Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)

Rating: 4 stars

“No one with that kind of surgical prowess would commit one murder then stop.”

“I know I wouldn’t. One taste of warm blood is never enough, Miss Wadsworth.”

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth a daughter of an overprotective Lord Edmund with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her, leads a forbidden secret life between the social teas and silk dress fittings.

Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory against her rigid father’s wishes and society’s expectations to study the grim and gruesome practices of forensic medicine, something that was unusual for a 19th-century woman. 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.

“What is a man’s soul made of that a woman’s is not?”

Its title and the fact that it was based on a real incident drew my attention immediately. Jack the Ripper an unidentified serial killer generally believed to have been active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. In both the criminal case files and contemporary journalistic accounts, the killer was called the Whitechapel Murderer and Leather Apron. It was no rocket science to guess who Jack the Ripper was when the author intentionally or unintentionally scattered certain clues throughout the book.

“He got close to you…even spoke with you. You were angry with him.”

I enjoyed Audrey Rose’s character and her fascination with dead bodies. She’s a kind and brave female protagonist who wishes to help underprivileged women and determined to have justice for women who are murdered and butchered in cold blood. However, her repetitive remarks about how strong she is and don’t need help from any men even when her father or brother tried to protect her really annoyed me. Not all men who try to protect you are trying to control you. There were other repetitive remarks on Audrey’s black ensemble and how she’s defying then social norms by wearing such colours. And the countless mention of how Wadsworth men’s habits, have had me rolling my eyes.

“He paced, as all Wadsworth men were prrone to do, agitation or nervousness shrouding him.

I’m not a fan of this whole Sherlock Holmes style deduction game. It annoys me beyond measure. I think it’s quite unrealistic even for a fictional character to possibly deduce everything from someone’s past and family history to where someone is travelling to and by which train. So, I didn’t enjoy Thomas Cresswell’s character and if not for his continuous flirtations with Audrey Rose the case would’ve been solved sooner.

“Since it’s not raining in London yet, and according to the paper, Reading has been pouring buckets all morning, it didn’t take much to deduce you’d be heading there.”

Though I guessed the murderer, I couldn’t guess his purpose of murders. The story picks pace towards the end and with an intricate research and a demented purpose of a maniac, the climax didn’t disappoint me at all.

I feel quite conflicted about the writing style. The author’s dark and mystical writing style fits well with the story. Although the writing was often disjointed and disorganised. It switched from describing something to something else entirely. One paragraph I’m reading about Audrey Rose and her feelings for Thomas and in next I’m reading about the murder and then about the place where they were at that time. This hindered my enjoyment.

“Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light.”

The writing style was also quite repetitive. I’m perfectly capable of understanding a statement stated once or twice. For the love of god, don’t repeat a sentence endless times to prove your point; it gets rather irritable.

To conclude I’d say, I would’ve enjoyed it more if not for the incoherent writing style and the romance in between a murder mystery. I’m not sure whether I’d continue with the series. If you are looking for an intriguing mystery-thriller read, I highly recommend this book.

Related image

An actual letter from Jack the Ripper

“Pretending a monster wasn’t there didn’t make it go away.”

P.S. Don’t forget to read the Author’s Note in the end.


Have you read Stalking Jack the Ripper? How did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!

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9 thoughts on “STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by KERRI MANISCALCO

  1. I just finished reading this series a few days ago haha. I loved loved loved Thomas though. Swoon. And Audrey Rose’s no nonsense attitude. I agree with you on the repetitive writing style. Too many things were repeated. And I guessed the villain asap. Still enjoyable 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I DNF ed this book:) I agree with you on the writing style. In addition, Audrey’s feminist thoughts felt so forced, her repeating about women’s rights many times. Then the romance put me off so much, as it was so predictable. I also guessed the murderer at chapter 2, so I really didn’t have a reason to continue. I’m afraid I’m out of this series 🙂

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    1. I really liked the premise so much I added all four books on Goodreads but after reading the first book, I removed them all. These days almost every book is coming oout in series. I don’t continue if I don’t like the series. I hope you get past any issues and enjoy the first books before getting to read Escaping Houdini.

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  3. “Pretending a monster wasn’t there didn’t make it go away.” – I wish could send this quote to every non-confrontational & conflict-hating person.

    I’m torn as to whether I want to read this. I don’t live far from Whitechapel & Jack the Ripper has always been really… intriguing. So many conspiracy theories which I love so I do want to read it but the writing style sounds really choppy so I’m not sure. I’ll check the preview one day and see if I would like it.

    You can be a strong & independent woman & accept help from men too (as you said, if they’re not trying to control you). You’re a woman, not a higher being. 🤦‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I wish could send this quote to every non-confrontational & conflict-hating person.” How do you mean?

      I never asked where you live! If I were you I would definitely read it. I think you’ll really like Audrey Rose. She is brave and sassy and funny and quite a feminist (though it felt quite forced sometimes).

      I couldn’t agree more. “You’re not a higher being.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are perpetrators and there are enablers and enablers are the non-confrontation people who want to sweep it under the rug and pretend that there aren’t any monsters there. Not all of them, but in my experience it’s usually them. And the anti-feminists.

        I hope she’s extroverted to boot cos I’m finding it hard to relate to these introverted characters in books these days. She sounds cool though so I know I’ll get to checking out this series one day.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. i don’t think she’s not extroverted because she enjoys her company and work and doesn’t enjoy going out, hanging out with friends or partying. She is anti-feminist, I think! She coldly regards girls who like to dress up to attend a party and many more instances!

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