Anyone that knows me, knows I’m fascinated by true crime, serial killers, etc. The book I chose to read this week was the first in the story line of Audrey Rose Wadsworth, Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. This book definitely shows the differences in time with a sharp contrast. Things that we do that don’t even faze people, were total societal no-nos. For instance, even being alone with a man that wasn’t direct family; you were the poster child for impropriety. Even referring to anything that was deemed too obscene for the delicate feminine disposition, such as prostitutes, blood, even using another’s first name was against everything seen as proper.
If you have ever followed any sort of true crime you have heard about the original boogie man, the devil of the night, Jack the Ripper. The serial killer who terrorized London in 1888 killed a suspected 5 women. He was also known by other names, such as Whitechapel Murderer and Leather Apron. Yet his true name has never been discovered and his murders never solved.
As Audrey Rose assists her uncle, a well-known and respected mortician, despite the major social complications; she gets involved in the cases of the murdered women that end up on her uncle’s table. She struggles with keeping her true desire to learn sciences from her family, all while trying to find her true self in a society where everything is determined by the men.
A fellow student and herself team up to track down everything known about the murderer walking the streets at night and sending letters to the police. Thomas, who is as brilliant as he is handsome is reminiscent of a young, flirtatious Sherlock Holmes; using the power of deduction to fuel them from one step to the next. The closer they get to answers, the more Audrey and Thomas are unsure if they truly want to know the identity when their steps take them closer to home. Despite the excuses that she could have made to stay safe and sound at home, she instead decides to risk everything to save the lives of those others deemed unworthy. She emerges into a strong, admirable character and I am excited to see her grow even more in the following books.
Disclaimer about this book: If you can not take in depth descriptions of dead bodies being cut into... this might not be the book for you. I was able to make it through it all, but many parts resulted in me gagging and cringing hard core. If you can put that aside, then this book will drag you back in time to the dark, dangerous streets of London.
“I promise. I’ll be as silent as the dead.” Ah, Uncle said, putting a hat on and tugging it low, “the dead speak to those who listen. Be quieter than even them.“
“What is a man’s soul made of that a woman’s is not?” I teased. “I had no idea my innards were composed of cotton and kittens, while you’re were filled with steel and steam-driven parts.”
Diamonds were everything I hoped to be: beautiful, yet contained unimaginable strength. Somehow I was more of a Herkimer diamond, similar in appearance to the real thing, but not quite authentic.
“Wield your assets like a blade, Cousin. No man has invented a corset for our brains. Let them think they rule the world. It’s a queen who sits on that throne. Never forget that. There’s no reason you can’t wear a simple frock to work, the don the finest gown and dance the night away. But only if it pleases you.”
Stay awesome and spread the light!☀️
Photo credit: PhantomRin @PhantomRin9