This Review contains spoilers.
“Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.”
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Published: 2017, by Jimmy Patterson.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery, Historical, Horror
Contains: Death, Violence, Blood/Gore, Mental Illness.
‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ tells the story of seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth, an apprentice to her Uncle’s laboratory, where she practices forensic medicine. When a pattern of women end up on her table, all mirroring brutal injuries, she finds herself investigating the Leather Apron; Jack the Ripper. Working alongside know-it-all Thomas Cresswell, they uncover the mystery of England’s most infamous serial killer.
This story has been on my anticipated reading list since its release last year, and I was so excited to get started. As someone who’s fascinated by serial killers, especially Jack the Ripper, I had such high hopes for this story. And it definitely didn’t disappoint.
The characters in this story ruled the book. There’s no doubt about. Audrey Rose Wadsworth is a seventeen-year-old detective from the Victorian era, who likes to dissect the death for a living. Her character is strong, courageous, and downright not prepared to take any shit from Thomas. This book is full of her quick-thinking, good morals and fight-ready stance up until the heart-wrenching climax of the novel. Audrey Rose owned my heart from the very first page, her point of view justifiable throughout; there was no moment where she’d make a stupid decision for love or because of her gender. I mean, she was prepared to let her brother be hanged for his crimes! She’s a complete badass.
Thomas’s character was another brilliant one. His flirtatious dialogue and overall mystery to him leading us to understand the relationship between the pair. The development of his character, from being the snarky apprentice to protective boyfriend, was wonderful to read. The interactions between him and Audrey were beautiful, clearly able to see the relationship blossom between the pages, and Thomas’s love for Audrey in the climax is one of the main reasons I can’t wait to continue the series.
The story line itself was one I was mostly anticipating, desperate to see how the author would handle the mystery behind Jack the Ripper. Although, it personally didn’t take me long to realise who the killer would be in the story, and my heart is still broken after discovering I was right, it didn’t spoil the book. The clues began to make more sense, my mind moving from ‘if it’s sweet Nathaniel, I’m gonna scream’ to ‘called it, I knew he was shifty’. The author had definitely done her research, using as much factual evidence as possible, yet it wasn’t as overwhelming as I first believed it would be, making the historical read entertaining and easy. The diagrams were also a lovely bonus, taking my time to read inspect them fully before continuing the story.
However, the font size of the letters Jack would send were in a calligraphy style font, which may only be a personal downside, yet I found it incredibly difficult to read. Whether there could have been an easy font to choose from and still stay true to the cultural time, I’m not sure, yet it took me a while to comprehend what was written.
Overall, I loved this book, it becoming immediately one of my all time favourite reads. The story-line was interesting, the characters were lovable and the cover is too beautiful to not own multiple copies of. I’ll definitely be continuing the series as soon as possible.