Late Halloween Read: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Six days after Halloween was over, Booktokyes, I am now relying on its recommendationconvinced me to pick up Stalking Jack the Ripper, a horror book by Kerri Maniscalco that had been on my wish list for so long. Set in 1888’s London, this book follows the story of a seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth who likes to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine with her Uncle Jonathan more than going to the balls and tea parties with girls her own age.

When her little secret in her Uncle's laboratory drags her to an actual murder investigation, Audrey finds herself wary of finding out about the notorious Jack the Ripper. With her rival in class, the smart-ass Thomas Cresswell, the two dive into the deepest nights of London to discover the grotesque truth.

Like the previous two books I had managed to finish in one sitting, this one was no different. Stalking Jack the Ripper successfully kept me up until 1 o’clock in the morning when I had promised myself not to sleep past 12. So why the (mediocre) rating?

This book, for starters, took off a little bit too fast. The first few chapters, provided freely by Kindle, gave me the impression of more telling instead of showing. However well-told it was though, the narrative seemed to be lacking something: I didn't feel like the story took place in the Victorian era if not for how the characters talked. It made me hesitant for a bit.

What made me finally decide to give it a go were honestly Audrey and Thomas. Though the chemistry was barely there and their rivalry seemed to be bloomed out of nowhere, their banters were the reason why I bought this book in the first place. And I was not regretting every second of it.

After a few more chapters, the story got more creepy and thus intriguing. I could see why a lot of people praised this book highly. Once I was deep into the mystery surrounding Whitechapel, putting down this book was truly a challenge, no matter how much it creeped me out.

It was easy to guess who the villain was: the attempt to hide the identity of Jack the Ripper was so obvious that the secret seemed to scream in broad daylight. The motive, however, remained opaque. While I could see why the author chose this twist, I felt like there was not enough evidence to back up this decision when it was all uncovered.

Overall, Stalking Jack the Ripper was quite an interesting book. I'd say it would be a good choice for a quick, horror read on the weekend. The characters were not actually that easy to like and plot-wise there was still so much room for development, but I couldn't deny that I enjoyed reading this book quite greatly.

Actual rating: 3.5