“Stalking Jack the Ripper”

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“Stalking Jack the Ripper” 

        All her life in historical 1800s London, seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth had a life of wealth and polite society stretched out before her feet, whether she liked it or not. But in the shadow of that life, she leads a forbidden one. 

         Ignoring her father’s wishes and society’s expectations for women, Audrey spends most of her time in her uncle’s laboratory, studying the gruesome and frowned-upon practice of forensic medicine. But a series of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, making it harder to hide. Her search for answers brings her closer to her own world than she would have ever guessed, with a shocking discovery. 

        This book is absolutely gorgeous, with charismatic characters and handsome writing. 

        Audrey Rose, the heroine, is very unique. Not only for her Indian heritage, which includes a diverse perspective, but in the way she stands out against other heroines of the teen genre. Audrey is up against society as a whole and the way that it suppresses women, yet she chooses her intellect and skill over it all. And she is brilliant, the way she connects pieces of evidence with her love of science. She trusts herself and remains confident, something that her most of her male peers constantly frown upon. But another great thing about Audrey’s character is that even though she keeps a “gruesome” profession, she also keeps her “feminine” side, with her love of clothes and fabrics. 

        Her partner-in-crime, Thomas Cresswell, is that annoying, charismatic, Sherlock-ish guy that gets under your skin and in your heart at the same time. He’s handsome and full of himself, always a talented combination. Nevertheless, his loyalty to his work, and later to Audrey, is something to be greatly admired and appreciated. His character development is well balanced, adding more depth to his personality as the plot goes along. 

       “Stalking Jack the Ripper” stands out against other series of the vast teen genre because of its strong identity and originality. The writing is splendid, Maniscalco’s style is a darkly beautiful blend of the gothic and occult. 

“Hunting Prince Dracula” 

        After unmasking Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its painful, haunting memories. She and her handsome, but arrogant companion, Thomas Cresswell, travel to the dark heart of Romania, birthplace of one of the best forensic academies in Europe. However, their travels introduce them to another diabolical killer, the infamous Vlad Dracula, also known as the Impaler. His thirst for blood became legend, but he died centuries ago. Or did he? 

        Audrey’s dream soon becomes soaked with the blood of her classmates, some of them drained of it completely. Other dark discoveries within the academy’s stone walls further complicate the mystery, one that Audrey Rose is determined to solve, even if her peers deem her as incapable of such matters. With Cresswell at her side, Wadsworth comes closer to her nightmares than she ever wished to, both romantic and scientific. 

       “Hunting Prince Dracula” is a fantastic sequel to this series. It picks up exactly where the first one left off and doesn’t slow down. It leaps right into the bloody action with a shocking jolt, snaring readers within the first few pages. 

         Audrey Rose struggles with the impact of solving the Ripper case, experiencing a crisis of faith that severely damages her trust in science. This does interesting things to her character development and personality as the story goes along, forcing her to confront things that she is try so hard to forget. It is always fascinating to see a character shaken up, questioning their beliefs at the expense of their skills. Audrey still has to work twice as hard to prove herself to her male companions, who constantly doubt her presence in the forensic field. These two aspects of Audrey go head to head as she fights for her place in the world, trying not to let her past haunt her forever.The writing and mystery of this second novel is as magnificent as the first, growing darker and more perplexing as the deaths intensify. 

“Escaping from Houdini” 

      After solving the bloody crimes in Romania, Audrey Rose and her partner-in-crime, Thomas Cresswell, board the RMS Etruria, en-route to America and another murder. While on board, passengers are enchanted by a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic escape artist, entertaining the first-class passengers. 

      However, privileged young women begin to vanish and a series of brutal slayings terrify the entire ship. The mysterious influence of the Moonlight Carnival spreads across the decks as the murders become more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the sea. Audrey Rose and Thomas must piece together the gruesome investigation before reaching their destination. 

      But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale? 

      This third book in the bestselling “Stalking Jack the Ripper” series is coming soon, its release date set for September 18, 2018. A fourth and final installment from Maniscalco is in the works, the title and plot currently a mystery.