Book Review: Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4)

capturing the devilTitle: Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4)

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Pub. Date: September 10, 2019


In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse has them fighting to stay one step ahead of the brilliant serial killer—or see their fateful romance cut short by unspeakable tragedy.

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?

This will be a spoiler free review. If you’re interested in a rant-y, spoiler-y incoherent stream of thoughts, I have that “review” written and will gladly post it. Let me know in the comments if you’d like that post.

I can’t believe the series is over. I also cannot believe that I’ve already finished the book? I know, you’re probably wondering why I can’t believe that. I’ve been behind the hype of each book since SJTR release. I always end up reading the books (or basically any new release) after the internet (book Twitter) is finished raving and/or ranting about them. Then I’m alone with my feelings screaming into the void.

Despite having pre-ordered two different book boxes – FaeCrate and Beacon Book Box – that included this book, I pre-ordered a normal copy in order to qualify for the pre-order incentive…so, yes, I will have three copies of this book. That third pre-order arrived the day of release (way to go Amazon – it’s been awhile since you’ve been on time) and despite knowing that I have other books/ARCs I have to read, I sat down and dove in.

Now, I’m a little conflicted on my feelings for this book – all of which I get into in my rant-y/spoiler-y review. Part of me loved this book, just like I’ve loved all of the books prior. The other part of me felt a little let down…hence the lack of rating, because I honestly don’t know how to rate this book. Ultimately I’ll have to rate it when I upload this review to Goodreads, but for now…idk. I feel like it can be hard rating a final book in the series. Rarely am I ever content enough with the ending to not want more…even though there isn’t more. I also want to mention that this is also the first book in the series that I haven’t listened to via Audible Audiobooks, so I’m not entirely sure if that plays a factor.

My expectations might have been high. I’ll admit that. I was super excited that the book was going to have H.H. Holmes as its bad guy, but I never could imagine how it was all going to play out. For such a long book, I expected him to be featured more. In a way he was – which I can’t go into with spoilers – but not in the way I expected him to be.

Instead, the majority of the book is a lot of inner turmoil and introspection going on in Audrey Rose’s head. A lot has happened to her in the last five months of her life – I get it. She needs to deal, cope and come to terms with it all. I’m here for the expression of feelings and not bottling them all up!

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but this book felt a little like fan service, and I got kind of tired of it? I love Cresswell and Wadsworth, but oh my god. For two incredibly smart people, they acted kind of dumb.

There were also a few plot elements that I just didn’t care about and thought that they were added in for shock value. *ahem* chapter eighteen. Yes, I gasped. Yes, I raged. But the overall conflict that was presented, really does nothing but act as a slight deterrent for a handful of chapters. It held no real weighted consequence, because I figured Kerri wouldn’t tease at something, only to not have that highly desired something happen. That would just be cruel.

I also came to realize that my anger at Audrey’s choices in Escaping from Houdini haven’t really disappeared, and I think that might be why I was kind of, a little bit annoyed and against her in this book. Also, having read Becoming the Dark Prince, I would have loved to see this book in dual POV. Especially since Thomas has a lot of personal stuff thrown his way. It would have been really nice to see his side of things…especially the aftermath of chapter eighteen.

Also, Kerri just further enhanced my wishful longing to be able to time travel and go back and experience the Chicago World’s Fair in person. It’s one of those moments in time that was probably so incredibly cool to witness. I mean, because Tesla won the bid to light up the Fair, is the reason we use the light bulbs (the style of bulbs) we do today! So many advancements and wonders were on display and it had to have been marvelous…minus H.H. Holmes stealing women and killing them in his Murder Castle.

Albeit being a bit long, I do think that this book is a fitting conclusion to this series. It will captivate you and keep you reading until you’re ready to pass out…as I did. Thomas and Audrey kick ass and take some semblance of pleasure doing so, as they explore the Chicago World’s Fair and the disappearances of young women. It’s out now, so make sure you grab a copy and dive in!

And if you’re curious, you can check out my past reviews for the series here:

*I don’t have a review for Stalking Jack the Ripper, but I loved it!

Hunting Prince Dracula

Escaping from Houdini

Becoming the Dark Prince



Book Review: Becoming the Dark Prince (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3.5)

46184206. sy475 Title: Becoming the Dark Prince (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3.5)

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Pub. Date: July 15, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In this irresistibly-priced short story, catch a glimpse of the inner struggles and triumphs that drive Stalking Jack the Ripper’s endearing but troubled hero. 

Enigmatic, brooding, and darkly handsome, Thomas Cresswell has always been the one mystery Audrey Rose has never been able to fully solve. As brilliant partners in crime investigation, they understand each other perfectly…but as young lovers, their passionate natures have led to both euphoria and heartbreak throughout the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.

This novella features a collection of scenes that takes place during and after the pair’s horrifying Atlantic voyage in Escaping From Houdini. Experience new and familiar scenes from Thomas’s unique point of view, including an intensely personal look into his plea for Audrey Rose’s hand in marriage.

With a romance for the ages, Audrey Rose and Thomas reach the conclusion to their epic, irresistible partnership in their final adventure, Capturing the Devil.

This will be a spoiler free review, but I won’t be censoring any details of past books if they come up as they’ve been out for a while now.

This novella came out on my birthday…who could ask for a better present than Thomas Cresswell? Move over Audrey Rose, he’s my book boyfriend now.

Just kidding, but damn, I love Thomas Cresswell and if the first novella, plus all the books hadn’t already solidified my love for him, this novella would have done it. I’m also thoroughly convinced that I need the entire series from his point of view. I want to know how he sees the world. I binged this the day it came out which was a good and bad move. Good move, because it gave me a little dose of one of my favorite duos. Bad move, because I gave me a little does of one of my favorite duos, and now I have to wait until September to be reunited.

I really enjoyed this novella, even though it did bring back some rage-y feelings towards Audrey Rose in Escaping from Houdini – you can check out my review for that book here. Thomas got the horribly short end of the stick in that book, and I nearly disowned Audrey Rose as my favorite female character and would have if the Epilogue didn’t exist – you can legit read all about it in my review.

Becoming the Dark Prince was an in-depth – albeit brief – peek inside Thomas’s head, and if it wasn’t clear, that boy is utterly in love with Audrey Rose. So much so, that he’s pretty stupid when it comes to her. I find it endearing and just absolutely love him more because of it. He’s a young man in love and just as nervous and vulnerable as she is. Reliving some familiar scenes from his point of view, shows that even though he’s a brilliant scholar, he’s not immune to jealousy and the pains of young love. For a character that is often depicted as cold and unfeeling by his peers, these scenes from his point of view, prove that he feels just as much as those around him. He’s just as human and therefore flawed in the ways all humans are. This novella made me love him even more and I’m anxiously awaiting the release of Capturing the Devil because I need to know how this dynamic duo’s story comes to a close, with perhaps a marriage?

My fingers are crossed in the hopes that one day there will be a separate physical bind up of the two already released novella’s, so that I can have them sitting on my shelves with the rest of the books. This series quickly became one of my all-time favorites, and I push it on all of my friends.

If you haven’t started on Audrey Rose and Thomas’s adventures through the streets of London in Stalking Jack the Ripper, to Romania in Hunting Prince Dracula, to the RMS Etruria in Escaping from Houdini, you need to! They’re headed for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and H.H. Holmes in Capturing the Devil, out September 10, 2019 and it’s sure to be one hell of a book as Kerri brings Cressworth’s story to a close.