Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Young Adult

Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper | SJtR Series by Kerri Maniscalco

STALKING JACKPresented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

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.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

5 stars

Young Adult | Historical Fiction | Horror | Mystery

Historical Fiction with a little bit of mystery, dash of romance and a strong heroine jammed in the mysterious horror and action while challenging her expected role in society – yes please, where do I sign up to gush more about this book? 

I have always been a huge history buff and yes, sometimes historical fiction can be a hit or miss on some aspects, nothing is perfect and honestly I love any author who takes on their creativity into this genre. There is so much that could and should be explored in the fictional world with history backstory. Maniscalco really took her fiction to the side of the spectrum where the history and era really played a pivotal part in the build for the backbone of the plot but still took such a creative mix to make it her own tale – bringing both a female perspective from our era into this plots setting is just the tip of the iceberg.

Jack the Ripper is Maniscalco’s first stop of the series. One of my favorites, which is borderline morbid but just so gooey and fascinating. One of the most famous of serial killers (and one I was fond of researching in school), the story really pans out that eerie, gut wrenching sink in the pit of your stomach kind of build – it honestly blew me away with where she took the forensic aspect with the mystery, the character dynamics on both the main characters and the secondary characters. 

As for the characters themselves – oh my lanta…

Aubrey Rose or Wadsworth as I like to call her, is a really entertaining character. She is constantly fighting her fate, her stature in society of becoming a prime, proper lady of society who needs to find a husband of reasonable means – her true passion is medicine, forensic science. She is such a curious person, charming, head strong and down right audacious. Definitely wanting to be seen as a equal amount her peers and men – Wadsworth is a force of powerful means. And as I mentioned a smidge previously, Wadsworth is very much a head of her time. She conveys a personality trait of a woman more set in our 2000s mentality but with the refinement of a woman in 1888, so there are some distinguishing changes in how a Historical Fiction would take this type of character aspect. 

And surprisingly so, we have the scrumptious Thomas Cresswell. This man is my fictional everything. Beyond intelligent, he was the best blend of sarcasm to match my fancy. He wasn’t overly confident, but he was very much on your toes know all things kind of guy. Thomas was actually my more favorite parts within the story – he just made everything the more enjoyable, he was just the entertaining mix. 

Admittedly when Cresswell and Wadsworth started their Sherlock Holmes type band of mystery seekers, I would have been perfectly smitten with a platonic flirtatious duo. But surprisingly so as the plot thickens, the romance starts to take flight and boy did I start shipping hardcore. Seriously, Maniscalco pulled me right into that one. The best part about the romance, like I said previously, it built with the story. It flowed. Thomas did flirt, he was such a flirtatious, charismatic charmer that it was expected, but they did not outright seek affections. Between their bickering, the crazy banter that kept them on their toes that tugs at your heart.

I mean honestly…. nothing wrong with two nerds who like to look at dead people together, solve a little mystery and get some romance in the mix? It was perfection…

Another really intriguing add on that hey, you don’t have to put pictures in a book for me to read, but honestly the little snips here and there really enhanced the reading experience. It was like reading a history book but in a more intriguing twist. For me, as the reader it felt like I was there with Wadsworth and Cresswell, gathering the evidence, diving into the truth of the real Ripper. 

Goryhell this was brilliant. Even though I had my opinions on the murder mysteries that were surrounding our duo, it still kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see just how right I was. The twists and turns were absolutely phenomenal. My heart was pounding at each developing scene and not just my pinning desires for more Cresswell moments to leave me swooning like a schoolgirl. 

I honestly cannot wait to see what comes next with this being a debut, I am beyond eager to get my greedy hands on the next set of adventures! I could recommend this book from the top of a cliff screaming my devoted love for this author because I definitely recommend giving it a shot! Quick, fast paced read with such an intriguing storyline that aided in the build for the mystery, plus some of the best swoon worthy characters. Cannot say it enough, this was an extraordinary read. 

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