Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #3
Published by Jimmy Patterson on September 18, 2018
Also by this author: Stalking Jack the Ripper, Hunting Prince Dracula, Capturing the Devil
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.
But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea.
It's up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer's horrifying finale?
Soooooooo this was not originally in my 20 books of Summer list but it is now! After being ill, and pulling from tours I decided I wanted more freedom and so creating my list of 20 books for the Summer was done in such an organised way for me, with x amount of ARCs, x amount requests and Netgalley. I thought phooey to the lot and wanted less restriction. I did start this audiobook on the 3rd June so it technically it should be included and so it is! My original list will now be thrown to the wind and start from scratch. I will now choose what I want to read/listen to. Anyhoo………my review!
✮ My Review ✮
I have to say I think this might quite frankly be my favourite so far in terms of the settings and the thrill! I love the dynamic with Audrey-Rose and Thomas in this book, however, and it’s one bugbear, I did not like a potential love triangle ever slightly thrown into the mix. To me, Audrey and Thomas’ love is so pure and on such an even keel that you do forget that they are only young and probably are too young to be settling down. However, I have not found two characters in a book so well met and suited. Every bit of banter and sleight of tongue was met with a smile on my face they fit together perfectly. So that was my bugbear, the rest of the book was fantastic!
Again, set mere weeks after the last book, you are wondering if Audrey-Rose and Thomas may have a breather. They are on the RMS Etruria, on a week-long voyage to America to help assist Audrey’s Uncle on a case. Whilst relaxing in first class, they are treated to a circus act during dinner where things turn rather….deadly.
With being confined on a boat and women going missing, it intensifies the claustrophobia. Literally, in the middle of a vast ocean, people dying, knowing there is a murderer on the ship, who do you trust? Who can you trust? What could be more terrifying than that? It made the fear in the passengers more palpable, and I know Escaping from Houdini is set years before the sinking of the Titanic, I still could not stop worrying about it!
I love how each book focuses on a new infamous person, this time with “Harry” Houdini. He did not feature as much as I would have hoped, and Maniscalco said at the end of the book she had changed parts of his history to fit with the story. This did not affect the story in any way, because it was exciting to see him perform his escapes on the boat. I love the circus, so I was drawn straight away to the Illusionist and the rest of the Moonlight Carnival. I mean this sounds so mystical and to be honest sinister add the boat and you do have a recipe for disaster.
I have to shout out to Nicola Barber AGAIN! She just blows my mind with her narrations!! Every time I listen, I forget it is her doing all the voices, you feel like there is a team of people with her. She gets every emotion spot on, she can ramp up the mystery and horror all with her voice. Even if you are not interested in the book, you should listen just for her!!
Mephistopheles is a new and exciting character in this instalment. Albeit I did not like the love triangle side of things but had Audrey been as free as she would like they would have made a great pairing. (Still Thomas for me!) He too is a scientist of sorts, so this appeals to Audrey as she undertakes a secret mission to work with him to help his carnival and to find the true murderer. The retorts between Mephistopheles and Thomas were fun to read, but at the same time, I will always be #teamThomas and was not impressed with the way he was being treated and portrayed.
Buuuutttt on the flip side of this, the conflict Audrey goes through shows very real and human emotions. Her heart is for Thomas, but the excitement and danger with Mephistopheles opened her eyes to what could lay in the future? Causing doubt and conflict in both her heart and mind left the reader feeling a bit bereft to what she might follow. How could Audrey doubt everything she had been through with Thomas, after a few days of being in the company of Mephistopheles. Hrmph! Oh! and the other bugbear, there was not enough Thomas Cresswell in this book!
Saying all of the above, yes the love story was a chunk of this story, but the gruesome murders and the thrill of playing detective is still such a pivotal role in this book. The boat itself is such a huge character in the story, discovering new ways to stay hidden. Who is feeding the animals part of the human remains? Who is staging the murders to look like the tarot cards? More importantly, and a little bit more scary to think about… Were there two murderers?
Well the last question, we will not get an answer to until September when the last book in the series Capturing the Devil is released. I might cry at this!!
Until next time xxx
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: