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Stalking Jack the Ripper

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Member Reviews

I really loved this book, this is one of those books where you are like why did I put off reading this book so long.

Where do I begin with Kerri's writing? From the moment I first heard about this book and glimpsed the first ARC cover, I just knew it. I knew it would be love at first sight.

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Since then the love has expanded and grown.

The writing is exquisite, the plot twists you in knots, the characters are creeping on you. They all have one question is mind, Who is Jack the Ripper? Is the butler? Is it the officer? Is it Father? Or maybe it is YOU? These are the questions that enters the young minds of Thomas and Audrey when a series of deaths specifically women start showing up. The manner in which Kerri describes these dead bodies with their horrifying wounds will have you peeing in your pans. It is like watching a horror movie but without the pictures just with words instead.

I was so at the edge of my seat with this story, I took my time in reading this book and never wanting it to end but sadly I had to read to the end to know who Jack the ripper was didn't I? I like the way this book is set, what I mean by this if you look at the pages, the designs, chapters and the creepy evidence that Thomas and Audrey find? It really made it kind of spooky. Also, the ending? SO not what I expected my heart kind of broke a little.

The pace in this book is quite fast, you jumping from wagon to wagon with so many mysteries and things are not adding up. I won't say much more than this because I had no idea how to talk about the plot without ruining for you instead let us swoon about Thomas!

Thomas, oh my he is sooooo dreamy. I wish he would exist, I would so make him my boyfriend. I love incredibly articulate, well spoken, intelligent and how perceptive he is. You can truly tell by his mannerisms and words how truly magnificent he is and how he really misses nothing. What he sees you may not see and what you see he sees something else (that sounded way cooler in my head than it did typing it). He is an enigma which I have not deciphered, his interactions with Audrey are incredibly rude and super cute that you want to just kiss him instead.

Audrey is a breath of fresh air, she is strong minded, stubborn, extremely intelligent, has a knack for arguing with Thomas and is immediately interested in all darkly/deathly things. I am surprised as well as proud that a young girl would be taking apart dead corpses and finds enjoyment in that (especially where it is set, no idea if that actually happened but I like to think it did)
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(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).

(This review may contain spoilers).

Jack the Ripper has always been a horrible part of history, but I was intrigued by the blurb and I found Audrey to be a really intriguing character. It was interesting to see her as a progressive female character in a time when women were still considered unequal to men.

It was good to see the tensions between Audrey’s father and uncle and I liked being able to learn more about their history, though there were times I felt there were some contradictions… particularly in regards to her uncle’s behaviour. And I found it very hard to understand her father’s real motivations.

I thought the illustrations used in this book added a good aspect, but I did feel there were times they detracted from the story a bit.

It was good to see how there were some connections to Audrey’s household, though I felt there was a bit too much summarising of events. I would have liked to see this book expanded upon a bit more.

While I did find Thomas to be an interesting character, I thought that his deductions could have been shown a bit better, though, as none of those were things I could see as a reader.

It was good to see bits and pieces of the murders, but I did feel there was less shown than there really should have been. I did like seeing Audrey’s relationship with her cousin, but I would have liked to see those interactions a bit more, rather than them being glossed over. And I would have liked to see a bit more depth to her aunt’s character.

While a lot of the book did have the feel of the time period the book was set in… I was a bit disappointed to see there was quite a bit of modern day language used, that did detract from the story at times.

I did like seeing Audrey’s relationship with Nathaniel and it was good to get some ideas of the differences between the siblings. There was one thing in particular I did see coming, but only just before it became relevant.

Despite the issues mentioned earlier, I did find this book entertaining to read and I would be interested in reading more books by this author in the future, as well as the next book/s in this series.
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4.5 stars

Stalking Jack the Ripper is a thriller focusing on Audrey Rose Wadsworth, who is apprenticing under her uncle to study forensics. It's an unseemly interest for "proper" ladies of the Victorian era, but that won't stop Audrey Rose and her desire to learn. Through her uncle, she meets Thomas, a charming, brash and intelligent young man who she finds herself intrigued by and also finds a partner in helping her solve the Whitechapel murders.

The novel is told in Audrey Rose's point of view and at first, the novel moves kind of slowly, building up the relationship between Audrey Rose and Thomas. It also sets up the series of murders and the mystery. Kerri manages to weave in the historical facts of the murders and her own world seamlessly and I really enjoyed how she managed to write a world around the historical facts. But oh holy crap, does the novel ramp up in speed near the very end, as Audrey finally finds out the truth of the murders and the identity of Jack the Ripper.

