Friday, September 9, 2016

Me on Stalking Jack the Ripper

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books (Hachette Book Group imprint)

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.

Stalking Jack the Ripper is a reworking of the story of Jack the Ripper, a story of a young woman intrigued by the study of death and crime who falls into the search for the notorious killer.

Audrey Rose is intelligent, driven. Lonely in some ways. Ever since the death of her mother, she's looked for answers. Looked for something to learn, to understand. She's turned to her scientist uncle in order to learn about death, to learn about forensic science and what the body can reveal to us after life has left it through one means or another, be it sickness or murder. These days, the bodies that come into her uncle's cellar were murdered, victims of a horrible killer the people of London are calling Jack the Ripper. As the number of bodies grow, as the levels of fear and panic rise in the city, Audrey Rose starts to have her suspicions when the victims are somehow connected to her own family.

Books like this are intriguing, when the author adds real-life events and crimes into a piece of fiction. It adds authenticity, adds accuracy to the time period, but there's only so much the author can do to accommodate history. Some details can, must, and are twisted and altered in order to accommodate the story. Some were here, some dates and circumstances changed, plus the addition of Audrey Rose and her family, and I felt that it all worked out. Sometimes it's fun, reading books from one person's perspective during an important moment in history, even if that person is fictional.

There's a lot of internal struggle in Audrey Rose, in her trying to find a happy medium between her lessons and learning with her uncle and being the daughter of a lord raised to be a proper and polite young woman with no interest in crime or murder. She wants to learn, to search and uncover crimes and criminals, but she doesn't want her father to be upset with her. She doesn't want to be left alone. Knowing this is the start of a series, I'm curious as to where Audrey Rose will go next, what she'll be investigating in the next book.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Hachette Book Group Canada.)

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