckoned with. Her personality is admirable and her ideas plus her determination to study the field she loves is pretty kick-ass. Despite living in a society that questions the value of women in fields outside hosting tea parties and being wives, she pushes on by pursuing a career in forensic studies under her uncle's supervision while not renouncing to her "girly" manners. She's an early version of the modern women and does a great job. I loved her!
As a thriller, I believed Stalking Jack the Ripper would only be a dark, bloody read, but as it turns out, it was also full of dark humor. It kept the heaviness from being too much, and I often found myself laughing quite loud at night. The twisted humor often came from the dashing Thomas Cresswell who is also interested in forensic studies. He is like a young adult version of Sherlock Holmes, including sharp mind and attention to details. He made me swoon like no other character and also pray for him to not be the ripper. I'm sure many readers will come to fancy him like me!
To put it simply, Stalking Jack the Reader is bloody brilliant (pun intended). I fear my words won't ever do justice to this fascinating take on one of the world's most known serial killers, but I must insist on readers to pick it up once it comes out. This debut novel by Kerri Maniscalco will set new standards to YA Thrillers, trust me. It's dark and horrifying, historically accurate (with twists from the author), and offers the intriguing experience through the eyes of a young girl who defies the norms of 1888 London. Can't wait for the next book in the series (because yes, it's a series!!!!).