I’m just going to roll right into a review and act as if I haven’t blogged for two straight months.
CAPTURING THE DEVIL | Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Book 4)
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: jimmy patterson
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
It is a sad truth that we do not live in a world where differences are accepted.
Capturing the Devil marks the end of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and I have to say that I’m really disappointed that this series has come to an end! This series was a pleasant surprise and a welcome addition to the sparse YA mystery and thriller genre.
Stalking Jack the Ripper introduced us to Audrey Rose, a lovable and well-balanced heroine who loved the finer things in life as well as the secrets and story hidden within a corpse. We were also given Thomas Cresswell, a quintessentially charming love interest who stole both Audrey Rose’s and my heart with his snark, intelligence, and progressive thinking.
Together the two made a fantastic forensic pair and an intriguing romantic couple as they are both very clever and wonderfully forward-thinking in regards to the Victorian societal standards in love, marriage, and vocation. Not much has changed by the end of this series. In fact, Capturing the Devil is the climax of their individual character arcs and their romantic journey.
This book proves that the two are solid in their companionship; unfortunately one last obstacle stands in the way of their marriage taking place. While I was annoyed that more conflict had to be inserted into their romance to create drama, I was relieved to see that both characters weren’t wallowing in self-pity and instead were working quite hard to achieve their well-earned happy ending.
However, because there was such a huge focus on Audrey Rose and Thomas’s love life as well as Audrey Rose’s self-reflection on her supposedly morbid interest in human physiology, the actual murder mystery got a bit lost under all the angst. I would have loved for more scenes of forensic analysis of the bodies and of the killer’s movements.
There were some real shocking revelations that looped back to the first book and to Audrey Rose’s brother, and those moments helped keep the story in it’s little gothic niche. And the final few chapters dived into some very chilling scenes involving one of America’s most famed serial killers (or career murderers as they were called back then) of the 19th century. I was properly creeped out by that final showdown.
If anything, I wish there were more grisly moments like the ending sequence, but all in all, this was a satisfyingly strong ending to a unique series. The romance is swoon-worthy, the mystery is slow but well planned, and the “devil” keeps his cozy little seat in every little illustration and murder explained on the page.