Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4) by Kerri Maniscalco

Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: JIMMY Patterson
Publication Date: September 10th 2019
Source: book (purchased)


Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World's Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.
Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they've heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him---and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device---is another.
Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end---together and in love---or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?
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After stalking Jack the Ripper, Hunting Prince Dracula and escaping from Houdini, Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell will have to capture the Devil! Audrey and Thomas have now arrived in New York. Audrey is learning to live with her injured leg and Thomas is learning that Audrey is not made of glass, or at least trying to.
After a mystery killer escaped from the RMS Etruria, Audrey and Thomas decided that, as soon as their life stabilizes, they need to find him. Soon they discover a trail of victims, it seems that the killer is trying to lure them his way. As their lives get increasingly complicated, Wadsworth and Cresswell must put their feelings aside and discover new truths that would be better to be forgotten. Pain and rawness rule over America and our protagonists' hearts. In the city of Chicago, in the midst of the International Exposition.
It was a bittersweet feeling to read the conclusion of a series that has brought me so much happiness and that filled so many hours of my life. I have written extensively about how I feel about Audrey Rose and her meaning to me. I love to read books that encourage people, books that teach you that you have an inner strength bigger than you might think, books that are different.
What could be more singular than a whole series about a Victorian girl who wants to study forensic medicine and that fights tooth and nail to achieve that goal? Thomas is also different from the classic representation of the Victorian man, going through a whole journey from seeming non-emotional to accepting and expressing his emotions. In a way, Cresswell's feelings are an essential element to the climax of the story.
There is also so much representation throughout the whole series! There is no whitewashing of the Victorian society, as can be attested by Audrey's Indian ancestry, which goes in line with the mesh of cultures that took place in Victorian times (and all throughout history). There is also an accurate representation of how same-sex love and relationships have always been present, they might not have been accepted by polite (and impolite) society but they still existed. In this book, there is also a showcase of how much control the family and the parental figure had in the suns' and daughters' lives. Overall, you can see that this was a very very well researched series which brings up important matters in today's worlds, whether on an indirect or direct manner.
I loved the way that the author completely slapped me on the face, taking the conclusions from the first book and flipping them completely around. I had never heard of the theory that H. H. Holmes was Jack the Ripper but I loved how it completely suited the overall plot, making the thread between books even stronger. All the scenes inside the Murder Hotel (or Murder Castle) were positively macabre, they needed to be like that.
I like to believe brought about a certain apotheosis of Audrey Rose, where she was elevated to something else by completely sacrificing herself in every possible way. Not that I would suggest that people chase prolific dangerous assassins on their own. This was certainly one of the best books in the series and one of the darkest too. It is definitely in my top of best books of 2019 and I would suggest you give it a read!

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