Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Published by Little Brown Young Readers

27th October 2016

Synopsis

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.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

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My thoughts

Dark and gory, this brilliantly written account of the haunt for Jack the Ripper is both gruesome and captivating at the same time., although the author changes the timeline slightly this does not impact on the quality of the storytelling. The characters are believable especially Audrey Rose, who feels trapped and stifled by societies expectations of her as a young lady of the times. Haunted by her mother’s death she years to learn about death and forensics and trains with her Uncle who is a surgeon and coroner who autopsies the victims of the Ripper, and this is how she becomes involved.

The locations of the Ripper murders are correct as are the order of each killing, some changes were made to location access particularly with regards to Dorset Street and Miller’s Court, the location of the murder of May Jane Kelly, the last of the Ripper’s victims, however this was so subtly done that I did not notice it and it did not spoilt the narrative and plot.

Maniscalco describes  the injuries inflicted on each of the victims in detail, and some of this information is pretty gory, especially that pertaining to Mary Jane Kelly. The murder of Elizabeth Stride as part of the Double event is mentioned only in passing and more detail is given to Catherine Eddowes.

This was so well written that I was only aware of the slight changes Maniscalco made at the end of the book, when she explained them in a note explaining why this was done .

 

An excellent book definitely worth picking up

4 out of 5*

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