Okay. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this book. I don’t do well with thriller-y style reads, but I’d seen so much about it on bookstagram that I wanted to give it a chance! (Did I buy it purely because I’d seen it on bookstagram? Maybe 😉🙊) So I bought it! And then left it for a bit. Because I was a teeeeny bit nervous about starting it. But start it I did! Here is the overview:
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. So I know it doesn’t sound THAT scary. But I scare easily. Anyway – all of that aside… I LOVED this book. I loved everything about it! My feminist side was screaming in joy every time Audrey Rose was a kick-butt heroine! But the romantic side of me was falling slowly in love with Thomas Cresswell. There was murder, plot, intrigue, romance, strong female characters… what more could I want, basically?
What I really enjoyed about this story was it’s links to real history. Obviously it’s a work of fiction, but I found having it based in history was super easy to understand and place. I knew the places in London, and I could imagine the society at the time. It was incredibly well done! I also liked the photographic snippets at the start of each chapter. While some were a tad shocking to my poor sensibilities (look, I was just not expecting them!) I felt like it really added to the overall tone and feel of the book!
I wouldn’t be able to write a review if I didn’t talk about Thomas Cresswell. I feel like Maniscalco did a great job at making him just weird enough to not be your typical hero, but still dashing enough to make us swoon! As a weirdo nerd myself, this guy was basically a dreamboat! And the relationship between him and Audrey Rose didn’t feel as rushed as it very well could have been. The two of them are very much the reason why as soon as I finished the book, I went online and ordered the second one.
The other thing I really enjoyed was the reasoning behind who Jack is and why he does what he does. Like I said before, historically speaking, it’s completely inaccurate, but I really loved where the storyline went regarding this aspect. I’m trying really hard to not give any spoilers away – I’d written three different sentences here and all of them seemed too spoiler-y! So let’s just leave it saying that I really enjoyed the reveal and enjoyed how fact and fiction played together.
This story completely took me by surprise, but in the best way possible. It was a stunning read, I have the second one waiting for me and I can’t wait to join Audrey Rose and Thomas on more of their adventures! This book gets ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5 stars from me! If you want to read it, which I highly recommend you do, you can grab a copy here 😊