Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with wealth and privilege. But tea time, dress fittings and proper decorum are not where her passions lie. Against her father’s wishes and what society expects, Audrey slips away into her uncle’s laboratory, his protégé in forensic medicine. Being in this line of work brings her the bodies of Jack the Ripper’s victims where the danger begins to lurk closer to come than she ever thought possible.
For anyone who loves a good mystery, or even an old one, this book is for you. Jack the Ripper is the most notorious serial killer in the world even today because of his anonymity. Even today people can only speculate on who he was. There is this mystery and intrigue that Maniscalco has tapped into to tell this story. Maniscalco clearly did her research for this novel, and that’s impressive because she was able to use the actual forensic science of the time period to justify the building of this character’s lifestyle to submerge the reader in the realism of the story.
This is certainly a gripping read not just because of the subject material, which is covered expertly, but also because of the protagonist herself. Audrey is such a headstrong and intelligent character. Given the period of the novel, for this young woman to be so eager and so fascinated with forensic science, with things that were not suited for a woman’s “gentle disposition” is incredible to follow.
There is so much evidence showing that women did dress as men and pretend to be men to pursue their passions, but Audrey doesn’t have to pretend. Hide, sure, but she is a character who stays strong and true to her passions and that makes her such a joy to read. Audrey really is an incredible character because of her chosen profession and her intrigue with the Jack the Ripper case. There’s something about the case that haunts her, ties to her family that she can’t explain and begins to wonder about.
Other than having great subject material and fantastic characters, Maniscalco’s storytelling is essential here because she is able to give new life and new intrigue to the story of Jack the Ripper. She uses fictional characters and literary fiction as her inspiration for the story, and the way she puts the puzzle pieces together after laying them out is amazing.
The ending is far from predictable and the tension, the rising tension, the elements of the mystery, will surely suck the reader in. It’s riveting, jaw-dropping, and just addicting to read. This book offers no dull moments, it offers mystery and romance in the most unexpected places, a character who will not stand by to let the men take away her strength of will and ingenuity of her mind. All in all, it’s just a fantastic story.
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|Pub Date: September 20, 2016||Page Count: 336pp||Age Range: 15 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-0-3162-7349-7||Publisher: Jimmy Patterson||List Price: $19.99|