Stalking Jack the Ripper
By: Kerri Maniscalco
I did something with this series that I really never do. Seeing as how I was most interested in the Houdini one (the most recent) I splurged and brought all 3 released books. I had heard good things and what the heck?
So naturally this book annoyed the hell out of me!
The book is about Audrey Rose- whose studying forensic sciences with her Uncle and his student Thomas Cresswell when they begin to work on the Jack the Ripper case. Taken in that part alone this is an okay book. It’s an ageless mystery and there have been lots of takes on it. Plus I’m currently watching The Alienist so it’s fun to do the two in tandem.
I guessed the perpetrator but I won’t really hold that against the book.
Plus, it’s a fast read.
So what was the problem?
I can’t decide who’s more annoying Thomas Cresswell or Audrey Rose.
Thomas is arrogant and brilliant and he never stops letting Audrey forget that while flirting with her. I think he’s supposed to be like this Sherlock figure where the genius is so great we just don’t even question anything else but I found him obnoxious mainly and didn’t buy the relationship.
I think the worse Thomas moment was the end. They’ve decided on one suspect and split up. Audrey has literally stumbled on the truth though it had to smack her in the face when not only does Thomas show up but he’s naturally deduced the truth which we have to suffer through him telling us.
I for one was rooting for Thomas’ death.
But the more I think about our feisty hero who doesn’t want to be locked in a cage and thinks a lot of herself regardless… she’s not much better. It’s admirable she wants to take a different route in life and I didn’t even mind her wondering if there was something wrong with her considering her interests. Though certain things smacked up along the edges of I’m not like other girls.
But man she did next to nothing and was almost solely reliant on her relationships with men and the men themselves to save her. Thomas likes her and he and her Uncle often condescend her. The investigator gives her great access including to a gruesome crime scene but it’s only because he’s “courting” her.
I sincerely hope as this story goes on in further books Audrey Rose herself has gotten stronger as a character.
Lastly the victims of Jack the Ripper. The author talks about changing some dates and pasts but still wanting to (rightly) do justice by them and Audrey Rose herself talks about wanting to save them. (But elements of the end call that into question for me.) But the book never lets us forget they’re whores or the brutal deaths and bodily desecration they endured in great detail. Hell the book even adds another female victim whose body is mutilated. Those characters are still utterly wrapped up in men one is turned into a fallen aristocrat as though that makes her more relatable.
They are the poor wretches dying while the young lovers try to save them without, you know, actually bothering to talk to them or any woman like them.
Needless to say Stalking Jack the Ripper was a let down. I’ll probably continue the series (I bought them so might as well) & hope that it improves or at least that I can come to a conclusion about which character is more annoying once and for all.
Recommend: Negative. Though if it gets better I’ll let you know 🙂