Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

I’m quite late to the party for Stalking Jack the Ripper. I’m always a bit wary of when authors take a moment in history and turn it into a piece of fiction. But lately, I seem to be finding quite a few YA books that do this perfectly, like A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. As you’ve probably guessed, this book is about Jack the Ripper, so you’ll have to prepare yourself for a gruesome ride.

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.


“Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.”

– Kerri Maniscalo, Stalking Jack the Ripper


HOW IS THIS A DEBUT NOVEL? OH, MY LIFE IT IS SO GOOD! The characters were amazing, the plot was amazing, the ending was just mind-blowing… I mean… The only reason why I gave it 4.5 stars and not 5 is that there are a handful of places within the novel that is a tiny bit slow. But that’s it, the rest of it was magnificent.

Another thing that I really loved about Stalking Jack the Ripper was that there was hardly any romance in it. The foundations were laid down for an epic romance and there were certainly times where the book had romantic elements, but THERE IS NOT A RELATIONSHIP. And actually thinking properly about it… I’m not sure how I feel about Thomas and Audrey-Rose. Thomas is supportive of her hobby and encourages her to work towards her dreams, but he’s also arrogant, self-absorbed (most of the time) and just says really sarcastic things that just got to me. I don’t know, how does everybody else feel? Am I the only one that feels this way? Let me know.


“I was determined to be both pretty and fierce, as Mother had said I could be. Just because I was interested in a man’s job didn’t mean I had to give up being girly. Who defined those roles anyhow?”

– Kerri Maniscalo, Stalking Jack the Ripper


Because it’s a thriller/mystery/horror book, it’s only fitting that there is so many twists and turns. I’ve seen reviews that have said the book was predictable and I’ve seen reviews that say the opposite – that they had no idea who Jack the Ripper was until the very end when Maniscalco revealed it to us. Well, I’m part of the latter group. I genuinely had no clue, and when I found out, I wanted to scream and throw my phone across the room (I was listening to it on audiobook), but y’ano, phones are expensive so I wasn’t about to go throwing my phone around. Leading up to the reveal, I had to stop what I was doing, stand still and just listen. I was so drawn into the plot that I wanted to concentrate 100% on what was happening.

I cannot compare Stalking Jack the Ripper to other books of a similar kind because this is the first Jack the Ripper re-telling that I have read so I have nothing to compare it to. But all I can say is that it was bloody amazing! (See what I did there? Blood? Ha.)


“Wield your assets like a blade, Cousin. No man has invented a corset for our brains. Let them think they rule the world. It’s a queen who sits on that throne. Never forget that.”

– Kerri Maniscalo, Stalking Jack the Ripper


I loved the character of Audrey-Rose. I loved how Maniscalco had set the novel in Victorian London but had bought 21st-century feminist beliefs into it and had created this intelligent, passionate female protagonist who recognised that women were just as able as men, and could do anything that they could do. I was constantly doing a feminist fistbump into the air whenever Audrey-Rose said something about her gender being equal to that of a man. I was so proud.

Just to warn all of you squeamish people out there: the description of the murders is very graphic and there are chapters where Maniscalco described the dissection of bodies in great detail. So if you look away when there are dissections happening on the TV, then you’ll definitely feel a bit ill when reading those parts in this book!


“Where in a medieval dictionary does it say a woman cannot handle such things? What is a man’s soul made of that a woman’s is not?…I had no idea my innards were composed of cotton and kittens, while yours were filled with steel and steam-driven parts.”

– Kerri Maniscalo, Stalking Jack the Ripper


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Stalking Jack the Ripper and I can’t wait to start Hunting Prince Dracula!

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