Published by Jimmy Patterson Books on September 20th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult
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Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...
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.
The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
The real life unsolved crimes committed by Jack the Ripper are quite mysterious and fascinating so of course I had to check out this fictionalized version, right?
Audrey doesn’t fit the mold of what is expected of her. The story takes place in 1888, a time when women were expected to wear pretty dresses, drink tea and gossip, and more importantly do what they are told. Audrey has a love for forensic science and secretly whisks away whenever possible to cut up cadavers and study under her uncle. When the Jack the Ripper victims end up on the table, Audrey is determined to outsmart everyone and solve the case, especially when the clues seem connected to her in ways she didn’t expect.
There was a lot to love about this novel. It shows a young girl wanting to break the mold of what is expected of her. She is smart and almost fearless with such determination. Her journey to prove herself was admirable. There were some great real life images from the times and events included which I loved. The details were often vivid and very gruesome and that’s exactly what I expected from a story such as this. The way the real life details were interwoven with the fictionalized ones was pretty cool as well. There is even a touch of romance with her uncle’s apprentice, Thomas, who is also incredibly smart but very mysterious and crazy observant to everything around him. There is some fun banter between the two that add a touch of lightness to such a dark tale. On a whole, I liked the direction the story went and I found the last 50 pages or so to be very exciting!
My only real issue with the novel is that I felt like I was waiting for forever for things to happen. It’s not particularly hard to solve some of the mysteries though there were aspects that did indeed surprise me, which I liked. But until the very end, the pacing took a toll on me. For such a mysterious and dark story with details that already interested me before heading in, I just didn’t find the story as exciting and unputdownable as I hoped.
Overall, I did like the story that unfolded on the pages and the characters within. I’m happy to see some of the same characters I liked are indeed returning in the sequels and I look forward to seeing what other mysteries they have to solve!