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.
“I was determined to be both pretty and fierce, as Mother had said I could be. Just because I was interested in a man’s job didn’t mean I had to give up being girly. Who defined those roles anyhow?”
I was definitely a fan of this book, even though I’m not really a James Patterson fan. I know that he wasn’t the author, but seeing that this is part of his “Children’s” book line was something that I found to be quite interesting. Did it make it better because it was associated with James Patterson? In my opinion, I pretty much forgot that his name was attached to this book by the time I started reading it.
Audrey Rose Wadsworth reminded me of Joan Watson, from the TV show Elementary. While she wasn’t an established surgeon like Joan was, she was learning her way around the medical field, mostly dealing with autopsies with her Uncle Jonathan, who was one of the best coroners in London during this time. She got down and dirty in this field, not shying away from the death and decay that comes with corpses. She was good at what she did, and she learned a lot by apprenticing under her uncle, even if this was something that was considered too “dirty” or too “improper” for women to learn. All throughout the book, she was shamed by both men and women for dabbling in the medical field, being around dead bodies and cutting into them for scientific purposes. Apparently, this was going to hurt her chances at being a proper lady in society and even hurt her chances of finding a proper husband to take care of her.
This was the time that she lived in though, and it was refreshing to see Audrey not care about such things like that.
Audrey Rose wasn’t the only feminist character in this book. Actually, the most surprising part about it was that her cousin Liza also had feminist tendencies that even Audrey Rose wasn’t expecting to see. One of my all-time favorite quotes from the book came from Liza:
“Wield your assets like a blade, Cousin. No man has invented a corset for our brains. Let them think they rule the world. It’s a queen who sits on that throne. Never forget that. There’s no reason you can’t wear a simple frock to work, then don the finest gown and dance the night away. But only if it pleases you.”
I’m even tempted to have it tattooed somewhere on my body, but that’s another story. Isn’t it amazing that men seem to forget that a Queen is in charge of all of England? Even back then? And yet they feel like women should not be in power or deal with unsavory things? Silly boys.
I’m really glad that I finally had the time to finish this book, especially before the Christmas holiday.
Rated: 5/5 ★