I’m so excited to be writing about Kerri Mansicalco’s debut novel Stalking Jack the Ripper. Out in September, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC… which I LOVED. This review will be spoiler-free.
I’m not joking when I say I was obsessed. The world. The characters. The story. UGH.
The synopsis says:
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
One of the best books I’ve read in 2016. Here’s why…
Those of you who’ve read my other post will know that I’m in love with the Victorian Era. Make London the main city and you’ve got yourself a winner. Even before I read the Infernal Devices, I was obsessed. The dark and dreary location with the contrasting social norms always makes for an intriguing read. Having a strong, determined female protagonist lead in a world where women are expected to sit pretty and talk about knitting, but actually prefer to be total badasses always gets me, too.
As the name would suggest, it’s a twist on the infamous unsolved Jack the Ripper murder case. I’ve always been interested in murder cases (not in a creepy way, I promise) (please let me know in the comments if you feel the same way so I don’t look strange) and so by taking it and making it her own, Kerri Mansicalco already has herself a killer storyline.
Audrey is such a likeable, wonderful protagonist. She has the perfect blend of curiosity, intelligence and confidence, which is made a thousand times better given her defiance of the rules of society. Being a girl in the 1800’s, she has obligations, but she wriggles her way out of them, whilst still being true to who she is and who she needs to be. And she has interests! Real interests, people, and unique ones too!
Thomas, a boy who works with Audrey and her Uncle on solving the murder mystery. He’s witty, charming, and brooding. Basically every girls dream. He has some amazing one-liners that had be laughing and giggling to myself, but was also knew exactly what to say to Audrey in her moments of self doubt. I really enjoyed reading their bickering and flirting. So cute, I can’t wait to see how it develops in book two!
Other characters, there was a really interesting blend of characters throughout the book. Audrey’s brother, Nathaniel, and her are really close throughout the book, in spite of her difficult relationship with her father. You unearth more about her uncle, her deceased mother, her cousin and others throughout the book by learning their backstories and the secrets they tried to keep. Again, I’m so excited to learn even more about them and their motives in the next instalment.
Plot Twists/the Drama:
In a book about murders, there’s no doubt there’ll be enough drama. There aren’t plot twists as such, a few minor ones to keep things interesting, but you do discover who the murderer is. I feel like Kerri dropped enough hints for me to figure out who they were very early on, whether this was intentional or not, I don’t know. So, when the big reveal came around, I wasn’t surprised. However, I do read a lot of mystery books, s0 it makes sense that I’d pick up on a few tricks of the trade.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! An enthralling, unique novel which gripped me from the very first line to the closing sentence.
I would rate this book 4.5/5 stars, and I am beyond excited for the next one! Be sure to preorder it for it’s release in September. Let me know in the comments if you’ll be picking this up, and what book you’d recommend to me!