Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
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.
I’d read a lot of great things about this book online and I’m so happy that it lived up to the hype! I’ve always been fascinated by Jack the Ripper and the forensic investigations really appealed to my macabre side.
One of my favourite aspects of this was the historical accuracy. Not only did it feel authentic when I was reading it, but I was really impressed by the information at the end of the book that explained how much research had gone into it. This is a perfect example of historical fiction, where the plot isn’t weighed down by the facts but at the same time you feel like you’ve accessed another world.
As a follow-on from this, I found Audrey Rose’s voice really appropriate for the time period and I really responded to her as a character. I loved how she resisted against the constraints of that time in a way that didn’t feel too excessive or unbelievable.
The mystery aspect was also very well-plotted. I enjoyed following the unravelling of the clues and the unexpected turns of the plot towards the fantastic finale!
Finally, I have to say a few words about the romance. Lately I haven’t been a massive fan of romance for the sake of it but this definitely wasn’t an example of that! Thomas was a great love interest and a worthy partner for Audrey Rose. I got a Sherlock Holmes vibe from him that I enjoyed and I felt their impending relationship enhanced the plot.
This book made me feel like reading more YA historical fiction and definitely left me with a thirst for the sequel!
Usually this is the point where I’d offer recommendations but historical fiction isn't my area of expertise! Can anyone suggest a historical YA as enjoyable (and preferably gruesome) as this one?