Book Review: STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by Kerri Maniscalco

Title on a green square patterned background
Genre: Historical Thriller/Horror
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: Yes - start of quartet


Book cover for STALKING JACK THE RIPPER: girl in a green dress holding a dagger

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.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


This is a thriller mystery tinged with tones of horror that unsettles without being uncomfortably gory or scary (at least, to someone with no tolerance for horror!). It swept me up so badly that I couldn’t put it down. It was a case of “just one more chapter” until I finished the entire book.

I was unable to deduce jack the Ripper’s identity, which made the end a really nice twist. Not that I thought I knew who it was – a lot of people seemed suspicious without being able to fit the profile properly (except the villain. I never once suspected it could be that character). I liked not being able to guess, particularly as it propelled me towards the ending because I so badly wanted to know.

The pacing of the action and murders juxtaposes nicely to the frustrations of polite society. It made the scenes with the ladies at tea all the more uncomfortable, highlighting just how out of place Audrey Rose was. While the book does mention the restrictions on what Audrey Rose can and can’t do as a girl, the book never felt like it was trying to make a point. Instead, it came across as using the typical thinking of the time period to create another obstacle for her to overcome.

I loved the chemistry between Audrey Rose and Thomas. It’s bickery and snarky, a common dynamic between leads of opposite genders who have chemistry, but in a way the drives both of them to think harder. Yes, at times I wanted to smack Thomas, because he was so self-confident and needed to be taken down a peg or two. Despite this, it was a dynamic relationship and very charismatic. I’d be interested to see if, reading the books in rapid succession, would change my opinion.

At times, Audrey Rose seemed to swing between highly emotional and coolly logical. There wasn’t a particularly constant trigger, as she could sometimes be logical in the face of her family, and the next be distraught at the idea of upsetting her brother. Thomas felt a little like a wannabe Sherlock Holmes, with his deductions and cigars, but there were hints of something more beneath – a real reason for him to be so closed off.

I’m excited to see where this series goes next, to the horror of my existing TBR!

Read my reviews of other books by Kerri Maniscalco:

Stalking Jack the Ripper (this series):

Kingdom of the Wicked:

5 thoughts on “Book Review: STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by Kerri Maniscalco

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