Maniscalco, Kerri. Stalking Jack the Ripper. New York: Jimmy Patterson Books/Little, Brown and Company, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-0-316-27349-7. Hardcover List Price: $18.99. Paperback List Price: $10.99.
This is a book I discovered by accident while in the bookstore, and despite being initially scared away by a one-star Goodreads review critiquing the anachronistic language, I decided to give it a chance, as it otherwise seemed promising, and Jack the Ripper is one of the real historical cases that has fascinated me. Plus, I’ve been binge-watching Bates Motel on Netflix and wanted a good murder mystery with a similar flavor.
And I did get that with this book. Maniscalco approaches the case through the perspective of the protagonist, Audrey Rose Wadsworth, who is, rather unconventionally, interested in forensic science. And as the story unfolded, I really became to identify with all the problems that Audrey dealt with in her family, especially as she started to suspect one or another of them was the Ripper.
The big reveal of who did it truly shocked me, especially as Maniscalco is skilled at misdirection and making you so certain in the moment that who Audrey thinks is the killer actually did it. And I’m not sure if this is a spoiler or not to those who have not read this book, but considering I picked this up to get something in a similar vein to Bates Motel, the bittersweet end and the villains motivations were very similar.
This book is light on the romance, but there are hints of it, with hope of more to come in the next book. Audrey shares some witty banter with the absolutely adorable Thomas Cresswell, and a kiss or two.