Stalking Jack the Ripper (Untitled Trilogy #1)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Mystery
Release Date: September 20, 2016Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
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 sensational young adult historical thriller that grabs you from the very beginning and doesn't let up until you've finished the final words. There are so many elements of this book that I adored - I don't want to leave any out. First, the setting was perfect. It's the nineteenth-century, complete with high society and proper etiquette for a lady - but it also has a darker and macabre side that really sets the mood for the plot. I love that the author chose to integrate the infamous Jack the Ripper case into the novel. It gives the story more authenticity and tons of chills. Our leading lady, Audrey Rose, is a high society lady that's expected to have tea and attend parties - which she does. However, Audrey Rose's secret passion is for forensic science - a field that women are definitely not allowed to explore or participate in. Luckily, her uncle is a forensic scientist and allows her to be his apprentice and study under him. Audrey Rose is determined to show everyone that a woman is just as capable as a man to study the field. She's a great main character - determined, smart, a loving daughter and sister, tenacious, and brave. Her character is well rounded with unique traits and is a fantastic feminist role model. The other major characters were also rounded and had distinct personalities and quirks. I loved getting to know Audrey Rose and the rest of the characters throughout the book.
The story has a fast pace with lots of attention to detail and vivid imagery. The author really brings the world Audrey Rose lives in to life right before your eyes. I was immediately drawn into the setting and didn't climb back out until I had finished the last word. Another big positive for me was the writing style. The author uses the first person point of view - with Audrey Rose being the narrator. I personally love the first person POV because of the deep personal connection that forms between the reader and the narrator. We get to know them on a much deeper level than any other writing style allows - which allows the reader to feel as though they are right beside the main character during the entire novel. I almost always prefer the first person style, and I loved that the author used it for this book. It wouldn't have had the same effect if it were written in any other form. I'm so glad that this is just the beginning of a trilogy - I can't wait to see where Audrey Rose will take me next. Very highly recommended for fans of mystery, historical fiction, thrillers, and suspense!
Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. Stalking Jack the Ripper is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history, and is the first in a new series of gothic thrillers.
It will be available everywhere September 20, 2016.