Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Published by Hachette Audio on October 20, 2016
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1
Genre(s): fiction, historical fiction, mystery, young adult
Format & Length: audiobook, 09:26:50
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Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…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.
Stalking Jack the Ripper may not have been the best book in the world but it was an entertaining audiobook experience.
“There’s nothing better than a little danger dashed with some romance.”
I had been perusing my library’s digital audiobook collection trying to decide on a book to give me some distinct fall vibes when I scrolled past this title. And a young adult historical fiction based on an actual serial killer seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
This audiobook is about nine and a half hours long but felt like much less. The plot had plenty of action and intrigue and moved along at a fast pace. Maniscalco’s writing style was witty and atmospheric and worked well for this genre. And Nicola Barber’s narration was excellent, breathing life into the story.
Where this book fell a bit flat for me was in the characters. Although some of the main characters, Audrey Rose in particular, felt fairly well thought out, many of the others were too generic. And there were a few aspects that were glossed over, which if expanded on, could have added a significant amount of depth. First, Audrey’s Indian heritage was mentioned a few times but nothing was done with it to enhance the story in a meaningful way. Second, every other female character was a cardboard cutout next to the way Audrey tried to defy society’s expectations, and it seemed like a lost opportunity to explore a range of women’s experiences in Britain in the late 1800s.
I can’t help it, though; I’m definitely a fan of stories that fictionalize historical events, and the premise really worked for me with Stalking Jack the Ripper. Will I ever read this again? Probably not. But I am curious to see what the next book holds in store.