The book was all over Instagram and the premise sounded incredibly thrilling. Just the right thing for me. I also ended up doing a buddy read with a friend which made this book even more appealing. But in the end…
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 book begins somewhat good, with the main character Audrey Rose up to her elbows in a cadaver, but it quickly declined from there. The plot was repetitive consisting of a body showing up, Audrey Rose trying to investigate and then getting in trouble with the men – her father, her brother, the new love interest Thomas – in her life. The murders where somewhat more thrilling and at some point I felt myself yearning for another dead body, just so something interesting would happen.
In general, I didn’t like Audrey Rose very much. It seemed to me that the author tried to write a strong-minded young woman ahead of her time that could also be vulnerable and compassionate in the face of so much adversity in a world ruled by oppressing men but ended up with an inconsistent character. It pushes the she-is-not-like-other-girls-trope to the point where it just got irritating and annoying.
The same goes for Thomas. To me he seemed like some kind badly done Sherlock Holmes ripoff. I also didn’t find him very likable. He was rude and condescending and no matter how handsome he apparently was, nobody should have given him a second thought concerning romantic intentions.
Unfortunately, I also could guess the murderer’s identity after about one third of the book. It just seemed painfully obvious to me and might be obvious to everybody who’s ever read a crime novel. It made the books so much more boring and the twist expected.
Not everything was bad though. The writing style was pleasant and easy to read. I got along nicely. I also quite liked the general descriptions, the murder scenes and the surgeries in Audrey Rose’s uncle’s study.
All in all I was rather disappointed. I didn’t like the characters, the murderer’s identity was too obvious for my taste which made the rest of the read rather boring and the whole story felt quite repetitive in general. I don’t think I will continue this series.
Stalking Jack the Ripper | Kerri Maniscalo | Jamie Patterson Publishing | 2017 | 318 pages