‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ – Kerri Maniscalco

Seventeen year old Audrey Rose Wadsworth, an aristocrat’s daughter, should be happy with living a life of luxury, fretting over her dresses and trying to snare an eligible husband. Thank goodness she has more about her than that!

This won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but Audrey Rose is a sassy little thing. She knows her own mind, and is fascinated by the intricacies of medicine/surgery. Determined to follow her interests – regardless of what those in society think of her – Audrey is desperate to help her uncle with his scientific investigations.

While she is suffering the weight of expectations, Audrey’s curiosity is aroused by the discovery of mutilated bodies. Yes, it’s the time Jack the Ripper was prowling the streets of London, determined to rid the city of prostitutes. Audrey gets caught up in the investigation, and ends up a lot closer to events than she thought was possible.

Along with her uncle’s helper, Thomas, Audrey is determined to try and find out who’s responsible. When she does, the answer isn’t a welcome one. There’s some graphic accounts of the process involved in examining a corpse, but I was fascinated rather than repelled by this. Looking at opium addiction, treatment of mental health and general attitudes to women means there’s a lot going on here!