What feels like a lifetime later, I finally finished the historical fiction mystery about the all too famous serial killer. Here are my thoughts on Kerri Maniscalco’s debut novel!
Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born at the wrong time: with her passion and curiosity burning for forensic medicine, she is everything her society despises for a young woman to be like. Born the respected daughter of a lord in the late 19 hundreds, she is supposed to fancy dresses, tea parties and gossip. Yet with every new chance, she slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to aid him in his studies. When she is dragged into gruesome murders happening in Whitechapel by working on the corpses with her uncle, her life is turned upside down. Alongside handsome Thomas Cresswell, a student of her uncle’s, she is bound to unravel the murders of Jack the Ripper, when her investigations lead her closer and closer to her own surroundings…
Genre: Historical Fiction; Young Adult
Publication Date: September 20th 2016
I have been in search of a good mystery for the fall season far too long, and so I am beyond happy to have been able to enjoy such a great one over the last week! This book is a great twist on the famous serial killer Jack the Ripper, offering a great ending along with an amazing plot!
The plot itself was marvellous: to be fair, it started off fast, but then slowed down a bit, but that’s really the only negative thing I have to say about it. It picks up again at around page 100, and I have been on edge from there until the very end. The story unravels very smoothly and with every new indication about the murderer, it gets more and more interesting, mysterious and crazy. The altered story (so from the original happenings) adds a special twist and atmosphere that has mostly to do with the protagonist, Audrey Rose, who is one hell of a character!
The characters added a certain variation that I enjoyed immensely: from the crazy uncle, the handsome student, the loving brother to the overprotecting father, they all have more to themselves than to be originally revealed. To the protagonist, Audrey Rose was just incredible. She is an independent and emancipated woman with a mind of her own who is willing and brave enough to stand up to the unrighteous treatment of women at that point of time. She doesn’t care what others think of her, but follows her passion for forensic medicine and above all, she follows her heart.
The atmosphere created was the best possible one for the genre mystery. With many scenes describing the dissection of a cadaver (also of the victims!), this book is not like any other. London during the fall adds another factor of spookiness and also the time period in general (so 1888) contributes to the mysterious affect.
The writing was incredible: it also added to the mysterious atmosphere, but also beautifully told the story from Audrey Rose’s perspective. I have to admit, were this not a mystery about a serial killer, I’d say that Kerri Maniscalco is one of the most poetic authors I have experienced so far!
Recommendable: for everyone fancying themselves as a mystery lover!
All in all, this book offers twists and turns at every possible stage of the book, is creepy and gripping and the best solution on how to spend Halloween!