Hey all, Dani here.
With today’s review I actually had a debate with myself for a little while. You see, I read all three released books in this series in a couple months last year. So I debated on if I should review each book individually or review the series as a whole. Based on the title of this post, you can see that I decided it was only fair to give each book its own chance to shine. Plus that means I’m being fair to every book in the collection, seeing as how the fourth and final book will be out this fall.
Anyway, this isn’t normally the type of story I go for. Most of my reading tends to be in the fantasy or science fiction genres. However, I was intrigued by this one. I actually had picked it up in the store and read the first page…and wow, what a book opening.
So let’s just jump into the review.
Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…
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 dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
Rating: 5 stars
I have no idea why it took me so long to read this book. I picked it up shortly after its release because of all the hype and because it sounded interesting. But then it just sat on my shelf. When I went to BookExpo, I managed to snag an ARC for Hunting Prince Dracula, and I thought for sure that I would finally get around to reading both books. But no, it took until the month leading up to the release of Escaping From Houdini for me to start reading…and then I pretty much didn’t stop until I read all three.
This was an entertaining read. The plot was compelling and the story beats happened at a pace that just kept me reading, because I wanted to know what would happen next. I loved Audrey Rose for her interest in forensic science, and her analytical mind. And yes, sure, she is prone to some “girly” moments–she does care about fashion as well. But it’s not like she favors one over the other. It makes her nice and well-rounded in her interests.
I also liked witnessing her interactions with Thomas Cresswell. Okay, fine, yes, it was obvious they were going to end up romancing each other, but I think the flirtation and the banter and the anticipation made it fascinating.
There were some predictable moments. I figured out who Jack the Ripper was (in this book anyway, since in reality we don’t actually know) about 30 pages or so before the actual reveal. But it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the story. Plus the emotional and psychological ramifications of that reveal ripple through the rest of the books.
So, no, this wasn’t my normal type of read. But I ended up enjoying it way more than I expected. I’m glad I finally read this. It was a great series start to some interesting takes on some historical figures.