Stalking Jack the Ripper
What are some of your favorite book covers? Little Thieves, The Botanist's Daughter, and The Lost Apothecary have captured my heart. I cannot wait for the release of Marissa Meyer's Cursed because I have already seen the stunning cover art. I am keeping my eyes out for a second-hand copy of Beasts of Prey because... well, you see that beautiful design.
Generally, I love simple designs that tell the reader something about the book's content and quality. The shoe on Cinder. The chain mail on Soldier. The flowers and stoppered bottle on The Lost Apothecary. These covers are simple but high quality. When I saw the cover of Stalking Jack the Ripper, all I could think was "with that cover, it must be crap!"
Or a seedy romance.
But there were so many people suggesting it that I finally caved. "Don't judge a book by it's cover," I told myself. Even though I didn't believe it, I decided to give the book a go.
I was pleasantly surprised. Stalking Jack the Ripper tells the story of a young lady in Europe during the time Jack the Ripper was active. She desires to be a medical examiner. Her father wishes for her to follow the guidelines society has set for her. As Jack the Ripper kills more and more people, she slowly gets closer and closer to catching the culprit and, potentially, winning the pride of her father.
I don't often read mysteries. I enjoy watching crime shows but for some reason don't enjoy the book form. However, I did enjoy reading this book. I liked the details that the author wove in from the original Jack the Ripper mystery but most of all, enjoyed the medical examiner side of the story. I have taken anatomy and physiology classes in both high school and college and because of my own intense medical journey, understand the human body a little bit more than the average person off the street. That makes medical dramas and the medical examiner stories more interesting for me.
That being said, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who can't take a little gore. While the story itself isn't intense, there is a lot of mention of gore, blood, and body parts. If you are squeamish, don't read Stalking Jack the Ripper. The book is closer to the middle-grade side of the scale in terms of tone but the plethora of medical words and actions do cause it to be unsuitable for younger audiences. The author could have done a better job of developing her protagonist which may have led to the book feeling more even in terms of the age it was geared towards.
I was impressed with the author's ability to keep the mystery mysterious. There were clues spread throughout the book which did come together and make sense at the end but many of the clues applied to more than one suspect. Until the very end of the book, I was unsure who the killer would be. Each revealed fact only left me more confused as I jumped back and forth between suspects along with the protagonist. While it could have caused a mess, the author didn't let it turn out that way. She wrapped each clue up in a bow and by the end, I understood why everything pointed to the killer.
I may still end up judging books based on their covers when they don't seem high-quality but this book was the exception to the rule as I did thoroughly enjoy it. If you are a mystery fan not bothered by gore, you may enjoy Stalking Jack the Ripper as well.
Books like this: To Kill a Kingdom; These Violent Delights; The Lady Rogue