Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Published On: 9/20/2016
Page Count: 320
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.
Cover: Normally I am one who doesn’t care much for book covers, however this is one of the few I like. I love the gloomy depiction of Victorian London on the bottom half of the cover and I appreciate the slight smirk the subject on the top half has while holding her knife.
Many things are expected of a young high born lady in Victorian London, performing dissections and autopsies are not among them. That doesn’t stop Audrey Rose Wadsworth however. Her strong willed nature and disdain for the gender norms lead her to forge her own path and demand more from life than society would willingly give.
What do with your time when you will inherit title, wealth and responsibility from your father? You dabble and comb your hair. At least this is what Nathaniel Wadsworth, brother to Audrey Rose, chose to do. I initially felt like his character was that of a cat exploring a new room. Looking at something, maybe playing with it a little, then moving on to the next thing. However as we get to know Nathaniel better, we see that he is driven by a strong love of his sister and mother.
Lord Wadsworth is a man who is wrought with guilt and anger. These created rifts between him and his family in one form or another. Despite the rifts, guilt and anger however; he is a man who deeply loves his children and only wants to protect them.
Uncle Jonathan is a brilliant forensic scientist and mentor to Audrey Rose. When she wanted to learn the science Uncle Jonathan taught her and held high expectations for her work. It is through him that Audrey Rose begins her investigation, and meets Thomas.
Thomas Cresswell can best be described by Audrey Rose. “His eyes are golden brown when he’s intrigued by something. He’s regal looking and handsome, but more interested in formulas and solving crimes than he is in… … poetry. He acts devilishly warm one moment, then frigid the next, … His arrogance is also … Annoying.” Thomas also has a great deal of care for those he is close to, though it is a subtle care.
Deception and misdirection, the challenge of proving one’s self despite societal preconceptions, and a little boy annoys girl romance all in Victorian London during the heyday of Jack the Ripper. The story follows the MC Audrey Rose as she searches for the truth behind a string of savage killings plaguing London while trying to prove herself a forensic scientist in a male dominated world.
“I dreamed of a day when girls could wear lace and makeup-or no makeup at all and don burlap sacks if they desired-to their chosen profession without it being deemed inappropriate.”
We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?