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Stalking Jack the Ripper

Review

Stalking Jack the Ripper

When her mother is pronounced dead, Audrey Rose is determined to learn more about the ins and outs of life and death. She starts an apprenticeship with her uncle, a forensic scientist, but as she begins to delve deeper into the world of crime and murder she gets tangled up in the investigation of Jack the Ripper. As she, her uncle, and his assistant, Thomas, try to unravel the mysteries of the Ripper murders they start to fear both the Ripper and the truth.

Kerri Maniscalco's STALKING JACK THE RIPPER is an amazing YA mystery/ thriller that includes a great plot with a refreshing amount of originality. The setting of Victorian England was very interesting especially since I didn't know much about the Whitechapel murders that occurred in that area during the late 1880s. This book had an interesting take on the unsolved mystery of Jack the Ripper that was both realistic and modern.

"Kerri Maniscalco's STALKING JACK THE RIPPER is an amazing YA mystery/ thriller that includes a great plot with a refreshing amount of originality."

The best part of this book was definitely Audrey Rose because she was modern in that she was pursuing a career in science during a time where the only option for most women was motherhood. She refused to give up when trying to fight for her ability to learn and fight which resulted in her being an amazing heroine. Audrey's awareness of the science and technology of the time was really interesting because it displayed the history of the science and how women were prohibited from interacting with it. Maniscalco has done a lot of research on the forensics of the time period and today's modern techniques, so there were many allusions between the two time periods which added a nice comparison to see how today's modern technology would have helped this historic case. The presence of photographs and pictures from the time period helped enhance the experience of the book which was helpful when understanding the case.

Audrey's relationships with the people around her also increased the significance of her ability to break the gender restrictions of the time. For example, her relationship with Thomas, her uncle's assistant, had a strong resemblance to the relationship between Sherlock and Watson. Audrey's ability to contribute to the studies and movement of the case displayed her capabilities as a female and a character. That said, there were some actions and scenes that really turned me off of certain characters because they either annoyed me or their actions didn't make sense. I felt as if maybe the author was trying to make the book so modern that certain aspects fell short of being truly realistic.

Overall, STALKING JACK THE RIPPER is a very original and refreshing historical novel that I would definitely recommend. Fans of Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN and Arthur Conan Doyle's SHERLOCK HOLMES would love this historical thriller filled with a strong heroine and a thrilling plot.

Reviewed by Harleen K., Teen Board Member on September 28, 2016

Stalking Jack the Ripper
by Kerri Maniscalco