This book review contains spoilers!
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
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.
Plot / Storyline
In the year 1888, a serial killer is on the loose in London, brutally murdering women on the streets of London. Audrey Rose Wadsworth is apprenticing under her uncle, performing post-mortems and analysing the dead, yet even she is shocked when her uncle is asked to perform an autopsy on one of the serial killer’s victims. The killer, known at the time as ‘Leather Apron’ would not only murder his victims but brutalise them also, cutting them up and harvesting their organs. With the help of another apprentice, Thomas Cresswell, Audrey and her uncle try to investigate the killings, but when things take an unexpected turn, Audrey and Thomas are left on their own to figure out who the murderer is. With things leading Audrey a bit too close to home, will she have the courage to keep trying to solve the crimes, and potentially not like what she finds, or will she keep fighting to find the truth?
The book is written in first person so we follow everything through Audrey Rose’s eyes. This gives us a more scientific look on the world than the average person has but also a more feminism look on the world because Audrey Rose doesn’t want to be like all the other women. She doesn’t want to play dress up and gossip while drinking tea.
Audrey Rose Wadsworth
Audrey Rose Wadsworth, more commonly known as Audrey Rose or Wadsworth, is the protagonist and main point of view of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. She has the ambition of becoming a forensic pathologist. Audrey Rose is a progressive woman who strives to show that women can be just as strong as men. Therefore, she is highly determined, always eager to find the answers. As well as a fiery temper when provoked. She’s not allowed to experience freedom because of her hypochondriac and paranoid father and subsequently is reluctant to relinquish any of her freedom or independence. Therefore, she does not want anyone or any male to decide for her or make choices on her behalf.
Thomas can be quite charming when he needs to be. He’s also a know- it- all and is very good at deducing people and crime scenes. Thomas is also very flirtatious when it comes to Audrey Rose. Thomas can be very dramatic. However, he is good at shutting off his emotions and can be very cold and awkward in emotional situations. He uses humour to lighten the mood of many dark situations.
Doctor Jonathan ‘uncle’ Wadsworth
Dr. Jonathan Wadsworth studies, teaches and practices Forensic Pathologist. He’s also Audrey Rose’s uncle. Jonathan is a hard working man who imparts his knowledge to others through his lessons. Though he doesn’t always show it ,he is very fond of his family.
Edmund ‘father’ Wadsworth
Edmund is Audrey Rose’s father. He is firmly against his daughter pursuing any ‘unladylike’ behaviour. Edmund can be quite cold and stand off-ish. However he feels great love and responsibility for his children.
Nathaniel is Audrey Rose’s older brother and only sibling. He’s rather charming as well as sarcastic. He’s obsessed with his hair and constantly combing it. He’s also a very caring person, he likes to take care of his younger sister and wants to make sure she reaches her full potential.
There’s romance in this book but it’s not the main focus. You can say that it’s something that just happened.
What I liked the most
Ugh this is a tough one. Usually I have one moment that really jumps out but this book is so well written! I think what I like the most about this book isn’t a moment but something that keeps returning. I like that it’s so scientific because it kinda overlaps with my study. I’m studying to work in a laboratory and do the biological side, which means researching what’s going on in the human body, although my patients are more lively.
Wow! This book was such a journey! I’m completely blown away by it! I picked it up after hearing so much about it and I’m glad that I did. It’s such a great book. I was sucked into the story. It felt like I was there and I love the scientific background in this book. It overlaps a bit with my study because I’m studying laboratory technology, the biological side😉 Unfortunately that probably wouldn’t have been allowed back in the day, just like Audrey Rose. Also, THOMAS CRESSWELL! I would love to meet that guy. He might be a pain in the ass but I appreciate his comments. I can’t wait to see more of them!