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.
Plot: Stalking Jack the Ripper is a very interesting story. It reminded me of a historical ‘criminal minds’ in the way that they were trying to understand the motive and mindset of Jack the Ripper. It follows Audrey Rose Wadsworth, who has a morbid curiosity for the dead. There isn’t really anything wrong with her curiosity except for the fact that she is a young woman in the 1800s. She is trying to solve these murders while also sneaking around from her own family. I will say the story started a bit slow for me. I was extremely excited to read this book because there were so many elements I was interested in. But it took me forever to get through the first quarter or so of the book. I’m not completely sure why, but it was just very slow. But there was a point where things just completely sped up for me. It took me about a month to read the first 50 pages and then I read the rest in about two days. The ending wasn’t a complete surprise to me, but it definitely was what I hoped was going to happen.
Characters: Audrey Rose- Her character was fantastic! Audrey Rose had such good character development throughout the story that I really admired. From the beginning of the story, she is a headstrong and brave girl. But there are times where she seems a little naive and stubborn. It’s clear that while she means well, she doesn’t always make the best decisions. But throughout the book she goes from a stubborn girl to a brave, smart girl. There is a scene where she finally tells off her father and it was so empowering.
“Those who deserve respect are given it freely. If one must demand such a thing, he’ll never truly command it. I am your daughter, not your horse, sir” (pg. 224).
That scene just completely shifted Audrey Rose’s character for me. Not only did she have a strong mindset, but she finally stood her ground. Throughout this whole book Audrey Rose grows stronger and more confident in her abilities as – not a woman – but a person. I loved it.
Cover: The cover of the book is fairly basic for a young adult book, but it did draw me in enough to pick it up. I think the London streets in the background and the font of the title is a good fit. A girl on the cover is fairly overused, but I thought that with the knife it looked nice anyways.
Closing Thoughts: This book surprised me in the best way. In the beginning it was slow and just lacking something. I was really bummed about this because it had so many elements I was interested in. But as the story progressed, it got much quicker and more intense. I had a really hard time putting this book down once I got into it. I even had one of those nights were I stayed up way too late on a school night reading this – something I haven’t done in a very long time. I think that Maniscalco wrote this book very well. At the end of her book, she talks about what exactly was fictitious and what parts were true. I thought this was incredibly interesting because I’m actually interested in Jack the Ripper himself. I think that you should all give this book a try because it definitely was a good read!
Where to find Kerri Maniscalco: