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.
I was pretty excited to read Stalking Jack the Ripper when I first picked it up. The story of Jack the Ripper has always intrigued me, although I’ll admit it’s not something I’ve actively researched or really knew many details about before reading this book. So the thought of learning more about such a fascinating historical figure while also reading a story I had heard such great things about seemed like the recipe for success. For me, it wasn’t.
Before I’ll go into detail I want to say that I can definitely see why others are enjoying this book. I think it’s something my younger self would have adored. But for old, critical me it fell flat.
I had two main issues with the story. First off, I could not at all connect with the main character. Maybe it was because of the whole ‘serial-killer’ theme, but Audrey Rose reminded me very much of the titular anti-hero from the show Dexter in the sense that emotions weren’t her forte. Worked for Dexter, but not so much for this heroine. I couldn’t relate to her at all, the whole book I kept feeling that she had the strangest reactions to the situations. And for me, if I can’t connect to the main character in some kind of way, it really takes a lot of the enjoyment out of reading.
My second issue was the ending. I hate to be one of those people who says, “I totally saw that coming!”. But yea...I totally saw that coming. And sometimes, sometimes I’m ok with a book being really predictable. But it has to make up for that with a stellar story. The ending not only was predictable, it wasn’t the nail-biter I was hoping for at all. Yes, it was dramatic, but it was also a situation that was overcome very easily, so it really let me down.
As harsh as I’ve been on this book, I do want to say that Maniscalco is a good writer. I loved how intelligent this book was without ever seeming condescending or smarter than the reader. I think this author has a natural gift with words. I will probably pick up her future books, because I think she shows promise and I liked actually reading what she wrote. I really do think this book just wasn’t for me.