November 17, 2017

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Stalking Jack the ­Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco | SLJ Audio Review

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redstarMANISCALCO, Kerri. Stalking Jack the ­Ripper. 8 CDs. 9:30 hrs. Hachette Audio. Sept. 2016. $30. ISBN 9781478967422. digital download.

stalking-jack-the-ripperGr 9 Up –This audiobook has everything: a true-life tale that has intrigued readers for 100-plus years, a young woman who balks at the constraints put upon women during the Victorian era, a marvelous yet somewhat gruesome mystery, and a narrator who brings you down into Spitalfields as Jack the Ripper earns his name. Audrey Rose has suffered the loss of her mother and is having trouble finding her way in the world despite the help of her brother, Nathaniel. She is keenly interested in her uncle Jonathan’s work as a forensic medical examiner but is forbidden to study the subject at school or assist her uncle in his laboratory. Her father has grown distant after his wife’s death and depends heavily on laudanum to cope. Audrey Rose takes advantage of his distraction and surreptitiously works in the laboratory with her uncle and his assistant, Thomas Cresswell, as Jack the Ripper’s victims come to his autopsy table. The Ripper scenes are visceral, and the plot dovetails with history perfectly. Narrator Nicola Barber voices the characters distinctly as they move about the story. An unexpected twist makes the ending worth the wait. VERDICT This is a must-have audio for fans of Ripper accounts and Sherlock Holmes and other BBC sleuths. [“An entertaining debut full of twists and turns, perfect for fans of historical fiction and mystery”: SLJ 8/16 review of the Little, Brown/Jimmy Patterson book.]–Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2016 issue.

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