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.
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!