I really enjoyed Audrey Rose's character. She doesn't care too much that she's flouting societal norms by apprenticing under her uncle and I love the way that she's escaping the gender roles imposed by society in Victorian England. She is bold and courageous, taking on the case of these murders herself and looking for the murderer. One of my favourite moments of hers, was when she was picking out fabric for new dresses, and stated that just because she was interested in autopsies and cadavers, didn't mean she couldn't also appreciate beautiful clothes and other feminine things.

Thomas irked me at times. He has that sort of Sherlock-ian way of ignoring societal cues and being able to shut down his emotions to suit the role of investigating murders. He also has that Sherlock-ian observational skills in that he notices many tiny things and makes inferences in order to piece together the larger picture. He is much more charming than Sherlock though and charms Audrey.

While I managed to guess at who the perpetrator would be, I didn't exactly expect the way it would be revealed. Oh boy. Overall, this novel was a great historical thriller that I highly enjoyed and definitely had me internally screaming at the climax. The novel wraps itself up tidily though leaves room for another novel and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel that Kerri is writing.
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Stalking Jack the Ripper is set in 1888 and it’s based on the murders commited by Jack the Ripper, who terrorized London with his brutality during this time. The author takes full advantage of this premise and she makes this a very atmospheric book, with fog, a mystery vibe and a eerie feel to it. At the same time, there’s a lot of grusome scenes and imaginery, there’s blood and organs and this is very descriptive when it comes to how the victims were murdered.

In the midst of this background, there’s Audrey Rose, the main character, an extremely intelligent girl that spends the book struggleling and defying the gender restrictions of her time. She is definitely not, what in her time would have been considered, a proper lady,  she spends her days opening dead bodies and she is fascinated by anatomical dissection.  It’s amazing to have a main female character in a YA book that it’s into science or a science related field, because it doesn’t happen that often. Going back to Audrey, for someone so intelligent, she is incredibly reckeless and impulsive, and in her desire to not conforme to society’s gender ideas she puts herself at risk repeatedly throughout this book.

On the other hand, there’s Thomas, the other main character in this book, he’s also incredibly intelligent and has really good deduction skills. Another very important thing about Thomas is that he’s a complete flirt and his responses are always witty and sarcastic.  Also,  he is really arrogant and he doesn’t try to hide it. Both  Thomas and Audrey are very strong-willed, and that makes the dynamic between them incredible, they work well together but there’s also a lot of chemestry that goes beyond crime-solving partners. There’s banter and bickering but also smart conversations. Honestly, this is a swoon worthy romance.

The problem with this book is that the mystey aspect is a bit a predictable, really early on is easy to tell who Jack the Ripper is.  Nonetheless, the book keeps you wondering when the main characters are gonna realise who the culprit is and that manages to keep the suspense alive.  Another minor issue with the book, is that  Audrey and Thomas do a lot of ‘stalking’’ throughout the story and that ends up helping little to solve the crimes. The ‘stalking’ is a bit pointless and it reveals to be more reckless than courageous.
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4.5 Stars!

'Stalking Jack the Ripper' is a sensational young adult historical thriller that grabs you from the very beginning and doesn't let up until you've finished the final words. There are so many elements of this book that I adored - I don't want to leave any out. First, the setting was perfect. It's the nineteenth-century, complete with high society and proper etiquette for a lady - but it also has a darker and macabre side that really sets the mood for the plot. I love that the author chose to integrate the infamous Jack the Ripper case into the novel. It gives the story more authenticity and tons of chills. Our leading lady, Audrey Rose, is a high society lady that's expected to have tea and attend parties - which she does. However, Audrey Rose's secret passion is for forensic science - a field that women are definitely not allowed to explore or participate in. Luckily, her uncle is a forensic scientist and allows her to be his apprentice and study under him. Audrey Rose is determined to show everyone that a woman is just as capable as a man to study the field. She's a great main character - determined, smart, a loving daughter and sister, tenacious, and brave. Her character is well rounded with unique traits and is a fantastic feminist role model. The other major characters were also rounded and had distinct personalities and quirks. I loved getting to know Audrey Rose and the rest of the characters throughout the book.

The story has a fast pace with lots of attention to detail and vivid imagery. The author really brings the world Audrey Rose lives in to life right before your eyes. I was immediately drawn into the setting and didn't climb back out until I had finished the last word. Another big positive for me was the writing style. The author uses the first person point of view - with Audrey Rose being the narrator. I personally love the first person POV because of the deep personal connection that forms between the reader and the narrator. We get to know them on a much deeper level than any other writing style allows - which allows the reader to feel as though they are right beside the main character during the entire novel. I almost always prefer the first person style, and I loved that the author used it for this book. It wouldn't have had the same effect if it were written in any other form. I'm so glad that this is just the beginning of a trilogy - I can't wait to see where Audrey Rose will take me next. Very highly recommended for fans of mystery, historical fiction, thrillers, and suspense!
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