Sunday 22 October 2017


In this spine-chilling gothic murder mystery set in gritty Victorian-era London, an intrepid society girl finds herself inescapably embroiled in the investigation of a ghastly serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.

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.

I have to start this review by mentioning how beautiful the cover for this book is. It's such a perfect combination of pretty and eerie. Also, I've always been morbidly interested in Jack the Ripper, so of course I was interested in checking out this YA title! :)

It's 1888 in Victorian London, and while most girls are interested in having tea parties, gossiping and trying to snatch up a wealthy suitor, Audrey Rose Wadsworth only cares about science. She might be the daughter of a lord determined to restrict her every movement in order to keep her safe, but this doesn't stop her from secretly apprenticing with her uncle. And even sneaking into his forensic classes posing as a boy. 

This is how she meets the charming, but devilish, Thomas Cresswell.

Thomas is smart, works with her uncle, has many interesting medical theories, is willing to work alongside a girl, and is just mysterious enough to entice her attention. He captivates Audrey Rose in a way no other boy ever has. To the point where she even finds herself admiring the way he looks and dresses. But she's got more important things to focus on because the East End is under siege by a maniac who is slicing up ladies of the night and stealing their internal organs. This makes it harder for her to slink around at night to use her amateur sleuthing skills on this case, but certainly doesn't stop her. Not when everything eventually leads too close to home...

Yikes. I LOVED this. So much!

This book is an excellent and unique retelling of one of London's most notorious killers. Over a century after it happened, the mystery of Jack the Ripper is one that still haunts us, and the way it's tackled in this tale is outstanding.

Audrey Rose is such a compelling character and her voice is so honest and intimate that I was instantly drawn into her story and the restrictive world everyone is so desperately trying to strap her into. She's ambitious, unapologetic, isn't afraid to be herself, indulges in what others consider to be unsavory interests, and can even be somewhat conniving. I really liked how she was so clever and capable that the men around her had no choice but to take her seriously and even respect her choices.

And Thomas Cresswell. What can I say about this very interesting character? Well, he's certainly a match for Audrey Rose in every way, especially intellectually. They're both thrill seekers, problem solvers, investigators, and SO made for each other! I can't wait to see what other adventures they get up to next.

Also, Audrey Rose's cousin Liza might have been a minor character and mostly off-page, but I really liked her. On the surface the two girls seem so different, but Liza had an adventurous streak that hints at trouble. I hope we get to spend more time with her in future books.

Stalking Jack the Ripper is a fantastic and very atmospheric book that portrays Victorian London so vividly the events came alive in my mind. I was hooked, and didn't want to put it down because I wanted to go along on this macabre ride until the last stop. The mystery at the heart of the story might be familiar but it's presented in such a refreshing way that it thrilled me every step of the way, and kept me guessing until the very sad and shocking conclusion.

This book is part Sherlock Holmes, some Jekyll and Hyde, and even has a hint of one of my favourites, Frankenstein.

If you're looking for a well-written historical YA with strong characters, an intriguing mystery, quite a few creepy situations and a good dash of horror, then you must read this! You won't be disappointed.

Oh, and the inside of this book is as gorgeous as the outside. The morbid historical pictures randomly added throughout were a great touch.

Stalking Jack the Ripper, October 2017, ISBN 9780316273510, Little, Brown US

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