Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Published: September 20th 2015
Read as: Paperback, owned
Average Goodreads rating: 4.02
My rating: 4.5/5
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 #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
“Death was not prejudiced by mortal things such as station or gender. It came for kings and queens and prostitutes alike, often leaving the living with regrets.”
I genuinely feel like I robbed myself. I purchased a paperback copy of this book late in 2017, read around half of it, then it got tucked on a shelf and forgotten until about two days ago. Why didn’t I finish the book when I first started reading it? Why did I put it on a shelf to be forgotten? I don’t remember but I feel like I robbed myself. When I stumbled across this book with its bookmark sticking out two days ago I shrugged, pulled it out, and started reading exactly where I had left off months ago. This, my friends, is a story I fell in love with.
Since my memory of the first half of this book is slightly foggy I don’t feel like I can genuinely judge that half but my love for the second half abounds. Audrey Rose (good grief do I love her name) is a strong minded, intelligent, forward thinking woman during a time when those things were generally frowned upon. Her bravery, mind, love for her family, and growth throughout the story staggered me. Audrey Rose is the YA heroine I want in every story. So often a strong heroine is painted as unlovable or with more manly characteristics. Audrey was strong and brave and bright all the while still maintaining some more traditionally feminine characteristics such as enjoying indulgence in lovely dresses and dreaming of love. She is a character I would be pleased for my daughter to read if she wanted to. Fierce intelligence willingness to push boundaries, and a lust for life are characteristics I’d be delighted for my daughter to have, as well.
The story overall was also gripping. I love myself a good mystery and going through the clues to determine Jack the Ripper’s identity was the best mystery to get enthralled in. I love the history of Jack the Ripper, I love reading theories about their identity, I love the From Hell movie…you get my point. Getting wrapped up in this story was the best. Also, Maniscalco kept many of the details from the actual murders historically correct or as close to correct as she could while still preserving her fictional story. There was blood, gore, scientific reasoning, and madness.
I will leave this as a mini-review (since many details from the first half of the story escape me) but if you haven’t read this book yet, I urge you to do so. It screams out at me as one of the best reads of the year and I cannot wait to dig into the next book of the series!