Thursday, June 15, 2017

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco {audiobook review}

Stalking Jack the Ripper
by Kerri Maniscalco
♦publisher: Jimmy Patterson (Little, Brown)
♦release date: September 20th, 2016
♦hardcover, 326 pages
♦audiobook info: 9hrs, 26mins - read by Nicola Barber
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Stalking Jack the Ripper, book 1
♦source: library
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

Review: I’ve had this book on my shelves for quite some time and I’d always heard such rave reviews, but when the audiobook fell into my hands at work, I figured it was time to dive in. I was not disappointed---only in myself for taking so long to get this fantastic book read!! In some ways I’m giving this reading experience 10 cupcakes---5 for an amazing, gorgeously told story, and 5 for the audiobook performance. (Which is saying something from me---I tend to be very persnickety about audiobook readers.)

This book is clever and ghastly and swoony and mysterious---as heart-pounding as it is stomach-churning. As you can imagine, with it being about Jack the Ripper, there is no shortage of gory details and don’t expect them to be glossed over in any way. Fair warning, this is not a book to listen to while eating (unless you’re trying to lose a few pounds by losing your appetite haha). It is explicit gore from page one. If you can handle that, the story is wonderfully crafted, the mysterious plot unfolds with much intrigue and a wildly entertaining fast pace, and I doubt many will be able to resist falling under the spell of Audrey Rose and Thomas’s charms, both as a bickering, chemistry-heavy pair and as brilliant, whitty individuals. I loved that Audrey Rose has so much passion for the gruesome craft of forensic medicine, while at the same time the Victorian lady in her is shocked at her own comfort with blood, scalpels, and entrails. But she’s more than happy to butt heads with society expectations and gleefully proves again and again that her skills rival the men who doubt her solely because of her sex.  One of the best things about this story is the verbal sparring between Audrey Rose and Thomas, and I love the way he challenges her.  Thomas is as sharp as Sherlock Holmes and just as cocky, but he eventually shows a bit of  a soft side to Audrey Rose. 

The audiobook narration was one of the best I've listened to. Nicola Barber tackled every word with just the right emotional inflection and portrayed every character seamlessly and with distinct voices. I enjoyed it so much that I went on to seek out other books that she's narrated and was thrilled to find one of my favorite series, Jackaby, is done by her! Yay! :D

Stalking Jack the Ripper is a fantastic and thrilling series-starter, and whether you choose the audiobook or the print book, I definitely recommend not missing this one! The second book, Hunting Prince Dracula, will definitely be on my list of most anticipated reads now!


Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.


Purchase Stalking Jack the Ripper:
 Indiebound   •  Amazon  •  Book Depository


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